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Our Grantees

Across the Foundation’s priority areas, our grantees are working to improve the health of the public through innovative research and programs.  The Foundation awards up to 40 grants on a rotating schedule each year.

Harvard Macy Institute Evaluation Study

Theme: New Curriculum Content

Institution: Harvard Medical School

Grant Type: Board Grant

Award Amount: $99,000

Grant Awarded: May 2010

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth G. Armstrong, PhD

Established in 1994 with a grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI) represents a collaborative effort of faculties from Harvard Medical School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Harvard Business School, under the direction of Elizabeth Armstrong.  Co-directors of individual courses are Clayton Christensen (HBS), Robert Kegan (HGSE), Louis Pangaro and Constance Bowe, who together with HMI alumni scholars from leading institutions around the world design and implement the 3 programs that make up the Institute.

The initial funding was to create and support a Program for Physician Educators, a Program for Leading Innovations and a fellowship for a small group of senior scholars interested in pursuing educational reforms (the fellowship existed only in the first 3 years of funding). When Macy Foundation funding ended in 2000, the Institute comprising two internationally recognized professional development   programs moved under the auspices of Harvard Medical International (2001-2008), an HMS entity created under the leadership of Daniel C. Tosteson. The original physician educators’ program has become, The Program for Educators in the Health Professions, and has been open to the wide range of health care professionals for over ten years. The Program for Leading Innovations in Healthcare and Education has been open to all health care professionals since its inception.  A third program was launched in 2007, A Systems Approach to Assessment in Health Professions Education. Its focus is to offer health care educators an opportunity to view educational assessment and evaluation through the lens of systems thinking.  Each of the three programs is now offered annually, and they are supplemented by ongoing social networking opportunities both live and in an on-line environment sponsored by HMI. 

Although the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation funding ended in 2000, the Harvard Macy Institute programs have continued, expanded their enrollment and added the newest offering on the systems approach to assessment. Each of the three programs is self-sustaining.
A major concern and driving force of most foundations is to provide funds that lead to institutional action that has the intended desired positive outcomes, and becomes self-sustaining. The Harvard Macy Institute has a lengthy track record of accomplishing both goals, even in times of serious fiscal constraints.

The purpose of this evaluation is to:

  • Carefully examine the impact the Harvard Macy Institute programs have had on the health educators it serves;
  • Identify the reasons the HMI was able to become self-sustaining; and
  • Develop an entrepreneurial and future-oriented strategy to lead medical and health professional education forward.

The ultimate goal of this proposed evaluation study is to understand the role of HMI in supporting health care educators, leaders of health care organizations, and innovators in: improving medical and health professions education; and supporting increased teamwork between and among health care professionals. With anticipated changes in our health care system, the intent is for this study to provide data and insights for strengthening medical and health professions education for HMI and for other institutions.