Weatherhead School of Management student, Satya Moolani, led the grant writing effort that resulted in his organization, Create Circles, to receive a three-year, $495,397.52 Civil Money Penalty (CMP) grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Kentucky Office of Inspector General.
is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping older adults in long-term care communities rediscover purpose through its volunteer program, which includes promoting goal-oriented projects between volunteers and older adults that alleviate loneliness and improve sense of worth. Create Circles has volunteers that reach residents across the nation in over 150 long-term care communities.
“This grant means the world to our organization and team,” said Moolani, an executive board member of Create Circles and president of the chapter in Cleveland, which works with three skilled-nursing facilities in the area.
The grant will implement the program, “Engage with Your Community Project,” in 25 nursing homes across Kentucky. A major component of the project is to decrease social isolation by 50% for the residents, and to help decrease negative perceptions on aging.
“Our team spent over 18 months writing, editing, and revising this grant application to make sure that we solely focus on maximizing our impact to reduce loneliness and improve the self-worth of these residents,” said Moolani.
Over a 12-week period, staff and volunteers will promote intergenerational virtual interactions with each participating resident to complete a single joint project, or multiple mini-projects that are important to each resident. The Create Circles project seeks to engage 500 Kentucky residents over a three-year period. The program will train volunteers, supply training resources to communities, quantify impact, create sustainability plans for the community based on results, and improve the residents’ quality of life.
Even though the grant money will not directly impact the facilities Moolani works with in Cleveland, Moolani said he will continue to progress his mission of creating a new-found sense of purpose for older adults with the facilities he works with in the area.
“This grant brings me a sense of relief as it reinforces the work we do at Create Circles, and getting that recognition from CMS will drive us more to expand our impact to as many residents as we can in Cleveland and beyond,” he said.
Moolani is part of Weatherhead’s Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Healthcare Management Integrated Program
, where he is expected to graduate in August with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Cognitive Science from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Healthcare Management degree from Weatherhead.
This summer, he is taking two courses at Weatherhead: Identifying Design Opportunities (HSMC 411) with Kipum Lee, adjunct professor in design and innovation; and Action Learning Project (MGMT 497) with Philip Cola, associate professor of design and innovation.
“Both these classes have changed my viewpoint on how ideas, when implemented correctly and with the right end goal in mind, have a true impact on the population that is being served,” Moolani said. “The current project that I am working on in my Action Learning Project class is solving the long-lasting issue of nursing home employee turnover which coincides with my work at Create Circles”
Upon graduation, Moolani said he will continue to manage the Create Circles program in Cleveland, as well as work as a project manager for the program in Kentucky.