New York State Health Foundation

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Refinement of the Special Projects Fund

While most of NYSHealth’s grantmaking focuses on three priority areas—expanding health insurance coverage, improving the management and prevention of diabetes, and integrating substance use and mental health services—in 2007, the Foundation recognized it could be an important resource by being responsive to opportunities that fit our mission, but are outside our three priority areas, and launched its Special Opportunities Initiative.

In 2008, the Foundation began to refine the initiative, changed the name to Special Projects Fund, and launched two requests for proposals (RFPs) that resulted in several million dollars to innovative programs throughout the State. One RFP specifically sought proposals to build or expand service-delivery capacity, and the other RFP requested proposals with potential large-scale impact on the health care system. The criteria for applicants are spelled out in the respective calls for proposals, found in the Funding Opportunities section of the NYSHealth Web site. Typically, the criteria emphasize time-sensitive opportunities, the likelihood of project sustainability, and strong potential for replication elsewhere in the State.