Progress Areas

Enhancing Impact

Goal

Leverage our resources to increase impact

Progress

  • Leveraged more than $20 million from public and private sources, including direct co-funding and money raised.

What this means

Leveraging is a strategy across all program areas. Since 2009, approximately $468 million has been leveraged.

Leveraging has allowed us to support efforts in specific regions of the State, to help sustain those efforts, and to expand them across the State.

Enhancing Impact

Goal

Deploy activist model to achieve broad policy impact

Progress

  • Supported successful efforts to achieve Universal School Lunch (USL) for all 1.1 million school children in New York City.
  • Responded to request for public comments on Medicare payments for Diabetes Prevention Program.
  • Created in-house policy and research group to further position ourselves to deploy activist model. New staff and resources helped publish several NYSHealth publications in 2017 to bring additional attention to various policy issues, including the opioid crisis in New York and access to Veterans Treatment Courts.

What this means

USL was the first activist campaign for the Foundation. It reflects our mission to be not just a grantmaker, but also a changemaker. We plan on conducting similar efforts in the future.

Using our reputational and human capital enhances our impact beyond grantmaking. Participating in public comment processes is a way to inform and influence policy. We plan to be active contributors of such policy documents.

Building Healthy Communities

Goal

Promote community cohesion, organizational capacity, and sustainability

Progress

  • Supported Community Convener (CC) organizations in each of the six Building Healthy Communities neighborhoods. CCs are working to:
    • Advance resident engagement programs with all CCs having set aside at least 25% of funding to support community-driven projects, and
    • Form new cross-sectoral partnerships.
  • Provided technical assistance (TA) grants to help develop communications strategies and leveraged additional funding in response to the real-time needs of grantees.
  • Provided complementary support to other organizations to target food access, nutrition education, and activation of underused public spaces.
  • Made adjustments in CC partnerships to reflect changing circumstances in the communities.

What this means

Placemaking work is difficult to quantify. NYSHealth believes that our grantmaking strategies must be continuously informed by local organizations, residents, and context.

TA and Learning Collaboratives allow us to share promising practices and lessons learned in real time, and to inform and influence the field and policymakers.

Changes in designated CCs have been made, which is to be expected with place-based initiatives. These changes demonstrate NYSHealth’s responsiveness and flexibility.

Building Healthy Communities

Goal

Improve access to safe places where residents can be more physically active

Progress

  • All Building Healthy Communities neighborhoods have begun or completed projects to improve public spaces:
  • Completed a baseline assessment of residents’ behaviors and awareness related to physical activity. Follow-up assessments will measure changes over time.
  • Adjusted our grantmaking to support public safety provisions, including a police substation in a neighborhood park in the Near Westside community of Syracuse.

What this means

While a formal, long-term evaluation is being conducted, anecdotal evidence tells us that more residents are using these (re)activated public spaces, participating in formal and informal exercise programs, and fostering community cohesion.

Ensuring public safety is a prerequisite to physical activity.

Building Healthy Communities

Goal

Improve access to and demand for nutritious foods

Progress

  • Created 25 new access points to healthier food across all Building Healthy Communities neighborhoods.
  • Invested in a partnership with a small, locally owned supermarket in Syracuse. When a larger chain supermarket opened up less than a mile away, the local store was forced to close.
  • Completed a baseline assessment of individual residents’ behaviors and awareness related to healthy eating. Follow-up assessments will measure changes over time.

What this means

The six neighborhoods have more access points to healthy and affordable food. The Foundation is measuring changes in consumption patterns.

Setbacks can occur that are beyond the control of grantees. Designing strategies to overcome them is ongoing.

Increasing the number of healthy food outlets is important but not sufficient. NYSHealth has also worked to:

• Improve access to transportation;

• Support improvements to food quality and affordability;

• Educate residents about and provide opportunities for healthy meal preparation; and

• Share what is working with policy leaders to help inform broader policy and system change.

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Goal

Ensure greater transparency of and access to price, quality, and patient experience information.

Progress

  • Identified the information needs of consumers and  contributed to making the case for transparency:
    • Helped build the evidence base with a statewide price transparency survey on what consumers want.
    • Showed how plans can meet information needs through an analysis of health plans cost estimator tools
    • Demonstrated the value of using patient-centric definitions of quality through projects focused on quality of care information.
    • Identified opportunities for State-supported consumer cost and quality resources.
  • Developed new tools and resources that make  information easily accessible, useable, and  actionable:
  • Fostered opportunities for greater stakeholder input into development of an All Payer Claims Database (APCD), including commissioning a report to identify how the APCD can best meet consumer interests, organizing the first stakeholder convening, submitting public comments to inform regulations and policy decisions, and promoting consumer representation.

What this means

This priority area officially launched in 2016, and greater impact is expected beginning in 2018. While we have made some progress, we still need to address consumers’ low awareness of price and quality variation for the same services and across different providers.

Future grants will raise consumer awareness, connect consumers to information at the point of care, and engage providers to play a role in facilitating greater use of transparency tools and resources.

We anticipate not only impacting consumers but also influencing State policymakers, health plans, and health care providers to implement transparency initiatives.

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Goal

Ensure that patients are partners in the clinical care delivery experience

Progress

What this means

People with access to their own health information participate more actively in their own care, are more engaged in health care decisions that affect themselves or their loved ones, and have more trusting relationships with their health care providers.

Funding a critical mass of hospitals in New York to implement OpenNotes will promote a culture of patients as partners.

Meaningful patient-engagement policies minimize patient burdens and create more accountability for the health care system to support participatory and informed health care decision-making by consumers.

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Goal

Ensure that patients are partners in informing care delivery and health policies

Progress

What this means

Consumers need a lasting and meaningful seat at the table in order to drive and inform health care delivery and policy decisions.

Improving Veterans’ Health

Goal

Increase visibility of veterans’ health issues

Progress

  • Cultivated a growing and diverse audience for its work on veterans’ health through internal and external supported events, as well as private meetings.
  • Organized nine public events related to veterans’ issues and convened key stakeholders to address critical issues, disseminate information, and share ideas related to veterans’ health.
  • Produced and disseminated profile of New York State’s veterans, providing timely information and statistics on former service members, as well as their health care needs, experiences, and preferences.
  • Produced an issue brief examining the progress of Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) in New York State and outlining a roadmap for expanding VTCs across the State and nationally.
  • Achieved national visibility for the Foundation’s work, including meeting with the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

What this means

In addition to grantmaking, NYSHealth uses leadership and leverage to advance its work on veterans’ health.

We have forged new connections within the veterans’ health advocacy community, and helped increase the resources these organizations are devoting to veterans in New York State.

We expect to work more with these key stakeholders to make meaningful change, supporting efforts such as expanding access to VTCs.

Improving Veterans’ Health

Goal

Increase access to comprehensive community-based services for veterans and their families

Progress

  • Improved access to mental health care for post-9/11 veterans by expanding the Headstrong Project provider network across New York State.
  • Increased understanding of community-based provider capacity and competency to provide care to returning veterans in non-VA settings.
  • Analyzed how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affected veterans’ insurance coverage and access to community care outside the VA, and how possible ACA repeal would increase demand on the VA.

What this means

These grants have helped to spread community-based services for veterans.

Our analytic work shows the implications of health reform on veterans in New York State and nationally.

Special Projects Fund

Goal

Supporting new endeavors and organizations

Progress

  • 249 letters of inquiry received:
    • Half of Special Projects Fund grants awarded in 2017 were to new grantees not previously funded by NYSHealth.

What this means

The Special Projects Fund helps keep the door open to work with a wider variety of grantees. This expands our audience and maintains a culture of openness to new players and ideas.

Special Projects Fund

Goal

Being responsive to emerging trends

Progress

What this means

The program balances our strategic grantmaking directed at specific priorities with grantmaking that is responsive to time-sensitive and emerging issues.

Communicating Effectively

Goal

Increase the visibility, credibility, and influence of the Foundation and its grantees

Progress

Publishing

  • Published 32 reports and 18 commentaries, in addition to 35 grant outcome reports.

Traditional Media

  • Received 140+ media hits.
  • Participated in editorial board meetings with major regional newspapers throughout New York State.

E-mail/Social Media

  • Maintained 11k+ contacts on our e-mail lists.
    • Averaged 25% open rate for e-mail blasts (industry standard is 20%).
  • More than 5k Twitter followers.

Convening

  • Held 40+ convenings; highlights include:
    • Health reform meetings with key policy stakeholders.
    • Began using Facebook Live to spread attendance beyond New York City; added up to 1,000 active viewers to our events.

Website

  • Launched updated, mobile-friendly, and more user-friendly website.

What this means

A robust and proactive communications program is a fundamental part of the Foundation’s operating model.

Communications shape the visibility, reputation, influence, and impact of the Foundation and the work supported through its grantmaking.

Communications metrics reflect growing profile within New York State and nationally.

We’re developing and using new technologies such as Facebook Live and a redesigned, mobile-friendly website.

Investing & Operating Effectively

Goal

Strong endowment/ investment performance

Progress

  • As of September 2017, the 3-year compound annual return on endowment investments has been 6.6%, net of fees.
  • Ranked in 93rd percentile compared to peer foundations.1
  • Maintained return of 6.5% (82nd percentile)1 since inception (July 2006).
  • When compared to the benchmark of 5% plus CPI since inception; NYSHealth was 0.2% below the benchmark.
1 Peer data is based on a survey conducted by Cambridge Associates; “Peers” are defined as foundations with less than $500 million in assets. There are currently more than 50 foundations contributing such data.

What this means

The value of our endowment in 2006 was $265 million. Since then, investment return has been in top quintile of peer group, allowing the Foundation to spend $167.2 million on grants and operations.

As of June 2017, the endowment is up to $297 million. Despite going through a major recession, the endowment has been successful at increasing its size, while spending the mandatory 5% each year.

Investing & Operating Effectively

Goal

Strong internal management and customer service

Progress

  • For 2016, NYSHealth was certified with another clean audit.
  • The average rating by grantees of NYSHealth staff members responsiveness was of 6.4 (out of a 7-point scale), putting NYSHealth in the 61st percentile relative to peer foundations.2
  • In 2017, all grantees received their initial payment within an average of eight days of receiving an award notice.
Based on the 2017 Center for Effective Philanthropy Grantee Perception Survey.

What this means

Receiving a clean audit each year reflects our commitment to operational efficiency and transparency.

Our goal is to continue to improve upon our customer service to grantees.

Providing timely funding is especially important for smaller organizations working on time-sensitive issues.