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April 13, 2020, New York, NY – The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) has committed $2 million in funding to support COVID-19 response and relief efforts throughout New York State. Grants will include contributions to numerous regional response funds, as well as support for statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic.
“The global coronavirus pandemic, with New York now at its epicenter, has dramatically altered the landscape for public health and health care,” said Ellen Rautenberg, Chair of NYSHealth’s Board of Directors. “Consistent with our mission to improve the health of all New Yorkers, NYSHealth has a special obligation to respond to the new challenges arising from this crisis.”
As part of its commitment, the Foundation will contribute to pooled response funds in regions throughout New York State that will provide coordinated and timely support to meet the emerging needs of local communities and organizations. In addition, NYSHealth will provide targeted grants that will, for example, ensure seamless access to WIC and SNAP benefits, expand telehealth capabilities, help New Yorkers enroll in health insurance coverage, deliver health care and services to immigrant New Yorkers, and provide targeted services to veterans in need.
The Foundation is also working with current grantees to adjust their project scopes, timelines, and deliverables as needed in the wake of the crisis. For example, projects focused on physical activity and healthy eating may be moving to virtual models. With schools closed, one grantee working with young people to be more physically active has provided students with jump ropes, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, and healthy snacks so they can still be active while sheltering in place.
“These are unprecedented times, especially for those on the front lines of health care and public health, who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe,” said David Sandman, Ph.D., President and CEO of NYSHealth. “It’s never been more important for us to support our partners in improving New York’s health and to deploy the right resources to meet such a critical moment.”
The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. Today, NYSHealth concentrates its work in two strategic priority areas: building healthy communities and empowering health care consumers. The Foundation is committed to making grants, informing health policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve the health care system and the health of New Yorkers, serving as a convener of health leaders across the State, and providing technical assistance to its grantees and partners.