When the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) got started in 2006, the context for our work was different than it is today: the number of uninsured New Yorkers was more than double what it is now and the Affordable Care Act wasn’t even on the horizon; little had been done at the State or national levels to address consumer issues like surprise medical bills; rates of food insecurity were relatively stable (though too high) prior to the 2008 economic crisis; and a pandemic on the scale of COVID-19 was almost unthinkable to most people.
But despite the changing landscape, and as we have learned and evolved over the years, the Foundation’s mission has remained constant: improving the health of all New Yorkers. That’s been our north star, from day one, as we work with our grantees and partners to fulfill that mission. And we do it by being changemakers as well as grantmakers—funding great work and organizations, but also using our human and reputational capital to effect meaningful changes in policy and practice.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done together and the impact we’ve had in our first 15 years: helping New York State implement the Affordable Care Act well; securing universal free school lunch for all 1.1. million students enrolled in New York City’s public schools; ensuring that New York’s veterans have access to Veterans Treatment Courts no matter where they live; and supporting a range of response and relief efforts during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As we take stock of our first 15 years and share it with our grantees and partners, we’re looking forward to our next chapter, and to working alongside you to continue improving the health of all New Yorkers.
David Sandman, Ph.D.
President and CEO
New York State Health Foundation