GMHC Action Center
Empowering Health Care Consumers
November 27, 2018
In the policy realm, it can be difficult for health care consumers to share their experiences, concerns, and proposed solutions with State decision-makers.
New York residents are the ones who ultimately pay for the cost of our health care system and bear the burden of its inadequacies. However, it is often the case that the interests of providers, payers, and other organized stakeholders take precedence over the patient. To ensure that New Yorkers have a stronger role in how health care is delivered and how health policy is made, NYSHealth issued a request for proposals, Patients as Partners. Through this initiative, NYSHealth is supporting projects that amplify the voice of New Yorkers and rebalance the health care system so that patients have more influence over their health and health care. In 2018, NYSHealth awarded Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) a grant to participate in this initiative.
Under this grant, GMHC used its Action Center to engage and train New Yorkers, especially in marginalized communities, to advocate for changes on critical health issues. Since its inception in 2003, GMHC’s Action Center has provided a platform for underrepresented New Yorkers to directly contribute to advocacy and public education on health care. For this project, GMHC enlisted its clients and other interested New Yorkers to participate in community actions, advocate for policy change, and confidently communicate their stories, needs, and policy priorities. Participants also had the opportunity to join GMHC in education and advocacy efforts in New York City, Albany, and Washington, D.C. This project set the stage for future advocacy and consumer empowerment work by strengthening GMHC’s ability to engage, train, and advocate alongside marginalized health care consumers.