New York’s Rural Areas Get Top Health Funder’s Attention

The New York State Health Foundation clearly realizes that federal health reform is only the beginning to a solution. Even after reform programs are fully implemented, an estimated 1.4 million New Yorkers will remain uninsured and community health centers will double capacity. Fortunately for New York's rural communities, this top health funder has the means to ease the transition. (See New York State Health Foundation: Grants for New York City).

NYS Health Foundation recently awarded $100,000 to the Hudson Headwaters Health Network, which is the largest federally qualified health center in the state. (Read NYS Health Foundation healtcare program offficer, Amy Shefrin's IP profile). At 15 individual clinics, Hudson Headwaters serves 70,000 patients, which is over half of that region's population. The healthcare network successfully demonstrated that it could secure a larger location for an additional health center, which would double the existing capacity. It also pitched a plan to NYS Health Foundation for expanding OB/GYN services in the Glen Falls region. This pitch struck a chord with the foundation, since more than half of the childbirths in that community are covered by Medicaid. Thanks to this grant, Hudson Headwaters will be able to expand OB/GYN services to 3,000 new uninsured patients.

But Hudson Headwaters isn't the only network making its needs known to NYS Foundation. The foundation awarded five other grants to similar medical networks to help community health centers meet the needs of their primary care services. Uncommonly, these "Expanding Capacity in Adirondack Communities" grants knock out two priority areas (Expanding Healthcare Coverage and Advancing Primary Care) with one check. Nobody can fault NYS Health Foundation for being inefficient.

Unfortunately for grant seekers, NYS Health Foundation isn't currently accepting proposals for either of these two priority areas. Its focus is on the Meeting the Mark diabetes prevention program and the Special Projects Fund. If your non-profit organization wants to get in on this grant program, your best bet is in Special Projects, which encompasses anything outside the three priority areas. General questions about the Special Projects fund should be directed to, and make sure to check NYS Health Foundation’s Open RFPs section periodically to see if anything new has opened up.