New York State Health Foundation

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About Us

Who We Are

The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers. We strive to be focused and purposeful in our work; establish and adhere to clear goals and strategies; and measure our progress. We are committed to making grants, but also to making a difference beyond our dollars: informing health care policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve the health system, serving as a convener of health leaders across the State, and providing technical assistance to our grantees and partners.

Priority Areas

NYSHealth concentrates its initiatives in two strategic priority areas:

Building Healthy Communities 

To help communities become healthier, more active places, the Foundation is supporting initiatives across the State to help more New Yorkers of all ages eat healthy foods, become physically active, and have access to a range of programs that encourage healthy life choices. Learn More >

Empowering Health Care Consumers 

New Yorkers find the health care system incredibly complex to understand and navigate. To ensure that consumers have the tools, resources, and support they need to make informed decisions about their health care, the Foundation is committed to increasing consumers’ choice, control, and convenience. Learn More >


Veterans' Health

The NYSHealth Initiative for Returning Veterans and Their Families seeks to underscore that the health care, mental health, and social services issues returning veterans and their families face are not solely military issues, but public and community health issues that should be addressed by local and national government agencies, community-based organizations, and health funders. Learn More >

Special Projects Fund

Grants through our Special Projects Fund allow us to support projects that address an important health care or public health issue in the State, but are outside of our targeted priority areas. Eligible projects are coordinated interventions that take place over a specified period of time to achieve quantifiable results. Learn More >

Past priority Areas 

Advancing Primary Care

Given the growing demand for primary care, the need to control health care costs, and the opportunities to develop new models of care as New York implemented health reform, the Foundation has supported efforts to advance primary care across New York State. Learn More >

Expanding Health Care Coverage
Many New Yorkers were projected to become newly insured once federal health reform provisions were fully phased in. To advance the implementation of health reform, NYSHealth supported a range of efforts to reach and educate consumers about their insurance options and how to enroll in and use their coverage. Learn More >

Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

To reverse the diabetes epidemic in New York State, the Foundation supported efforts to improve the way primary care providers manage the care of people with diabetes and the spread of effective community-based prevention programs that reach people where they live, work, and worship. Learn More >

Integrating Mental Health and Substance Use Services

NYSHealth committed $10 million over five years to improve the integration of care for people who cope with mental health and substance use conditions at the same time. This work culminated at the end of 2012, but the Foundation continues to learn from this key investment. Learn More >


The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers.

Our roots are in insurance. NYSHealth was established to receive the charitable funds resulting from the conversion of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield from a nonprofit organization to a for-profit corporation. A 2002 State statute allocated 5% of the market value of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to create the Foundation.

A nine-member Board of Directors governs and guides NYSHealth. One-third of the Board members are appointed by New York’s Governor, one-third by the President of the State Senate, and one-third by the State Assembly Leader. Board members serve three-year renewable terms.

The Foundation began operations in May 2006 and awarded its inaugural round of grants that December: $5.7 million to 23 grantees chosen from more than 600 applicants. Today, the Foundation has awarded more than 840 grants totaling more than $128 million to more than 460 organizations to improve the health of all New Yorkers.