Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Awards New Grants to Support Vulnerable Communities Across New York State

Brings 2020 grant total to $165 million to address New Yorkers' health-related needs, including a new three-year strategic focus on oral health in underserved areas

February 23, 2021 10:00 AM EST

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NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation announced today it has awarded more than 400 year-end 2020 grants totaling $115 million to support organizations and programs addressing the health-related needs of low-income residents and underserved communities across New York State.

This is in addition to $50 million in funding authorized for emergency COVID-19 programs earlier in 2020. In all, the Foundation's $165 million in 2020 funding has or will support 650 programs to improve health and human services during a time of unprecedented need. In the two years since its inception, the Foundation has awarded grants totaling $315 million.

The $115 million in new grants will support programs in 2021, including $5 million in a three-year strategic effort focused on improving oral health access and outcomes in underserved communities.

"These grants demonstrate our continued commitment to support a wide range of organizations improving the health and well-being of New York's most vulnerable. Our grantees are providing crucial support at a pivotal moment, when so many across the State face challenges that are complicated by the impacts of COVID-19," said Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Visa and Chair of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Board.

"As we set our sights on 2021, we must address the healthcare disparities related to race and income that have only been heightened since the onset of the pandemic.  We honor the legacy of Mother Cabrini by funding activities, programs, and initiatives that help bridge gaps in health services, bolster the health outcomes of diverse communities, and eliminate barriers to care," said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, Chief Executive Officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

In addition to funding COVID-19 relief, the grants address a range of urgent health needs and social determinants of health across New York State—including programs that enhance access to mental health counseling, assist older adults struggling with social isolation, provide shelter for victims of domestic violence, strengthen veteran support services, and increase access to legal counsel for low-income immigrants. Initiatives also promote food security, housing, and employment assistance; reliable access to transportation to and from clinics; and advancements in telehealth technology.

Grantees will also address chronic racial healthcare disparities and provide workforce development opportunities for underrepresented groups in the healthcare profession. These programs include:

  • A grant for the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health to conduct a New York City-wide community needs assessment of social determinants of health impacting vulnerable communities;
  • A grant to Le Moyne College that will provide nursing school scholarships to students from diverse and disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in the Syracuse area; and
  • Grants/scholarships to organizations such as Hunter College, Iroquois Healthcare Association, and Associated Medical Schools of New York to advance diversity and training.

Recipients include community-based organizations, food banks, healthcare providers, nursing homes, schools, federally qualified health centers, and trade associations that are addressing the needs of target populations: low-income individuals and families; older adults; youth and young adults; persons with special needs; immigrants and migrant workers; veterans; formerly incarcerated individuals; and young children, pregnant women, and new moms.

The Foundation's new round of grants includes:

  • $44 million toward general services for low-income individuals and families, including grants to the Food Bank for NYC to support the Healthy Communities Program and St. John's Bread and Life to help purchase a customized van to distribute food across Brooklyn and Queens.
  • $19 million toward programs serving youth and young adults over 12 years old, including a grant to the Mental Health Association of New York State in Albany to renew support for its Family Education Project, which provides guidance and resources to equip families and schools to address youth mental health services.
  • $15 million toward programming, nursing, and caregiving services for older adults, including a grant to the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan to establish a new virtual center as part of its Wechsler Center for Modern Aging.
  • $12 million toward general services for immigrants and migrant workers, including a grant to the Immigrant Justice Corps in New York City to support access to legal counsel for low-income immigrants in complex matters, including deportation defense, asylum, and affirmative petitions for domestic violence and trafficking victims.
  • $10 million toward housing and general services for persons with special needs, including grants to St. Mary's Hospital for Children in Queens to support its telehealth program, which helps children with special needs transition from hospital to home, and the Albany-based Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State to establish a best-practices training program for clinicians to ensure healthcare equity for people with disabilities.
  • $10 million toward needs of young children, pregnant women, and new moms, including grants to DayStar Kids to support their new Rochester-based Pediatric Complex Care program that would ensure children and families experience a seamless transition from hospital to home and timely Daystar services and City Mission of Schenectady to expand a transitional housing and wellness center to support victims of domestic violence in the Albany area.
  • $2 million toward support services for veterans, including a grant to Veterans One-stop Center of WNY in Buffalo to expand its Case Management Program to meet the growing demand for services, supporting veterans as they transition from military to civilian life. This includes assistance with basic needs such as requesting discharge papers and critical needs such as financial counseling, employment, and housing assistance.
  • $2 million toward opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals, including a grant to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County in Ithaca to enhance and expand a re-entry support program funded last year by the Foundation.

Recipients of the Foundation's $5 million in statewide strategic oral healthcare grants include six universities, three federally qualified health centers, one hospital, and one supportive housing organization. This initial round of strategic grants is focused primarily on strengthening the infrastructure of dental health systems by funding mobile dental vans to expand delivery of care to vulnerable populations. The grants will purchase five new mobile dental vans statewide and subsidize the expansion of mobile van services in an additional program.

"The goal of our strategic grant initiatives is to improve the health of poor, underserved and vulnerable New Yorkers in a truly impactful way. Good oral health is the gateway to good overall health, and our initial three-year strategic initiative will develop and deploy replicable programs that improve access to primary oral healthcare across the State," said Kathryn Connerton, President and CEO of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton and Chair of the Foundation's Board committee overseeing strategic grants.

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation was formed after the 2018 sale of Fidelis Care, a nonprofit health insurer created by the Catholic bishops of New York State.

This is the Foundation's second annual round of grants. In year-end 2019, the Foundation awarded nearly $150 million for more than 500 programs across the State.

In spring 2020, the Foundation invited organizations from across the State to apply for funding through an open process, receiving nearly 1,500 letters of interest, both from returning grantees and new organizations.

Click here for a list of year-end 2020 Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Grantees.


The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and well-being of the vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. The Foundation–which is named in memory of a tireless advocate for immigrants, children, and the poor–provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York State. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Bob Varettoni,; (646) 980-3020


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SOURCE Mother Cabrini Health Foundation

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