New York State Health Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The New York State Health Foundation is rooted in the insurance industry and fully devoted to the healthcare of New York residents Pretty much any local health initiative will be considered, but the main focuses are healthy eating, exercise, and access to care.

FUNDING AREAS: Expanding healthcare coverage, diabetes prevention, primary care, veterans, mental health, substance abuse

IP TAKE: Access to care is where it's at with this foundation. Since there are plenty of health causes that need attention in the city, try incorporating more than one health issue into your grant proposal. Fortunately, you'll only be competing against organizations within the state's borders.

PROFILE: Public health is a major issue in the city of New York. The New York State Health Foundation, a state-wide foundation dedicated to improving the health of New Yorkers, is making huge steps to improve upon this issue. The foundation's focus areas have involved expanding health care coverage, improving diabetes prevention, and advancing primary care. It also funds projects that work to improve the health of veterans, mental health, and substance abuse. 

The foundation was established when Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield switched over from a nonprofit organization to a for-profit corporation. In 2002, a New York state statute allocated 5 percent of its market value to create the philanthropy, which is governed by nine board members. Today, the foundation awards between 400 and 500 grants each year, totaling over $85 million to organizations in the state of New York. While much of the foundation's giving is focused on the city of New York, it tends to fund grants that impact the entire state, including its diabetes prevention awards, and improvements for health clinics in rural areas.

A vast majority of the foundation's funding has gone towards expanding coverage, primary care, and diabetes prevention. Since at least millions of people in New York don't have health insurance, the foundation works with grantees to expand coverage for people who need it most. Make sure that your health coverage proposal reaches diverse audiences and informs consumers about their options. The foundation is looking for diabetes programs that replicate effective programs that already exist, advance public policy initiatives, and leverage resources for prevention programs. There are three key strategies for the foundation's primary care program: expanding capacity and access, encouraging new approaches for high-need populations, and advancing payment reform.

Take a look at the Our Grantees page to see recent grants that the foundation has awarded.

Check the Open RFPs page frequently for updates about what types of grants you can apply for. Diabetes program grants are awarded for up to $20,0000 a piece. If your organization's objectives lie outside of NYS Health's focus areas, general questions about the Special Projects fund can be directed to

Proposals are generally accepted on a rolling basis, however you'll need to pay close attention to the opening and closing deadlines. Make sure to subscribe to eNews updates to keep yourself organized if you're serious about a NYS Health grant and check the Announcements page. General questions about the grant application submission process should be directed to


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)