Our mission is to provide grants to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of diverse communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services.
We are motivated by the example of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, who worked tirelessly toward social justice and dedicated her life in service to the poor.
Consistent with the ethical principles, tenets, and teachings of the Roman Catholic faith, our Foundation supports initiatives that enhance access to affordable quality healthcare and healthcare-related services, and address unmet healthcare and healthcare-related needs of communities across New York State. This includes addressing the social determinants of health.
Our goal is to build a brighter future for generations of New Yorkers regardless of faith.
The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation (MCHF) is one of the largest foundations in the United States and the largest foundation focused exclusively on healthcare across New York State.
The Foundation originated from the 2018 sale of Fidelis Care, a nonprofit health insurer, inspired by the bishops of the Catholic dioceses to increase healthcare access for New York’s poor.
Over 20 years, under the direction of an expert board, Fidelis Care grew to become one of the highest-rated, most successful insurers operating in New York State. Amid rising costs complicating the delivery of care, the Board decided to sell Fidelis to a better capitalized and technologically advanced private insurer.
The transaction, which was approved by New York State regulators in 2018 following rigorous governmental review and extensive public input, resulted in the creation of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, a new charitable foundation organized under the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. Led by a distinguished board comprised of healthcare experts, business leaders, and nonprofit executives, the Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of New York’s poor, disadvantaged and underserved and eliminating health disparities.
Carrying on the legacy of Mother Cabrini to care for those in need
As the first American saint, Mother Cabrini serves as a powerful example of the Catholic values and principles that ground our work. And as an immigrant herself, Mother Cabrini knew the importance of providing for the most vulnerable in our community.
Our Foundation is working to build on her legacy of service. Tasked with fulfilling a public mandate to reduce health disparities and honor the Foundation’s namesake, we seek to tangibly improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in need.
Honoring Mother Cabrini’s legacy of helping New York’s youth, the poor, underserved, and those in need through is an incredible opportunity to empower New Yorkers to live better, healthier lives.
Historic grantmaking to address health disparities across New York State
Since its inception, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation has awarded approximately 2,200 grants, totaling nearly $635 million, to nonprofits, community-based organizations, and healthcare and social services providers across New York State to address gaps in care and serve vulnerable New Yorkers.
The Foundation’s inaugural round of grants at year-end 2019 delivered $150 million to more than 500 nonprofit organizations, programs, and initiatives serving low-income and underserved populations across New York.
In 2020, the Foundation stepped up to serve hundreds of frontline providers in addressing the unprecedented health and health-related needs of New Yorkers that skyrocketed due to the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation announced an extraordinary $50 million Coronavirus Emergency Support Grants program for COVID-19 relief in March 2020 and an additional $20 million in COVID-19 emergency grants in May 2021.
Grants provided critical funding to community-based emergency response funds, healthcare providers, and organizational efforts of all faiths working to address the health and health-related needs of those most affected by this pandemic, including older individuals and those with preexisting medical conditions.
The Foundation also made year-end grants in 2020, 2021, and 2022. In addition to a continued emphasis on funding COVID-19 relief, the grants address racial health disparities and a range of urgent health needs and social determinants of health across New York State.
Grants are going to programs that provide workforce development opportunities for underrepresented groups in the healthcare profession, 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 funded by the Foundation’s grantmaking also promote food security, housing, and employment assistance; reliable access to transportation to and from clinics; and advancements in telehealth technology.
MCHF’s mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of diverse communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. Since 2019, MCHF has awarded approximately 2,200 grants totaling $635 million. The majority of those grants have been awarded through responsive, open calls for proposals focused on supporting the needs of eight priority populations:
MCHF has provided critical funding to organizations of all sizes — from small community-based organizations to large healthcare systems. It has supported, in equal measure, organizations within the Catholic healthcare and social service sectors, and other organizations that provide healthcare and social services, whether religiously affiliated or not. Funding has reached every corner of New York State and has responded to the needs identified by those who apply.
Through all of this, we have learned a few things:
As a result, in 2023 we are reorganizing how we approach this work in order to honor what we have learned. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our eight priority populations, to supporting organizations across New York State, and to remaining responsive to emerging and community-identified needs. We are excited to announce five Programs, through which we will pursue our grantmaking:
Our Programs are intentionally broad and are designed to be inclusive of the wide range of opportunities applicants identify across the State.
Over time, we will develop some targeted strategies within our Programs toward more specific goals, while simultaneously maintaining a portion of funding to continue our current broad, responsive approach.
Organizations that previously applied or were awarded grants through the Statewide or Regional Grant Programs will now apply through one of our five new Programs. Regional grantees will continue to be invited to apply by the Foundation and will not need to proactively begin an LOI. Current Statewide grantees wishing to apply for renewal funding or for a new project should submit an LOI through the most appropriate Program.
Organizations that are currently part of our Special Initiatives and Strategic Grants Programs will receive direct instructions from the Foundation about how to handle potential future funding and also do not need to proactively begin an LOI.
To learn more, visit the Programs & Grants section of our website.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, known and loved by many as Mother Cabrini, arrived in New York in 1889 on a mission to help immigrants. She dedicated her life to providing for those most in need. As the first American saint, she serves as a powerful example of the Catholic values and principles that ground our work.
As an immigrant herself, Mother Cabrini knew the importance of providing for the most vulnerable in our community. Our Foundation is working to build on her legacy of service. In 2020, New York State dedicated a statue in her honor in Battery Park City and posted this educational website with more details about her life.
Another great resource for learning about Mother Cabrini’s life and work is the Cabrini Shrine in Northern Manhattan.
Posted at the top of this page is a photo from our office in New York City, where we are always reminded of the spirit and presence of Mother Cabrini!
It represents Mother Cabrini’s love of violets.
As a young girl in Italy, our Foundation’s namesake constructed paper boats and filled each with violets, imagining each to be a missionary on a quest to embrace humanity with unconditional love… the same love of humanity that today guides our grantmaking.
Our logo’s symbolic elements are modeled after the gold emblem for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Roman Catholic religious congregation Mother Cabrini founded in 1880.
The symbolic elements are based on Mother Cabrini’s own drawings. They include the Sacred Heart, a star, a missionary’s boat, and water representing the great seas she traveled, as well as New York’s mighty Hudson River.
Our top-tier leadership team drives the impactful work that the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation supports across New York State. Tasked with fulfilling a public mandate to reduce health disparities and honor the Foundation’s namesake, we seek to tangibly improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in need.”— Al Kelly, chair of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation board of directors