We provide grants to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of diverse communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services.
We seek to promote, sponsor, and support activities, programs, and initiatives that enhance access to affordable quality healthcare and healthcare-related services and address the unmet healthcare and healthcare-related needs of communities across New York State. This includes the social determinants of health, consistent with the ethical principles, tenets, and teachings of the Roman Catholic faith. Our Foundation will exist in perpetuity, helping generations of New Yorkers regardless of faith.
The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is one of the largest foundations in the United States and the largest foundation focused exclusively on New York State.
The Foundation originated from the 2018 sale of Fidelis Care, a nonprofit health insurer, inspired by the bishops of the Catholic diocese 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 well-being of New York’s poor, disadvantaged and underserved and eliminating health disparities that have long plagued our state and country.
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 her namesake foundation 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 made over 1,200 grants, totalling approximately $335 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.
Inaugural grants round
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. This included $57 million toward general services for low-income individuals and families; $18 million toward programming, nursing, and caregiving services for older adults; $18 million toward housing and services for persons with special needs; $10 million toward initiatives for immigrants and refugees; $3 million toward support services for veterans; and so much more.
Stepping up to support frontline providers during COVID-19
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.
Continued support for providers addressing statewide health needs
All in all, the Foundation made $165 million in grants to more than 600 organizations in 2020. 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 2020 grantmaking also promote food security, housing, and employment assistance; reliable access to transportation to and from clinics; and advancements in telehealth technology.
Our mission has never been more important. The pandemic has not only laid bare the health disparities that we created the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to help address, but the concurrent crisis of systemic racial inequity has underscored the need to ensure all New Yorkers have access to healthcare and improved quality of life.
We will continue to support the organizations and providers that are the backbone of community health across our State.
Our first statewide strategic healthcare grant initiative began in 2021: a $5 million three-year program focused 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.
Our oral health equity program is the first of our strategic grant initiatives designed to improve the health of poor, underserved, and vulnerable New Yorkers in the most impactful way. The goal is to develop frameworks for programs that can replicate the success of care delivery models funded by our grants to foster a more equitable healthcare system across our State.
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, Governor Andrew Cuomo dedicated a statue in her honor in Battery Park City, and New York State 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 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 board of directors and chief executive officer, VISA.