As the pandemic deepened health related needs across New York State, it has also shined a light on the essential role that social workers play in underserved communities where health disparities are most acute.
These professionals — from hospitals and health care facilities to schools, community centers, private practice, and social service agencies — are often the first line of defense in dealing with community needs related to social determinants of health such as housing, food, and job security.
Now, with Social Work Month well underway, we are taking this moment to celebrate the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation’s commitment to New York’s social workers.
Our $1,000,000 grant to the Hunter College Foundation will go toward the establishment of a new scholarship program, the Cabrini Fellowship for Social Work Students, that provides tuition and training for 30 low-income graduate students.
Starting this year, the program will support Hunter College in preparing graduate students for success in a critical field of work. Enrollees will receive training to improve health services, community health, mental health, substance abuse, and behavior health in underserved neighborhoods.
A premier New York institution, Hunter College has been supporting and uplifting New York’s most underserved communities since 1870. Now, the Cabrini Fellowship for Social Work Students will support the school’s cultivation of the next generation of essential workers, who will be on the front lines of helping our state shape healthier, equitable, and accepting communities.
On the heels of a year that changed so much, supporting New York’s social workers who are directly responding to the pandemic is all the more important.