Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

The Actors Fund of America

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

April 2014

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

January 2009 – March 2011


Operating since 2003, the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic—part of The Actors Fund of America’s health services program—provides free health care to uninsured or underinsured entertainment and performing arts professionals in the New York City area.

The clinic is served by a full-time medical director—a general practitioner associated with the Columbia University Department of Family Medicine—as well as volunteer specialists who see patients at no cost or at significantly reduced rates. In 2008, the clinic served 1,298 patients through nearly 2,270 unique visits. As the clinic continues to increase its services by 10–20% each year, the need for expanded services delivered by qualified health providers became evident.

To address this service gap, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded The Actors Fund a grant to continue the recruitment of health service providers at no or low cost.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Hired a provider relations manager—who recruited and coordinated volunteer doctors, dentists, mental health providers, and ancillary service providers—and a director and manager of health services; and
  • Expanded its free services beyond primary care, meeting a broader range of client needs and decreasing client use of overcrowded public hospitals and sliding-scale clinics.