Expanding Health Care Coverage

Grantee Name

Make the Road New York

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

August 2009

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

January 2008–December 2008


Lack of health insurance among immigrant populations in New York State continues to be a critical issue.

This grant to Make the Road New York funded a training program to teach community members to be “promotoras,” which promote health in their own communities by providing leadership, peer education, links to services, and resources to support the empowerment and engagement of community residents to improve health care systems. The program also trained health advocates—paid staff of community-based organizations—to help immigrant populations navigate the health care system. These programs were designed to help the community’s hardest-to-serve populations find and access health insurance and health care.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Participating community-based organizations delivered 114 community presentations where 2,700 low-income individuals and families received valuable information about immigrants’ rights to health care and health insurance, how to access and navigate the health care and health insurance system, and how to exercise their rights to financial assistance and language assistance in New York’s public and private hospitals;
  • 1,100 individuals and families who were unable to access or pay for health care services or who experienced problems related to access, billing, and insurance received direct assistance.
  • 650, or approximately 60%, of these individual sessions resulted in referrals to or direct assistance in enrollment to public health benefits;
  • Five community-based organizations successfully developed a promotora group of existing active members who received peer-education trainings and are new health promoters in their neighborhoods.
  • Three community-based organizations developed plans to launch their own promotora groups in the coming year.

Read the report associated with the grant, “An Assessment of New York Health Foundation 2007 Health Insurance Coverage Grants.”