Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

New York Immigration Coalition

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

October 2011

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

January 1, 2008–February 12, 2009


For low-income immigrants, New York’s health care system is nearly impossible to navigate without assistance.

Newcomers inevitably turn to ethnic social service organizations in the community to get answers to their many questions about how things work in America, to understand their rights, and to negotiate bureaucracies and learn about avoidable risks. Yet immigrant communities in New York lack indigenous organizations with expertise on the health care system. Moreover, very few organizations have the capacity to accurately educate individuals on basic issues such as their rights to non-emergency care, how to access services, and the potential consequences of government health insurance or medical debt for an immigrant and his or her family members and sponsor. In response to these challenges, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) used funding from NYHealth to build the capacity of immigrant community organizations to address the health care needs of their constituents.

Read about the New York Academy of Medicine’s evaluation of this project.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Developed a partnership with 10 immigrant community groups in an intensive, multi-lingual outreach and education campaign to demystify health care and insurance, and increase immigrants’ options for affordable care.
  • Developed and ran a four-day intensive technical training for participating organizations in May 2008, which was followed by monthly skills building workshops.
  • Administered a pre-training institute and post-training institute questionnaire for health advocates.
  • Health advocates helped more than 1,000 immigrants through direct client assistance.
  • Reached more than 2,800 immigrant families through community-based presentations.