Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Expanding Primary Care Through the Integration of Services

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

April 5, 2012


Central NY





Successful implementation of Federal health reform will require expanded primary care access for the estimated 1.2 million New Yorkers who will gain health insurance coverage and for the 1.4 million who will likely remain uninsured.

Community health centers—ranging from a storefront free clinic to sophisticated operations running facilities across a multi-county region—are on the front lines of primary care. But many community health centers struggle with low margins, limited funding, and growing demand. When health reform is fully implemented, community health centers are expected to double capacity to serve 3 million New Yorkers.

NYHealth issued a Request for Proposals and awarded 10 grants to help community health centers in four medically underserved regions—Long Island, Western New York, Central New York, and the Finger Lakes—take practical steps to build capacity to better meet the growing need for primary care services.

East Hill Family Medical is one of the largest non-hospital based primary care facilities in the Finger Lakes Region. In 2011, medical, dental, and behavioral health services were provided to 11,250 individuals. Few of the local primary care physicians accepted Medicaid or uninsured patients, and none offered a sliding scale fee schedule for low-income patients. Nearly two-thirds of Cayuga county adults are overweight or obese, and hospitalization rates related to diabetes complications are higher than the statewide average. Rates of binge drinking and alcohol-related motor vehicle injuries and deaths are also high, but only one community agency provided outpatient substance use services to county residents, and a long waiting list detered access. This NYHealth grant sought to help East Hill expand its diabetes and substance use services while increasing those patients’ access to general primary care. By bringing these services to a location that already offers primary care, dental, and mental health services, East Hill expected to improve these patients’ access to comprehensive care.

NYHealth originally awarded East Hill a grant of $90,645 to achieve these goals. During the course of the grant period, however, East Hill was unable to complete all of its grant activities and the final grant amount was revised to $18,252.