Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Supporting a Healthy Community: Expanding Services in Sullivan County

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

December 6, 2012


Hudson Valley





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.

In September 2012, NYHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) and awarded six grants to help community health centers take the practical steps needed to build capacity to better meet the growing need for primary care services. The RFP focused on supporting projects in five medically underserved regions—Southern Tier, North Country-Adirondacks, Capital District, Central Leatherstocking-Catskills, and Hudson Valley. This RFP follows up an earlier initiative to support community health centers and expand primary care services in four other underserved regions.

Established in 1992, Refuah Health Center provides critically needed health care services for underinsured and uninsured populations in four counties at three health centers. Approximately 75% of Refuah’s 30,867 patients fall below 200% of the Federal poverty level and 87% of patients are either uninsured or enrolled in public insurance

With this NYHealth grant, Refuah aimed to expand its services in Sullivan County, which is ranked 61st out of New York’s 62 counties on overall health outcomes, last for mortality, and 58th for morbidity. Focusing on the town of South Fallsburg, Refuah intended to create a central hub to provide health care and social services by building a community health center able to serve more than 4,500 patients.

NYHealth originally awarded Refuah Health Center a grant of $100,000 to achieve these goals. During the course of the grant period, however, Refuah was unable to complete all of its grant activities. As a result, the final grant amount was revised to $36,750.