|Grameen VidaSana Opens
Grameen PrimaCare (GPC) is excited to announce that on September 15th, we launched our primary care and health promotion program, Grameen VidaSana (GVS), in Jackson Heights, Queens! The day began with an opening ceremony that was attended by GPC’s Board of Directors, the GVS Member Council, Commissioner Rose Pierre-Louis from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal. In addition, we welcomed many of our community partners, including Make The Road New York, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and Voces Latinas. Remarks were made by GPC CEO Pablo Farias, GPC Board Chair Allison Schwartz, GVS physician Diana Ramirez, Alicia Gomez of the GVS Member Council and Commissioner Agarwal. Vincent Maniscalco, Chief of Staff from the office of NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm, presided over a spirited ribbon cutting!
Please click here to view photos from the event.
Reflections on Immigrant Access to Healthcare
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has significantly expanded the population across the United States that has access to health insurance. Nevertheless, a significant challenge remains in providing healthcare access to the over 5 million people who are estimated to remain excluded from coverage due to their immigration status. Concentrated in states with the largest immigrant populations (California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas), this group represents a significant challenge to the effort of consolidating effective and inclusive health systems in key regions of the United States, and remains a humanitarian crisis for immigrant communities struggling to achieve full integration into American society.
New York City, home to one of the largest immigrant populations in the US, has a robust and expansive system of public hospitals and federally qualified health centers. Moreover, New York State, unlike many other states, expanded Medicaid even before the ACA, and is now investing in efforts to reach and enroll eligible uninsured New Yorkers, including those within immigrant communities.
Nevertheless, as in other cities across the country, immigrant New Yorkers – particularly the undocumented – continue to confront many barriers to obtaining the healthcare they need, and challenges lie ahead threatening the “charity care” funding that has supported services that provided care to date. As the ACA focuses national attention on expanding access to healthcare, prevention of disease and promotion of health, it is more critical than ever to develop strategies that will maximize access for the estimated 250,000 undocumented New Yorkers who continue to lack insurance.
Grameen PrimaCare has responded to this need by working to expand the health resources available to immigrant women in low-income communities. Through our primary care and health promotion program, Grameen VidaSana, we offer unlimited primary care from a bilingual staff, group-based health promotion workshops, and navigational support with discounted health services and prescriptions, all for a monthly fee of $49. At capacity, GVS will serve 5,000 women. Through this program, we seek to improve the lives of immigrant women throughout New York.
Grameen PrimaCare Joins CHCS
Grameen PrimaCare (GPC) is one of twelve charity care programs that have recently been invited to join the Center for HealthCare Strategies (CHCS) Affinity Group, which is funded through a charitable trust of Kaiser Permanente. CHCS is a nation-wide nonprofit health policy resource center dedicated to advancing access, quality and cost effectiveness of publicly financed healthcare. The invited organizations convene regularly to share ideas and brainstorm strategies on how to best address the patient and system level needs of the millions of people who are still uninsured following the passing of the Affordable Care Act. The goal of these meetings is to propose and disseminate best practices to policy stakeholders in order to inform policy change.
We recently collaborated with CHCS on a blog post titled "A New Face for Charity Care," in which we elaborate on the urgency of revolutionizing care to address these unmet health needs.
We are excited to introduce Georgia Schoonmaker, our new Development Associate.
In this position, she will support all fundraising and communication efforts.
Georgia previously served as Development Associate at The Animal Medical Center, a non-profit veterinary hospital in NYC, and prior to that interned in the development & operations department at The Sikh Coalition, a human rights organization. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a BA in Visual Arts and Film History, and a minor in Literature. Today she remains an active volunteer with The Sikh Coalition, and is excited to bring her passion for women’s issues to Grameen PrimaCare.
Welcome to the team, Georgia!