The Albany Diocesan School Board, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, St. Catherine’s Center for Children and the City Mission of Schenectady.

These were just some of the local organizations that were awarded Mother Cabrini Health Foundation grants, it was announced Jan. 20. More than 450 year-end 2021 grants totaling $140 million will support organizations and programs addressing the health-related needs of low-income residents and underserved communities across New York State in 2022. This is in addition to $20 million in funding authorized for emergency COVID-19 programs earlier in 2021.

“As we look back at the compounding crises of the last few years, the health-related needs of vulnerable communities have only grown,” said Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Visa and chair of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Board. “Our grantees have demonstrated tremendous resilience, creativity and dedication to serving those in need, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have such detrimental impact.”

In all, the foundation’s $160 million in 2021 funding supports 507 programs to improve health and human services during a time of unprecedented need. In the three years since its inception, the foundation has awarded grants totaling nearly $470 million. The $140 million in new grants will support programs in 2022, including $14 million to three-year strategic efforts focused on improving oral health access and outcomes, increasing availability and access to quality healthcare, and funding programs to provide young children with necessary health and education resources to succeed in underserved communities.

“After nearly two years of recovery from a pandemic that has hit vulnerable populations the hardest,” said Monsignor Gregory Mustaciuolo, chief executive officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, “we must continue to address the challenges communities across New York State are facing: food and housing insecurity, lack of access to basic healthcare including vaccines, lack of equity within the healthcare professions, and racial and economic healthcare disparities made worse during COVID-19. We must continue to support the full range of services that make for healthy people and communities.”

The Albany Diocesan School Board received $1.25 million across three grants: Counseling Services and Family Connection ($400,000), Beacon of Hope Scholarship Fund ($500,000) and Addressing COVID-19 Learning Loss and Food Insecurity ($350,000).

“We are delighted and honored to be among this year’s award recipients," said Giovanni Virgiglio, diocesan superintendent of schools. "This recognition and funding affirms the critical work we are doing to support our learners.”

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany received four grants totaling $1.35 million: Casework Home Visitation - Maternal and Child Health Program Renewal ($300,000), Supervised Apartments for Young Families - Transitional Living Program Renewal ($150,000), Aging Life Care Services - Renewal ($400,000) and No Wrong Door - Renewal ($500,000). 

"I am honored that the Mother Cabrini Foundation has selected Catholic Charities as one of this year's grantees, entrusting us to carry on the legacy of Mother Cabrini as we serve and support our communities in need," said Vincent W. Colonno, CEO of Catholic Charities. "The funding will support much-needed programs in our Diocese, including emergency financial assistance, rural outreach to young families and support for older adults looking to age in place. The foundation's investment in Catholic Charities is an investment in the people of our Diocese and will help a lot of our neighbors at a particularly difficult time."

This is the third year St. Catherine’s has been a Mother Cabrini grant recipient. The grant supports the continuation and expansion of St. Catherine’s homeless outreach Pathways to Health program. With the $350,000 award, the combined Cabrini funds to St. Catherine’s Pathways to Health totals nearly $1 million in support, connecting vulnerable populations to primary and behavioral healthcare services in the Capital Region.

“Our program team is dedicated, not only to meeting our clients where they are, but also providing the food, hygiene kits and cleaning products; anything an individual requested, we meet that need,” said Pathways to Health’s Supervisor Dave Healy. “The Cabrini funds will allow us to further enhance our services and expand our reach. We’ve already made tremendous strides under the strain of a global pandemic and it’s wonderful news that we’ll be able to keep serving those who rely on us.”

Pathways to Health identifies and serves at-risk people who typically do not seek primary and behavioral healthcare services. The services are designed to not only mitigate client’s immediate circumstances, but help improve their overall quality of life.

“We are so grateful to once again have the backing of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to support our Pathways to Health program,” said Frank Pindiak, executive director of St. Catherine’s Center for Children. “Pathways connect society’s most vulnerable to vital services they greatly need and might, otherwise, not have access to.”

The $500,000 grant to the City Mission of Schenectady (Bridges to Wellness: Developing and Creating Access to Resource Networks that Help Build Sustainable Individuals, Families and Neighborhoods) will expand its Transitional Housing and Wellness Center. 

Other local grants include: Albany Housing Coalition, Inc., Veterans Employment and Training Services ("VETS") program, $72,000; Dominican Retreat House, Inc., Dominican Retreat and Conference Center Spiritual Sanctuary & Spiritual Health Care Standards Training Institute, $100,000; Iroquois Healthcare Association, Acute Care Training for NYS Entry Level Essential Hospital Workers Extension Program, $500,000 and the IHA Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Scholarship Program, $300,000; Maria College, Accessibility Services and Counseling Services at the Frank E. O'Brien Jr. Student Support Center, $140,000; Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc., MHANYS School Mental Health Resource and Training Center's Family Education Project-Year 3, $125,000; Siena College, Trauma-Informed Leadership Development Program, $499,402; St. Peter's Hospital Foundation, Inc., Empowered for a Better Tomorrow: Enhanced Supports to Advance Mental Health, $300,000; and Teresian House Nursing Home, It Takes A Village Final Phase, $250,000.

In addition to funding COVID-19 relief, the grants address a range of urgent health needs and social determinants of health across New York State. These include programs that enhance access to mental health counseling, increase availability of nutritious food in food deserts, improve access to healthcare and transportation, support older adults with access to technology, strengthen veteran services, and offer scholarship support as well as remote learning opportunities. Initiatives also promote housing, employment assistance, and translation services; advancements in telehealth technology; and extended legal and social services.

Recipients include community-based organizations, food banks, healthcare providers, nursing homes, schools, federally qualified health centers, and trade associations that are addressing the needs of target populations: low-income individuals and families; older adults; youth and young adults; persons with special needs; immigrants and migrant workers; veterans; formerly incarcerated individuals; and young children, pregnant women, and new moms.

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of vulnerable communities, eliminate barriers to care and bridge gaps in health services. Named after a tireless advocate for immigrants, children and the poor, the foundation funds programs and initiatives across New York State that provide either direct health-care services or address the social determinants of health. For more information and to see a complete list of year-end grants, visit https://www.cabrinihealth.org.