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Victory for Immigrant Health: New York City Budget Designates $1 Million to new Access Health NYC Initiative

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@thenyic.org
New York  (Tuesday, June 30, 2015)

Victory for Immigrant Health: New York City Budget Designates $1 Million to new Access Health NYC Initiative

Last Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and members of New York City Council announced an early agreement for an on-time City budget for Fiscal Year 2016. In a major victory for immigrant and health advocates, the $78.5 billion budget includes $1 million for a new initiative called “Access Health NYC.” Access Health NYC will support community-based organizations to do outreach and education on health care coverage and access to New York’s hardest-to-reach communities, especially immigrants. 

The initiative will do the following:

  • Support trusted and culturally competent community-based organizations (CBOs) throughout the city to educate the communities they serve on financial assistance and language access protections.
  • Link eligible individuals and families to opportunities for coverage.
  • Direct those who aren’t eligible for insurance programs because of their immigration status to low-cost, high-quality health care services at NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation and NYC’s robust network of community health clinics. 

The following statement is from Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition:

“The New York Immigration Coalition applauds the Mayor, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson, and City Council for supporting this important initiative, Access Health NYC, which has been a major legislative priority for us, our members, and partners. While we wait for news on several other critical funding appropriations and allocations, this initial investment in Access Health NYC demonstrates a step in the right direction to uplifting immigrant communities.

“Many immigrants still don’t know where they can go to receive care, or how to take advantage of the programs that may be available to them. Access Health NYC will ensure that immigrant communities know where to go for services, understand their rights, and get the most out of their health care. It will significantly change immigrant access to health care and we look forward to seeing the initiative grow over the coming years to adequately address the challenges that are barriers to a healthier New York City.  

“A sincere thank you to our partners including, Community Service Society, Federation for Protestant Welfare Agencies, Commission on the Public’s Health System, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, the People’s Budget Coalition for Public Health, and members of the NYIC’s Health Collaborative who worked with us to achieve this important victory for our communities.” 

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The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

 

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