Outreach began on Tuesday, July 26th in several Brooklyn neighborhoods and ended in Elmhurst, Queens on Saturday, July 30th . Week coincided with launch of PEU-CUNY Benefits Corps, with more than 100 CUNY students supporting getting the word out about healthcare options to New Yorkers.
NEW YORK – The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU) and NYC Health + Hospitals hosted a “Healthcare Week of Action” last week to connect New Yorkers across the five boroughs to NYC Care and GetCoveredNYC and to encourage them to access healthcare. NYC Care is the city healthcare access program for those who aren’t eligible or can’t afford health insurance. GetCoveredNYC offers New Yorkers free assistance to enroll in health coverage. The Week of Action will be supported by PEU’s GetCoveredNYC Specialists, CUNY interns, and NYC Care’s community-based organization partners. The NYC Care partners helped schedule on-site appointments with NYC Care specialists, encouraging eligible New Yorkers to take the first step toward making primary care appointments. The outreach events were held in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, with a culminating event at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. In New York City, healthcare is a human right regardless of immigration status or income.
This “Healthcare Week of Action” ended with a closeout event at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst featuring health screenings and COVID-19 testing, and additional resources from NYC Care, GetCoveredNYC, MetroPlusHealth, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and other partners. Queens was selected for the closeout event as it is the borough with the highest number of NYC Care members, as well as the highest number of eligible enrollees. The speaking program featured Mayor Eric Adams, Executive Director of PEU Adrienne Lever, Executive Director of NYC Care Dr. Jonathan Jiménez, Elmhurst Hospital CEO Helen Arteaga, PEU GetCoveredNYC Specialist Tania Navas, and local elected officials, Councilman Moya and Councilwoman Schulman. The speakers reinforced the message that healthcare is a human right, and that the wellbeing of New York City depends on the wellbeing of all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.
“Here in New York City, we believe that health care is a human right, not a privilege. And we are committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers, regardless of their immigration status or income can get the care they need,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “New York City is a city of yes, and we are going to do all it takes to get every New Yorker covered.”
“PEU’s mission is to proactively engage New Yorkers and connect them to critical benefits and services, including affordable, quality healthcare,” said Adrienne Lever, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU). “The reason we do this work is because we know at PEU that healthcare is not just about having access to a doctor. It is about having all of the resources that you need to live a life of dignity and respect. I am so thrilled to be here at Elmhurst with our partners at NYC Care, Health and Hospitals, and of course our mayor, Eric Adams for this week of action promoting healthcare options, while expanding our outreach capacity with our incredible CUNY interns as they launch their careers in public service.”
“In New York City, healthcare is a human right. With our exciting Week of Action, just before NYC Care’s third birthday, we pounded the pavement together to ensure New Yorkers know they have access to healthcare,” said Dr. Jonathan Jiménez, Executive Director of NYC Care from NYC Health + Hospitals. “Thank you to Mayor Eric Adams, the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, our community-based partners, and the CUNY Benefits Corps interns for partnering to share NYC Care and GetCoveredNYC across the five boroughs. We encourage all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay, to make their primary care appointment. Together we can ensure each New Yorker lives their longest, healthiest life.”
“At Elmhurst and at all New York City Health and Hospital facilities, we do not turn not one single patient away. We encourage everyone from our communities to seek care without fear,” said Helen Arteaga, CEO of Elmhurst Hospital. “Through NYC Care, New Yorkers can have access to health coverage regardless of immigration status and ability to pay. If you are a new patient in New York City Cares, you get an appointment within two weeks. That is true evidence, not only of commitment, but of action.”
In the words of speaker Tania Navas, PEU GetCoveredNYC Specialist, “The GetCoveredNYC team is here to help you to understand, to educate you about the healthcare options. So, if one day you receive a phone call from us, or if you see us in your neighborhood, please be assured we are reaching out to help.”
The week of action also coincided with launch of PEU’s CUNY Benefits Corps, supported by over 100 interns from CUNY’s Career Launch program, part of the City's summer youth employment campaign, who will be on site offering free comprehensive benefits screening to New Yorkers at tabling locations in all five boroughs using the ACCESS NYC screening tool. Throughout the summer, Benefits Corps interns are taking part in PEU’s core outreach work using innovative and grassroots outreach strategies, including phone calls, peer-to-peer text messaging, and canvassing, to meet New Yorkers in their communities and connect them to critical City, State, and Federal resources. They are distributing informational materials on a range of topics over the course of the summer, from tenant’s rights and resources to health insurance enrollment and COVID-19 vaccines.
On the eve of the NYC Care’s three year anniversary, the program has over 110,000 members. NYC Care members made 879,969 primary and specialty care appointments including 86503 telehealth appointments. 67% have one or more chronic conditions and 18% have a cancer diagnosis. 50% of members with diabetes and 42% of members with hypertension have seen an improvement in their blood sugar and blood pressure, respectively, after six months in the program. NYC Care recently eliminated a six-month residency requirement, and recent arrivals can now enroll as soon as they decide to make New York City their home.
About NYC Care
NYC Care is a healthcare access program that provides comprehensive and low or no-cost healthcare services through NYC Health + Hospitals (NYC H+H) for New Yorkers who cannot afford or are ineligible for health insurance. NYC Care provides a membership card, 24/7 customer service, access to comprehensive and affordable healthcare services, like primary care, mental health services, and sexual and reproductive healthcare, low-cost medications 24/7, and member materials in multiple languages – regardless of your immigration status or ability to pay. Call 646-NYC-CARE (646-692-2273) to learn more and sign up today – privacy and confidentiality guaranteed.
NYC Care became available at NYC Health + Hospitals locations in the Bronx starting in August 2019. NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs.
Contact NYC Care:
- Call 1-646-NYC-CARE (1-646-692-2273)
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public healthcare system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible.
About the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit
The NYC Public Engagement Unit (PEU) was created to develop a new model for government outreach, using community organizing principles to re-envision how the City provides services to its most vulnerable communities. Rather than expecting constituents to navigate a complex City bureaucracy to get the help they need, PEU adopts grassroots tactics to meet residents where they are — at their doors and on their phones, in their social media feeds and in their communities. PEU combines this proactive outreach with comprehensive case management, and in doing so, combats disillusionment and builds long-term relationships between New Yorkers and their government.
GetCoveredNYC is a program within the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit that offers free assistance for New Yorkers seeking to enroll in healthcare, regardless of immigration status or income. Our Specialists speak more than 20 languages and conduct outreach to proactively identify uninsured New Yorkers and help them get access to healthcare and other health-related benefits.
- Call 311 and say “Get Covered”
- Or text CoveredNYC to 877877
About CUNY Career Launch
The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU) welcomed more than 100 CUNY Career Launch interns for this summer who receive ongoing training to help them execute their core work and build professional skills.The Career Launch program provides CUNY students with valuable career experience that connects to their area of study, as well as the opportunity to grow their professional networks. CUNY Career Launch is part of the City’s broader Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), the nation’s largest youth employment program that connects NYC youth with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer.
Interns will be offering free benefits screening to New Yorkers at tabling locations in all five boroughs using the ACCESS NYC screening tool. Public Engagement Unit Specialists will then follow-up with and provide comprehensive case management to New Yorkers who were screened to support them with application submission and ensure they are able to successfully enroll. Interns will also take part in PEU’s core outreach work using innovative and grassroots outreach strategies, including phone calls, peer-to-peer text messaging, and canvassing, to meet New Yorkers in their communities and connect them to critical City, State, and Federal resources. They will distribute informational materials on a range of topics over the course of the summer, from tenants rights and resources to health insurance enrollment and COVID-19 vaccines. PEU is proud to be working with this upcoming generation of New York City’s workforce, providing them with real-world experience and ongoing training in outreach best practices, organizing technologies, and government benefits, programs, and resources.