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Archives Cardinal Dolan and New York Bishops announce Mother Cabrini Health Foundation
To serve New Yorkers in need

May 16, 2018

New York -Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Catholic diocesan bishops of New York State announced  the formation of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, which at $3.2 billion will be one of the largest in the United States, and the largest focused solely on New York State.

The foundation will provide up to $150 million annually in grants to serve New Yorkers in need and will be steered by a board of health experts, business leaders and philanthropists chaired by Al Kelly, CEO of Visa. 

Mother Cabrini’s legacy
The foundation is named after Sister Frances Xavier Cabrini, known as Mother Cabrini, a tireless advocate for immigrants and children and the founder of the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Building upon Mother Cabrini’s historic legacy the foundation will improve the health and well-being of poor and underserved New Yorkers across all parts of the state, regardless of background, including immigrant and other marginalized communities

Born on July 15, 1850 in a small village near the city of Milan, Italy, Mother Cabrini founded the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, driven to help those in need in any way that she could.

In 1889, Mother Cabrini arrived in New York at a time when many Italian immigrants were struggling in the grips of poverty. She organized educational classes and helped provide for orphans with nowhere else to turn.

She traveled throughout the United States continuing to help the downtrodden and the neediest of  society. Now her sisters are caring for new immigrants from all over the world.

Mother Cabrini was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1946, the first American citizen to be named a saint, in recognition of her holiness and service to mankind and was named Patroness of Immigrants in 1950.

Board members
In addition to Al Kelly, other inaugural board members include Robert M. Bennett, Kathryn Connerton, Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., Dr. Laura L. Forese, Stanley E. Grayson, Carla Harris, Catherine R. Kinney, Sister Pietrina Raccuglia, Kathryn Ruscitto, Kevin Ryan and Robert Unanue.  

Additional foundation board members will be named in upcoming weeks.  The foundation will partner with l private sector and governmental experts to develop innovative and impactful grantmaking programs. 

From Cardinal Dolan
“The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, born of our Catholic tradition of healing for the sick and caring for the poor, will provide assistance to needy New Yorkers of every color, every religion and every background,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in the May 8 announcement.

“Named for Frances Cabrini, the ‘Patroness of Immigrants,’ and chaired by prominent New York businessman and philanthropic leader Al Kelly, the foundation will seek to transform the lives of underserved New Yorkers from all corners of the state and set a national model for addressing the health and wellness needs of low-income communities,” the cardinal said.

Powerful force for good
“It is a tremendous honor to chair the inaugural board of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, which will be a powerful force for good in New York and a model for other states to emulate,” said Mr. Kelly, “This is an historic opportunity to transform the lives of New York’s poor, neediest, most vulnerable.”

Once-in-a-generation chance
“This foundation presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the trajectory for a broad and diverse group of New Yorkers,” said Kathryn Connerton, chair of the Care Compass Network and President & CEO of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton and a newly-named board member.

“It’s a true privilege to serve on the inaugural board as we work to address pressing healthcare disparities statewide,” she said

“Low-income New Yorkers often find it hard to maintain their health,” said Laura L. Forese, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian and a newly-named board member.  “With partners like the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation helping to combat the social factors that perpetuate health disparities, New York’s healthcare community will be able to take these problems head on.”

Start of brighter future
“Today marks the start of a brighter future for millions of New Yorkers who will benefit from the creation of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation,” said Kevin Ryan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Covenant House and newly-named board member.

“With up to $150 million in annual grant-funding, non-profits across the state will be able to build on successful programs to empower seniors, immigrants, youth and those in the grips of drug addiction to truly live their best lives,” he said.

To provide critical funds
“The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation will provide the critical funding we need to expand. Hundreds of organizations like mine across the state will be able to quickly and effectively scale up their operations to serve thousands more people in need, in communities that too often lack the resources and support residents need to thrive,” said Jenn Hyde, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Tri-County Services, based in Rensselaer. 

“Today, nearly 1.7 million New Yorkers live in poverty. They rely on help from an increasingly strapped nonprofit community in order to survive,” said George McDonald, Founder and President of the Doe Fund.  “This new foundation is a critical addition to New York City; it will help those of us working hard every day to combat poverty do it better and at a larger scale.”

From Fidelis Care assets
The foundation will result from the sale of assets from Fidelis Care to Centene Corporation.  The transaction has been approved by the New York Department of Health and the New York Department of Financial Services and is awaiting approval by the New York Attorney General.

Fidelis Care announced in September that it signed an agreement to sell substantially all of its assets to Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC). 

The proceeds from the transaction and other charitable assets of Fidelis will be used to fund the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

The foundation will grant up to $150 million annually to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care and bridge gaps in health services. It will seek to drive better care for marginalized communities, including immigrant populations and will provide flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York State.

This foundation will exist in perpetuity, helping generations of New Yorkers of all faiths or no faith at all and all backgrounds, and from all parts of the State.

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