GE Launches Expansion of Its Health Initiative to the New York Capital Region, Increasing Access to Care in Underserved Communities

Feb 15, 2011 11:45 AM ET
Campaign: Health at GE
(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - February 15, 2011 - With the goal of serving thousands more locally who do not have adequate access to health care, the GE Foundation - the philanthropic organization of GE – announced an expansion of its Developing Health program to New York’s Capital Region.  The Foundation has selected two non-profit community health centers to receive a total of $750,000 in grants to help them expand services and offer new care opportunities.   Hometown Health in Schenectady and Whitney M. Young, JR. Health Center’s two facilities in Albany and Troy will each receive $250,000 over the next two years as well as local GE Volunteer support through the program.  Developing Health is a 3-year, $50 million, program funded by the GE Foundation that aims to improve access to primary care in targeted underserved communities across the United States. The program aligns with GE’s healthymagination initiative, a commitment to lower costs, improve quality and increase access in healthcare.   Hometown Health will apply its grant award to bring on an Organizational Patient Navigator (PN) and two Case Managers to help patients better navigate through a complex health care system.  This will provide a significant boost to patient services, ensuring that patients find and have access to the care they need. “It is an honor for Hometown to be chosen by the GE Foundation to advance the Developing Health initiative in the Capital Region," said Hometown Health Center CEO Joe Gambino.  "This investment will have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of vulnerable children and families in this underserved community.  Enhanced quality care initiatives will lead to improved health outcomes - it's a for everyone."   Whitney M. Young, JR. Health Center will apply its grant awards to expand provider services at both its Albany and Troy facilities, as well as start a new program to combat childhood obesity.  “We are honored and deeply touched by the generosity of the GE Foundation and GE employee volunteers from the Capital Region,” said Dr. Kallanna Manjunath, Chief Medical Officer and Interim Co-CEO of Whitney M. Young, JR. Health Center.   “As NCQA (National Committee on Quality Assurance) recognized Patient Centered Medical Homes, we continually strive to provide comprehensive, quality and cost-effective primary and preventive care services to our communities. The grant will help us to improve access for these essential primary care services and develop a pediatric obesity program at both Albany and Troy locations.”   Dr. Manjunath added, “Perhaps, the most exciting part of this award is the opportunity to work with the highly talented GE employee volunteers to improve the many facets of our operations and care delivery model.”   “For decades, Hometown Health and Whitney M. Young, JR. Health Center have provided a vital service to local families with limited or no access to health care in the Capital Region,” said John LaVelle, Vice President, Global Projects, GE Power & Water. “Through the Developing Health Program, we will help them do even more to expand care opportunities and serve more people in need of care.“      “The Developing Health Program is part of GE’s broader commitment to enable better, affordable and more accessible health care,” said Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Director, GE Global Research.  “As we invest in providers like Hometown Health and Whitney Young, Jr. Health Center who are on the front lines of patient care, GE will continue to invest in new technology at our Research Labs in Niskayuna to bring down health care costs and ultimately, make care more accessible for more patients.”   “The introduction of Developing Heath in the Capital Region represents the 10th region where we have launched this program,” said Bob Corcoran, president, GE Foundation. “In each of the other cities, we already have seen innovative programs in health care accessibility. Together with our new community health partners, Hometown Health and Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center, we expect the programs to be every bit as successful here in the Capital Region.”   According to the most recent statistics published by the U.S. Census Bureau, it’s estimated that some 85,000 people in the Albany/Schenectady/Rensselaer/Saratoga County area do not have health care coverage.  Hometown Health and Whitney M. Young, JR. Health Center play a vital role in providing care to uninsured, and the additional grant monies from the GE Foundation will enable them to serve several thousand more uninsured people in the region.    GE Volunteer Support for the Health Centers  GE volunteer teams are a critical component of the Developing Health program. Through the program, GE employees work with the health centers to address specific needs, ranging from marketing communications to process improvements, and offer their business skills and experience to drive improvements that benefit patients and workflows.  Specific initiatives are identified to help these community health centers with their mission to reach underserved populations and enable access to primary care.   “In addition to receiving critical funding, Hometown Health and Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center will benefit from strong GE volunteer support,” said Chang Wei, GE’s Developing Health Program leader for the Capital Region.  “We have a dedicated group of local GE volunteers who already have engaged with each of the centers to see how we can best support their operations.”   About GE’s Developing Health Program Developing Health, which is modeled after GE’s successful philanthropic program Developing Health Globally is a partnership between GE Corporate Citizenship and the GE Corporate Diversity Council that was designed and launched in NYC in October 2009.  With its expansion to New York’s Capital Region, the program is now serving 10 locations. The other locations are: Fairfield County and eight U.S. cities: Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Cincinnati, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; and New York, New York.   The program builds on the success GE’s existing Developing Health Globally (DHG) program. Launched in Africa in 2004, this philanthropic program now extends to 14 countries across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.  DHG aims to improve healthcare for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.  DHG uses GE core competencies including technology, expertise and employee engagement to provide sustainable “enterprise solutions” that address some of the critical gaps that exist in developing-world healthcare facilities. For more information on Developing Health Globally, visit: For more information on Developing Health,  visit:    About Whitney M. Young, JR. Health Center  Whitney M. Young, JR. Health Center, Inc. is a federally-qualified community health center licensed to operate as an Article 28 Diagnostic and Treatment Center by the NYSDOH.  Established in 1971, Whitney Young’s mission is to provide access to consistent quality healthcare without regard to income.   Services at WMY include primary medical care, dentistry, pharmacy, nutrition, laboratory, eye care, podiatry, behavioral health, HIV Services, women’s health and WIC.   The organization has seven sites that include two health centers where medical and dental services are provided, one in the City of Albany and one in the City of Troy.  There are two behavioral health sites and three school-based health centers, all in the City of Albany   About Hometown Health Hometown Health has provided high quality health care for Schenectady County and the surrounding areas for more than 35 years.  Over time, it has grown from a small health center to a complete health network offering convenient, comprehensive and patient-centered care to local families in need of services.    About the GE Foundation GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world's most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2009, the entire GE family — including businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation — contributed more than an estimated $220 million to community and educational programs, including more than $100 million from GE Foundation. For more information, visit