Cardinal Dolan and the bishops of the Catholic dioceses of New York state have come forward to help New Yorkers in need by announcing the formation of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation May 8.
With $3.2 billion, the foundation will be one of the largest in the United States and the largest solely focused in New York. The foundation will give $150 million annually in grants to assist low-income New Yorkers.
The funds are coming from the sale of Fidelis Care to Centene Corporation that is awaiting approval by the New York state attorney general.
Fidelis Care, a faith-based, mission-driven health plan with more than 1.6 million members in New York, was sold to the St. Louis-based Centene Corporation for $3.75 billion last September. The transaction has been approved by the New York Department of Financial Services and New York Department of Health.
Mother Cabrini, known for her work with immigrants and children in the 19th and 20th centuries, was the founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1946, she became the first American citizen to be canonized a saint.
“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 Dolan in a statement.
“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.”
Kelly, the CEO of Visa, Inc., served as CEO of the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee and chairman of Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to New York City. He is a board member at Visa and a trustee at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Boston College.
“It’s 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,” Kelly said. “This is an historic opportunity to transform the lives of New York’s poor, neediest and most vulnerable.”
Joining Kelly on the board are Robert M. Bennett, chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, 2002-2009; Kathryn Connerton, president and CEO of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton; Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr., chairman of the board of trustees of The Mayo Clinic; Dr. Laura L. Forese, M.D., executive vice president and chief operating officer of New York Presbyterian; Stanley E. Grayson, president and chief operating officer of M.R. Beal & Co.; Carla Harris, vice chairman at Global Wealth Management and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley; Catherine R. Kinney, president and co-chief operating officer of the New York Stock Exchange, 2002-2008, and the current board chair of archdiocesan Catholic Charities; Sister Pietrina Raccuglia, M.S.C., president and chair of the board of the New York City-based Cabrini Mission Foundation; Kathryn Ruscitto, who was president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse, 2011-2017; Kevin Ryan, president and CEO of Covenant House; and Robert Unanue, president and CEO of Goya Foods Inc.
Additional board members will be named in the coming weeks.
“Low-income New Yorkers often find it hard to maintain their health,” Dr. Forese said. “With partners like the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation helping to combat the social factors that perpetuate health disparities, New York’s health care community will be able to take these problems head on.”