Mission and History
The United Hospital Fund is a nonprofit health services research and philanthropic organization whose primary mission is to shape positive change in health care for the people of New York. We advance policies and support programs that promote high-quality, patient-centered health care services that are accessible to all. We undertake research and policy analysis to improve the financing and delivery of care in hospitals, health centers, nursing homes, and other care settings. We raise funds and give grants to examine emerging issues and stimulate innovative programs. And we work collaboratively with civic, professional, and volunteer leaders to identify and realize opportunities for change.
A Brief History
The United Hospital Fund was founded by hospital trustees and other concerned New Yorkers in 1879 as an innovative approach to organizing charitable support for voluntary, nonprofit hospitals in New York City and to help solve shared problems. Known for more than a century as the nation’s oldest federated charity, the Fund has played a central role in addressing critical health care issues facing New York, and in the founding of many of the organizations and institutions that today help define the city’s health care landscape, including the Greater New York Hospital Association, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, United Way of New York City, and the New York Blood Center. More recently, the Fund has supported the creation of the Primary Care Development Corporation, New York City AIDS Fund, New York Society for Health Planning, and New York Cares.
Instrumental in many of New York’s recent health care milestones, the Fund:
- Led the city’s earliest responses to the AIDS crisis;
- Pioneered programs to improve end-of-life care;
- Established the National Quality Forum;
- Helped enroll 340,000 New Yorkers in Disaster Relief Medicaid in the aftermath of September 11th;
- Developed and published A Blueprint for Universal Health Insurance Coverage in New York;
- Established groundbreaking initiatives to help redesign, restructure, and rebuild New York’s Medicaid program; provide a national model for aging-in-place programs; create effective partnerships between family caregivers and health care professionals; and improve quality of care and patient safety through multi-year, multifaceted collaborations among dozens of New York-area hospitals.
A longer look back at the Fund's evolution and growth through the past three decades is provided by The Fund at 125: A 25-Year Look Back, produced in 2004 to celebrate the Fund's most recent milestone anniversary; copies of the book are available through the Fund's Communications Division.