New York State Health Foundation (Co-Sponsored by the Harvard Global Health Institute)

Please Note: This internship is co-sponsored with the Harvard GHI; applications should be submitted through the HGHI-IOP funding source in CARAT. 

The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers. We strive to be focused and purposeful in our work; establish and adhere to clear goals and strategies; and measure our progress. We are committed to making grants, but also to making a difference beyond our dollars: informing health care policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve the health system, serving as a neutral convener of health leaders across the State, and providing technical assistance to our grantees and partners. NYSHealth concentrates its initiatives in two strategic priority areas:

  • Building Healthy Communities

To help communities become healthier, more active places, the Foundation is supporting initiatives across the State to help more New Yorkers of all ages eat healthy foods, become physically active, and have access to a range of programs that encourage healthy life choices.

  • Empowering Health Care Consumers

New Yorkers find the health care system incredibly complex to understand and navigate. To ensure that consumers have the tools, resources, and support they need to make informed decisions about their health care, the Foundation is committed to increasing consumers’ choice, control, and convenience.

Other Focus Areas Include:

  • Veterans' Health

The NYSHealth Initiative for Returning Veterans and Their Families seeks to underscore that the health care, mental health, and social services issues returning veterans and their families face are not solely military issues, but public and community health issues that should be addressed by local and national government agencies, community-based organizations, and health funders.

  • Special Projects Fund (SPF)

Grants through our Special Projects Fund allow us to support projects that address an important health care or public health issue in the State, but are outside of our targeted priority areas. Eligible projects are coordinated interventions that take place over a specified period of time to achieve quantifiable results.


Summer Projects may include:

  • Consumer Empowerment:
    • Assist in overseeing administration of and review process for Consumer EmpowermentRFP(s) (Requests for Proposals)
    • Research Consumer Empowerment issues/topics to help shape the priority area and future RFP(s)
  • Special Projects Fund:
    • Help oversee administration of and review process for SPF RFP
    • Assist in writing Grant Outcome Reports
    • Assist with NYSHealth events (researching and brainstorming ideas for and events and help with coordination)
    • Assist with project site visits
  • Building Healthy Communities:
    • Assist with project site visits
    • Research issues/topics on help shape the priority area and future RFP(s)

Experience and Qualifications

  • A love of New York State is very helpful. A general idea of our overall priority areas is great. Anyone looking to work in the health field whether it’s clinic or on the public policy/administration side is welcome to apply!
  • A self-starter who’s a quick thinker on their feet! Someone who can take a project or instruction and run with it! We would of course provide all assistance needed, but this would be a great quality to see in our intern. Easy going, but hard working, sense of humor. The Foundation is a close-knit group of colleagues.

Work Environment

New York State Health Foundation is a small organization of 22 full time staff. There are three other interns with us throughout the year. For the summer, we normally have two additional interns! It's a wonderful culture to work in, you'll learn, grow and network among our supportive, driven and talented colleague


On a scale from 0 (very independent) to 10 (very supervised), this internship will be about a 5.

Brief description from the Summer 2017 Fellow

A normal day for me at the office would like involve 1-3 meetings with the staff, talking on the phone to a grantee (a non-profit organization that wishes to be funded so that they can make changes in access to care for New Yorkers). Sometimes this meetings take place off site, for example, I went to a board meeting at a company called FairHealth and listened to a presentation of a new marketing technique for an online tool that will allow New Yorkers to take a more active role in deciding what healthcare plan is best for them. I've gone on site visits to take tours of grantees' place of operation, for example last week I attended a tour of an educational garden of a non-profit known as GrowNYC at Governor's Island. I also provide input for grantees who are in the process of utilizing their grant funds. I've also been assigned the work of writing Grant Outcome Reports, which are essentially summaries of the grantee's work and the results and impact of their work. Right now, I am also conducting research on the expansion Veterans' Treatment Courts throughout the country and specifically in New York State and will be presenting information on these topics to the president of the foundation soon.”

Embree Thompson '18 

New York City, NY
Public Health, Research, Advocacy/Policy