Center for Law and Justice Awarded a $25,000 Grant in Recognition as an Emerging Innovator in New York State
At its 10th Anniversary Celebration in New York City on Thursday, October 20, 2016, The New York Health Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to each of 5 selected organizations recognized as “Emerging Innovators” poised to improve health and health care by making radical improvements to the state of New York’s health over the next 10 years. Jean-Luc Neptune, M.D., Partner at Blueprint Health and head judge for the Emerging Innovator Awards, announced the recipients at the event. The awards recognize new and innovative approaches to tackling some of New York’s thorniest, most persistent health challenges. Working on issues as diverse as food access, criminal justice reform, affordable housing, and post-traumatic stress, all of these organizations use novel approaches to transform the health of New Yorkers. The grant recipients implement a range of approaches to ensure that consumers have the tools, resources, and support they need to make informed decisions about their health care.
Albany’s Center for Law and Justice (CFLJ) is proud to be recognized as one of the 5 “Emerging Innovators” that received a $25,000 grant. The Center is a community-based organization in Albany’s South End focused on issues related to the interactions among health care, poverty, race, and criminal justice in New York’s Capital District. CFLJ has developed the HEAL initiative—Health, Education, Advocacy, and LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion)—to address these interactions. The Health element of HEAL recognizes how powerfully the stress of poverty and racism contributes to relatively poorer health conditions in minority neighborhoods. The Education element of HEAL refers to the Center’s informal partnership with health care providers (such as Albany Medical College, the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the University at Albany School of Social Welfare) to identify major health issues in low-income communities, and educate residents regarding prevention and treatment. The Advocacy element of HEAL embodies all that the Center does to promote fairness and equal treatment for all in the criminal and social justice systems, and advance policy changes related to mental health, substance use, and criminal justice. The LEAD element of HEAL refers to the Center’s role as one of the founders of Albany’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion initiative; with several government and private sector partners, the Center has worked with the Drug Policy Alliance to design a program that diverts low-level offenders from the criminal justice system to appropriate health and social services providers.
The Center recognizes the importance of including communities of color in the development and implementation of health care service programs. This much-appreciated award from The New York Health Foundation will be used to help support community engagement efforts to coordinate the many aspects of HEAL.