United Hospital Fund Overview:
Goals, Strategies, and Progress Measures

UHF works to build a more effective health care system for every New Yorker. An independent, nonprofit organization established in 1879, we analyze public policy to inform decision makers, find common ground among diverse stakeholders, and develop and support innovative programs that improve the quality, accessibility, affordability, and experience of patient care. UHF has been providing analysis, convening, and thought leadership on key health policy issues in New York for decades, with recent successful initiatives focused on expanding affordable health coverage, improving health care quality and patient safety, and promoting strong primary care.


  • Integrity. We are committed to rigorous and objective inquiry and analysis, embracing our role as an independent, trusted source of information.
  • Equity. We focus our activities on improving the lives of underserved, disadvantaged populations, as we believe that all people deserve the opportunity to lead long, healthy lives.
  • Collaboration. We believe that to find solutions to complex problems we need participation from a wide range of stakeholders, and actively seek partners in our work.
  • Long view. We take a long-term perspective, tackling persistent problems that require systemic solutions.

With a vision of high-quality health care and better health for every New Yorker, we aim to achieve better outcomes for patients and better value for dollars spent by focusing our work on three specific challenges:

  • Universal, affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage and access to services
  • High-quality and efficient health care service delivery, especially for vulnerable populations
  • Improved health and well-being at the community level via clinical-community partnerships addressing the “social determinants of health”

Our core activities are research and policy analysis, convening, knowledge dissemination, collaborative initiatives, capacity building, and grant making. Key strategies include:

  • Supporting comprehensive health insurance coverage and access to services. Universal, affordable, accessible health insurance offering comprehensive coverage is a prerequisite for obtaining adequate care—and for an effective, equitable health care system. New York has made remarkable leaps forward in decreasing the percent of residents without health insurance. But over 1 million New Yorkers still lack insurance and many more are underinsured. At a time of continuing federal efforts to roll back progress, UHF’s Health Insurance Project and Medicaid Institute are working to maintain New York’s leadership in improving coverage and the health care safety net, especially for vulnerable populations.
  • Promoting improvements in the quality and efficiency of health care delivery. Working with a broad range of partners—government, health care providers, family caregivers, and other stakeholders—UHF’s Innovation Strategies Initiative, Quality Institute, and Families and Health Care Project are advancing transformative approaches to primary care, integration of behavioral and physical health care services, health care quality measurement and improvement, and transitions from institutional care to the home care setting.
  • Fostering collaborations between the health care delivery system and communities. For both individuals and specific populations, health status is in large part a function of factors outside the doctor’s office, including the social determinants of health. Addressing those requires new and productive relationships between the health care sector and community services. UHF’s Children’s Health Initiative and our grant making program are reaching beyond the health care system to address stressors—family dysfunction, poor housing, food insecurity—and leverage community supports essential to improving both immediate and long-term health and well-being.

We are well positioned to achieve our goals, with a staff including talented and knowledgeable health policy analysts and thought leaders, more than 138 years of recognition as an independent source of authoritative information and insight, the ability to bring together stakeholders from all segments of the health care and patient/consumer community, and resources including an endowment and a strong and reliable base of philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government.

We recognize the importance of metrics, wherever measurement is possible and practical, and many of our initiatives have clear data that track progress. Still, much of our work focuses on creating an environment in which change is possible. Whether that means conducting groundbreaking research that initiates or advances discussion, leading providers through processes to make health care services safer and more effective, educating consumers about their rights and responsibilities, or convening policymakers to explore options, progress can be identified in every aspect of our work.

We believe in transparency, including in the reporting of progress. Our annual reports, in print and on-line, provide an overview of each year’s progress and impact. We also provide regular updates throughout the year, through our print and e-mail newsletters and our website—all available free of charge and without obstacles such as logins.


Family Caregiving

Resources for family caregivers and health care providers are available at our Next Step in Care website.

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