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September 22, 2021

HANYS honors Northwell Health with 2021 Community Health Improvement Award

Statewide healthcare association celebrates Northwell Health for its “Advancing Health Equity through Community-based Partnerships to Fight COVID-19” initiative

Rensselaer, NY — The Healthcare Association of New York State is pleased to announce that Northwell Health is the winner of HANYS’ 2021 Community Health Improvement Award, in recognition of its outstanding “Advancing Health Equity through Community-based Partnerships to Fight COVID-19” program.

Through this program, Northwell Health leveraged its vast network and strong emergency response capabilities, in collaboration with government agencies and trusted community leaders, to deliver large-scale COVID-19 testing and vaccination deployments in vulnerable communities. Outcomes of its winning initiative include:

  • COVID-19 testing at approximately 100 faith and community-based sites, reaching nearly 85,000 underserved community members; resulting in a sharp reduction of infection rates;
  • administration of more than 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines to over 250,000 community members at 100+ locations, including faith and community-based sites; and
  • development of the Heath Equity Taskforce, which meets regularly to discuss education, outreach and community planning to help ensure equitable vaccine distribution.

“In a year defined by the pandemic, it’s fitting that Northwell Health’s winning initiative tackled COVID-19 head-on,” said HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “I commend them for their incredible work, meeting the needs of their community through collaboration and innovation.”

Our video highlights the invaluable work done to fight the pandemic and features interviews with Northwell Health leaders Debbie Salas-Lopez, MD, MPH, senior vice president, community and population health, Eddie Fraser, vice president, community relations and Barbara Felker, vice president, strategic community partnerships.

“No one can do this work alone,” said Salas-Lopez. “We did it together with our communities, with our faith-based leaders, our tribal nation leaders, our public health departments.”

The Community Health Improvement Award, established by HANYS in 1997, recognizes outstanding initiatives designed to improve the health and well-being of communities. The award is presented to facilities and programs that target specific community health issues, demonstrate leadership, collaborate among diverse groups and achieve quantifiable results.


The Healthcare Association of New York State is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York, representing nonprofit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other healthcare organizations. HANYS is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to advance the health of individuals and communities by providing leadership, representation and service to healthcare providers and systems across the entire continuum of care.