Healthcare Notes Newsletter Spring 2013


Welcome to the first issue of our quarterly newsletter Healthcare Notes.  The Healthcare Education Project (HEP) is a joint initiative of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the Greater New York Hospital  Association.  Developed in 1999, the project has been at the forefront of numerous statewide campaigns advocating for quality healthcare accessible to all New Yorkers.

  • Over the years, HEP has protected New York hospitals and nursing homes from literally billions of dollars in proposed state funding cuts.
  • We led the successful fight to create the Family Health Plus Program.
  • We were the driving force behind the enactment of the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL-NY) that resulted in $1 billion in capital investment in New York State’s healthcare facilities.
  • We successfully advocated for coverage of low-income legal immigrants in the State’s Medicaid and Family Health Plus Program.
  • We effectively advocated for a significant expansion of Child Health Plus, New York State’s health insurance program for children.

HEP is a strong advocate for progressive healthcare legislation while protecting against damaging funding cuts to New York’s hospitals and nursing homes. We also educate our neighbors about important healthcare initiatives by organizing public health fairs and forums and hosting leadership dialogues. We work in collaboration with local communities – individuals, local healthcare providers, and civic and religious leaders.

HEP is delighted to launch this newsletter that will feature articles on significant policy and fiscal issues of concern to New York’s healthcare facilities, its workers, administrators, and patients. Our goal is to keep our stakeholders informed by sharing industry news, perspectives, and legislative updates.


Surviving Sandy
Antonietta Sorace is a Certified Nursing Assistant at Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Long Beach, New York. There are about 160 members of 1199 at Grandell. The center was evacuated…  Click to read more…
1199 Members to Congress: NO MORE HEALTH CARE CUTS!
On December 11, 2012, 1199SEIU members and representatives from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) took their “no Medicare cuts” message directly to New York’s Congressional delegation in Washington, DC, during the height of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. Meeting with elected officials and their staff,   Click to read more…
Managed Long-Term Care: Staying Informed
Since April 2012, New York State has been phasing in the implementation of mandatory Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) for Medicaid beneficiaries across the state. To increase an understanding of the implications of this transformative plan,   Click to read more…
The United States – and New York in particular – is struggling with the obesity epidemic facing both adults and children alike. The percentage of New York children who are obese has tripled over the last three decades to 25 percent. Additionally, 60 percent of adults are either overweight or obese. This increases the risk of chronic diseases and conditions, including Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and heart disease, to name a few.Healthcare for obesity-related conditions costs New York taxpayers nearly $8 billion a year, ranking second in the United States. Nearly 81 percent of these costs are paid by Medicaid or Medicare, far exceeding the national average of 52 percent. This means that taxpayers foot the bill to the tune of $771 per New York household.The Healthcare Education Project (HEP) has been working to educate the public on ways to combat obesity and diabetes, working in conjunction with hospitals, health centers, churches, and community groups. Workshops focused on healthy eating habits and reducing sugary drink consumption have been critical steps in tackling this growing epidemic.

In the fall of 2012, the New York City Department of Health became the first in the nation to approve a ban on the sale of soda and other sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, in restaurants, street carts, and movie theaters. Unfortunately, this month, State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling struck down the City’s policy, citing overreach by the New York City Board of Health and calling the limits “arbitrary and capricious.” Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to appeal the decision; it could take months to work through the legal process.

HEP’s healthcare advocates co-sponsored several dozen forums on the topic of sugary drinks in the city’s five boroughs, in partnership with high schools and colleges, senior centers, churches, and youth programs, reaching over three thousand people. HEP will continue these collaborative efforts throughout the year.