With the launch of a $100 million universal health insurance program,1 NYC is making strides to ensure it's resident's healthcare needs are met. However, with recent reports regarding the city’s mental health crisis, the extent of the opioid crisis,2 and a staggering number of ER visits in 2017,3 the city’s healthcare problem is far from solved. Alongside the efforts of NYC Mayor de Blasio’s healthcare program, a diverse group of NYC healthcare organizations support New Yorkers with their individual battles with physical and mental illnesses. Walk alongside these 5 organizations and help make NYC a healthier place.
Five Healthcare Volunteer Opportunities in NYC
Autism Speaks mission is to enhance the lives of people diagnosed with autism. Founded in 2005, Autism Speaks promotes advocacy and awareness for individuals with autism and their families. Thus far, their Ad Council campaigns have resulted in a 50% increase in autism awareness and their advocacy has led to a $3 billion increase in federal research funding for autism.4
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect an estimated 1 in 59 children. Characterized by a broad range of challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication, the healthcare needs for a person with autism are diverse and costly. According to the organization, children with ASD face medical expenditures between 4.1 and 6.2 times greater than a child without autism.4
To support Autism Speaks advocacy and awareness initiatives, New Yorkers can organize walks, become advocates, or partner with Autism Speaks.
Boomer Esiason Foundation
The Boomer Esiason Foundation brings together the brightest researchers and scientists to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Led by a partnership of leaders and committed volunteers, the organization heightens awareness, education, and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a chronic condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. People who suffer from CF experience mucus buildup that blocks the airways in their lungs and obstructs the pancreas from helping the body break down and absorb food. In the United States alone, it affects about 30,000 individuals and a staggering 70,000 worldwide. While there is no cure for CF, patients are living longer than ever before thanks to specialized medical care, new drug treatments and therapy, and proper nutrition.
To support the Boomer Esiason Foundation awareness initiatives New Yorkers can financially contribute to research, become an advocate, or attend local events benefiting their cause.
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) aims to prevent and find a cure for breast cancer. With 91 cents of every dollar raised going directly to research and awareness, BCRF proudly supports over 240 scientists across the globe who are working towards finding a cure for this horrible disease.
In 2019, there have been an estimated 268,600 new breast cancer cases in the United States and, in 2018, there were over 2 million new cases worldwide. Research is the key to bringing that number down to 0, and BCRF’s research partners are urgently working towards that vision.
To support BCRF’s mission, New Yorkers can support BCRF research, donate unused Delta miles, or Shop Pink.
Lymphoma Research Foundation
The Lymphoma Research Foundation is the nation’s largest lymphoma-focused health organization. Their mission is to improve care for individuals affected by lymphoma through education and support services. The foundation facilitates a one-to-one peer support program, the Lymphoma Support Network, for people living with lymphoma and their caregivers.
According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, approximately every five minutes, someone in the US is diagnosed with lymphoma. The most common type of blood cancer, nearly one million Americans are living with, or in remission from a form of lymphoma. Symptoms of lymphoma include recurring illnesses such as chronic colds or the flu, and can go undiagnosed if left untreated.
To support the Lymphoma Research Foundation, New Yorkers can volunteer in their support network or attend local events.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness in New York City provides much-needed support and resources for citizens living with mental illness. Through advocacy, education, and the hard work of volunteers, NAMI-NYC aims to improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from mental illnesses.
Research shows that mental illness affects tens of millions of people in some capacity, throughout the United States. 1 in 25 people live with a serious mental health condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar, or long-term depression. Suicide is also now the second leading cause of death among individuals 10-24. It’s important to spread awareness of mental illness by sharing stories, providing support groups, and community advocacy to show the millions who suffer that they are not alone.
To support NAMI-NYC, New Yorkers can join their team of dedicated volunteers, pursue membership, and contribute to research studies.
Community involvement is essential to raise awareness about the health-related issues that New Yorkers suffer from daily. Becoming a healthcare volunteer in NYC helps people receive the medical care they need to live happy and healthy lives. For more health-related volunteer opportunities, New Yorkers can explore the following organizations:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: AFSP works to break down the stigma around suicide by raising awareness and funding research.
- Callen-Lorde: A community clinic offering affordable healthcare for the LGBT community.
- CancerCare: A national organization providing free support services and resources for people impacted by a cancer diagnosis.
- Healtheo360: A community for patients living with chronic conditions to find support, encouragement and information.
- Keep a Child Alive: Founded with the goal of ending pediatric AIDS, the organization works with communities and clinics that serve people living with HIV and AIDS.
- The Center: A safe space for the LGBT community to gather for support and find health and wellness programs.
- National Kidney Foundation: NKF is USA's leading organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease.
- Orbis: Orbis transforms lives through quality eye healthcare, research and advocacy, and education so that no one is needlessly blind or visually impaired.
- Planned Parenthood of Greater New York: A national organization providing accessible women’s health care and information. Help marginalized New Yorkers get the healthcare they need by supporting the above organizations.
Help marginalized New Yorkers get the healthcare they need by supporting the above organizations.
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