January 18, 2018

Rubin Community Health Fund Awards $332,000 to Local Nonprofits for Kidney Disease, Preventive Health Programs

The Hortense and Louis Rubin Community Health Fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region has announced the recipients of their first-ever round of grantmaking. The fund focuses on the health needs of Capital Region residents who have, are at-risk, or are affected by chronic kidney disease and related risk factors and health conditions, including diabetes and hypertension.

Grants were awarded to the following local nonprofit organizations:

  • The Albany County Department of Health: $84,000 for the Get Healthy, Stay Healthy Program. This program will increase access to healthy food, encourage physical activity, enhance preventive health practices, fund more community health workers, and conduct a public awareness campaign to encourage healthy living and proactive health monitoring among people and families who are at-risk for developing cardiovascular and renal conditions.
  • Capital Roots and Whitney Young Health: $50,000 for the Veggie Rx Program. Veggie Rx is a fruit and vegetable prescription voucher program operated by Capital Roots and Whitney Young. This funding will allow an expansion of the program, which helps patients at risk for kidney disease and related conditions to eat healthier and receive nutrition counseling and education, as well as encouraging patients to attend important quarterly checkups.
  • The Northeast Kidney Foundation: $10,000 for the Patient Assistance Program. The Patient Assistance Program covers a broad range of needs for patients with kidney disease, including emergency grants, transportation subsidies, nutritional supplements, and more. This funding will help the Kidney Foundation expand their program to an additional 150 patients, with the goal of not having to turn down any kidney patient in need of emergency assistance.
  • Schenectady County: $70,000 for Engaging Food Pantries in Diabetes and Hypertension Management. This program will bring together agencies addressing food insecurity and healthy eating among low-income households in Schenectady County, with the goal of providing healthy food packages for individuals with diabetes, hypertension, and other risk factors, as well as coordinating prevention tactics to encourage healthier eating.
  • Trinity Alliance, AVillage, and the Radix Ecological Center: $118,000 for the Wellness Engagement Activation Resource Centers. This program will combine health literacy education, neighborhood outreach to drive preventive and chronic health care, specialty medical services, and healthy nutrition, fitness and wellness services to at-risk people and families in Albany County.

Grantees joined members of the Rubin Community Health Fund advisory committee, Rubin Dialysis Center Board members, and Community Foundation leadership for a check presentation reception at Community Foundation offices on Thursday, January 18.

“As we move into our 50th anniversary year at the Community Foundation, we think a lot about legacies,” said John Eberle, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Hortense and Louis Rubin were Capital Region residents who cared enough to spend their lives making life better for people with, and affected by, chronic kidney disease. Decades later, the fund that carries their name is continuing to help people with kidney disease, and hopefully prevent kidney disease from spreading, for generations to come. It’s an honor to perpetuate the generous, caring legacy of the Rubin family and Rubin Dialysis Center Board of Directors and staff.”

“When the Board of Directors of the Rubin Dialysis Center decided to work with the Community Foundation for the Rubin Community Health Fund, it was important that we honor the lives and goals of Louis and Hortense Rubin and the work of the Rubin Dialysis Center,” said Neil Roberts, President of the Board of Directors of the Rubin Dialysis Center and a member of the Community Foundation Board. “As the fund begins awarding grants, we’re pleased to see how the Rubin Community Health Fund is strengthening the region’s continuum of care for people affected by kidney disease and related issues, and is working to address the root causes of renal failure.”

“When an endowed fund is created at the Community Foundation, there’s a one-year moratorium on awarding grants, in order to let the fund grow and accumulate interest,” said William Koester, chair of the Rubin Community Health Fund advisory committee. “Our committee spent the past year taking a close look at funding and service gaps for our focus area. We conducted an online survey, had more than 20 interviews with local service providers, did a comparative review of relevant funding and programs across the United States, and visited a broad range of local nonprofits to understand the needs on the ground. This deep understanding has allowed us to make grants that will have real impacts and benefits. We’re very proud to support the organizations who will do this important work, and we hope the benefit will ripple out across our region for many years to come.”


The Rubin Community Health Fund was created in November 2016 with an initial gift of $7.25 million. The Rubin Community Health Fund was created from the net assets of the Hortense and Louis Rubin Dialysis Center, accumulated during its years of operations (1986-2014) and subsequent sale of their three dialysis centers and related real estate in September 2014. A total of $15-20 million is anticipated to be added to the fund, after all outstanding financial obligations have been met by the Rubin Dialysis Center. These remaining funds will be added over the next several years, potentially doubling the amount of annual grants made from the fund.