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About the Ithaca Health Alliance

Thomas Hoebbel Photography

2005 Annual Report
2006 Annual Report
2007 Annual Report
2008 Annual Report
2009 Annual Report
2010 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report

The Ithaca Health Alliance, Inc. was founded in 1997 by Ithaca area residents concerned about the problems in our healthcare systems — especially the hardships faced by the uninsured. The mission of the Ithaca Health Alliance is to facilitate access to health care for all and to improve the quality of health choices and knowledge available to members of our communities.

By 1998, the Ithaca Health Fund program was able to offer help through grants for certain medical expenses. Every year since then, the Board of Directors has examined the resources of the IHA, and some funds have been set aside for future health projects or to expand those already in place.

In 2000 IHA began to provide educational programs aimed at better informing people about health issues and health choices. Community workshops, a newsletter launched in 2006, and a resource library at the Alliance office are some of the ways IHA advances this part of the mission.

In 2004, IHA began organizing its second major project, the Ithaca Free Clinic. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers and the funds provided from IHA members, the Free Clinic opened to visitors on January 23, 2006. In the five years since then, the Clinic has served over 4,000 people and has become the medical home for many without any other care options.

In 2011, the Health Alliance discontinued its membership services, making all its programs more widely available to residents with a demonstrated need. Community members are welcome to visit the Free Clinic, participate in educational opportunities, and apply for health-related grants. The staff and Board of Directors of the IHA believe that access to good health care and a choice of health services are rights rather than privileges. The agency's four employees (Executive Director, Office Manager, Outreach Coordinator and Clinic Coordinator) work alongside many volunteers to make this work possible: an entirely volunteer Board of Directors, volunteer-driven planning committees, and direct services from volunteer staff provide a safety net as well as a network of health-related opportunities, services, and choices. We invite you to support the mission of the Ithaca Health Alliance.

Ithaca Health Alliance Executive Director Abbe Lyons and Jens Wennberg, a volunteer Physician Assistant at Ithaca Free Clinic, were featured January 17, 2013 on "Out of Bounds," a public radio program that "features intimate 30 minute interviews with visionaries: people living, working and thinking outside the mainstream." A direct link to this show is here.


This video, produced in 2010 in collaboration with Cornell University's Free Clinic Initiative student organization, provides a good historical perspective on IHA's programs up to 2011.

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