NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization that empowers low-income women entrepreneurs, and Grameen PrimaCare, a nonprofit organization providing underserved women with high-quality, affordable health services, today announced a partnership to expand and promote access to economic opportunity and health care among underserved women in New York City.
"Financial security and health are inextricably linked; you cannot have one without the other," said Andrea Jung, Grameen America President and CEO and Grameen PrimaCare Board Member. "Through this comprehensive integrated services approach, we are providing underserved women with the tools they need to stay healthy and achieve financial independence."
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, nearly 50% of female-headed households across the country are un- or underbanked. Since opening its first branch in Queens, NY in 2008, Grameen America has invested over $380 million in more than 64,000 women entrepreneurs, alongside credit- and asset-building services, to integrate women into the financial mainstream and empower them to build businesses. Grameen America has expanded to eleven different cities across the country, having a proven impact of increasing annual household incomes, creating jobs and improving credit scores.
"Overcoming poverty is so much more than just a commitment to economic prosperity – it requires protecting each individual's right to a healthy and full life," said Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman of the Grameen America Board of Directors and Co-Founder of Grameen PrimaCare. "We are joining these outstanding forces for opportunity together to ensure women in the community are empowered to live independent and fulfilling lives."
To build on this success and more fully address the needs of women in the community, the two organizations, Grameen America and Grameen PrimaCare, have co-located in Queens, NY. Grameen PrimaCare's clinic, VidaSana, is a comprehensive health program that provides primary care, preventive services and health education to underserved women, while decreasing out-of-pocket costs and expensive ER visits. By combining financial inclusion with access to basic health services, the location provides a unique opportunity for low-income women in the community to have their financial and health needs met in one place.
"What we have now is a place where women feel safe and empowered to take their lives, and the lives of their families, into their own hands," said Allison Pritzker Schwartz, Grameen PrimaCare Co-Founder and Board Member. "We are thrilled to be able to offer these vital services under one roof. This is what a comprehensive approach to poverty alleviation looks like."
About Grameen America
Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit microfinance organization dedicated to helping women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families. The organization offers microloans, training and support to transform communities and fight poverty in the United States. Since opening in January 2008, Grameen America has invested over $380 million in more than 64,000 low-income women entrepreneurs. Started in Jackson Heights, Queens, Grameen America has expanded across New York City and in Indianapolis, IN, Omaha, NE, Oakland, CA, Charlotte, NC, Los Angeles, CA, San Jose, CA, Austin, TX, Union City, NJ, San Juan, PR and Boston, MA. Learn more at www.grameenamerica.org.
About Grameen PrimaCare
Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus and Allison Schwartz in 2013, Grameen PrimaCare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing underserved women from low-income immigrant communities with a high-quality, affordable primary care and health promotion program, empowering them to lead healthier lives. Grameen PrimaCare's pilot program, VidaSana, launched in Jackson Heights in September 2014. By capitalizing on the successful Grameen model, and combining it with a comprehensive approach to health care, VidaSana provides its members with access to enhanced primary care and preventive health services, low-cost specialty care, social support through group activities and health education, and health system navigation. Learn more at www.grameenprimacare.org.
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SOURCE Grameen America