The Brave of Heart Fund announces intention to allocate funds in support of healthcare community and their families. 

New York Life | May 5, 2022

NEW YORK — The Brave of Heart Fund, launched in April 2020 through the foundations of New York Life and Cigna, and administered by charitable partner, E4E Relief, will be allocating its remaining funds to charities and projects serving the healthcare community and their families.

The Fund was established to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of frontline healthcare workers, volunteers and support staff whose lost their lives in the fight against COVID-19. Applications for direct relief grants were accepted from May 2020 through year end, 2021. In that period, The Fund distributed more than 1,300 charitable grant awards totaling over $31 million and impacting more than 900 families of healthcare workers across 43 states, and Washington, D.C.

“The emotional impact of the pandemic will be felt for years to come, especially for those who lost a partner, caregiver or parent in healthcare to COVID-19, so we felt it was incredibly important to use the bulk of the remaining funds to continue our support for this special population that we have grown to know so well,” said Heather Nesle, president of the New York Life Foundation. “We worked with E4E Relief to identify additional areas for support because we recognize that healthcare workers may have lasting trauma and need resources themselves and that working to diversify the healthcare workforce will result in better health outcomes for all people.”

The remaining funds raised will continue to honor the hard work and sacrifice of healthcare workers and their families through an allocation to charities and projects in four areas:

  • “Brave of Heart Scholarship” – Educational scholarships at vocational, undergraduate, and graduate levels for deceased healthcare workers’ spouses, domestic partners and children
  • Grief and bereavement support for families
  • Emotional well-being support for healthcare workers
  • Diversification of the healthcare workforce pipeline

E4E Relief will be responsible for administering the remaining funds, which have been or will be allocated to the following:

Supporting the Brave of Heart Scholarship

Approximately $20 million will be allocated to create the Brave of Heart Scholarship through Scholarship America. Scholarships are available to spouses, domestic partners and the children of healthcare workers who lost their lives in the fight against COVID-19. Individuals can receive up to $25,000 in scholarship funding annually, depending on an eligible applicant's academic focus, student status and other criteria.

The scholarship application for Spring 2023 students will open in mid-August. Brave of Heart application cycles are scheduled to open in April and August of each year.

To receive notifications about future scholarship application cycles, you can click here. If you are an applicant who would like to discover more scholarship opportunities you might qualify for, please continue to the Scholarship America Hub and sign up!

Supporting Grief, Bereavement and Emotion Well-Being Programs for Healthcare Workers:

Initiated in 2021 to provide additional support for healthcare workers and their families, the Fund recently allocated nearly $6 million in total grants to organizations that provide grief and bereavement support and emotional well-being programs. Grants range from 1-3 years in duration and from $250,000 to $500,000. The organizations that have received grants include:

Grief and Bereavement Support for Families Grants:

Comfort Zone Camp

Dougy Center


National Alliance for Children’s Grief

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles)

TAG Center (Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute)

Tuesday’s Children

Emotional well-being for Healthcare Workers Grants:

Center for Workplace Mental Health (American Psychiatric Association Foundation)

Dr. Laura Breen Heroes’ Foundation

Mental Health America

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare (Massachusetts General Hospital)

Vibrant Emotional Health (Mental Health Association of New York City)

Diversifying the Healthcare Workforce Pipeline:

The Fund will award grants to organizations working to increase the diversity in the healthcare workforce pipeline this summer. Total awards in this area will be announced at that time.

Brave of Heart Fund earns Golden Halo Award

On May 18, the Brave of Heart Fund received a Gold Halo Award from Engage for Good (EFG). The Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor for corporate social impact initiatives that showcase outstanding consumer engagement or employee engagement efforts, according to EFG. We received the award in the category of Covid-19 Initiative.

About New York Life

New York Life Insurance Company (, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States1 and one of the largest life insurers in the world. Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life has the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any U.S. life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies2.

1 Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/1/2021. For methodology, please see

2 Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 9/30/2021: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).

About E4E Relief

For 20 years, E4E Relief has been the leading provider of charitable employee relief programs, rapidly responding to employee disaster and hardships on behalf of corporations. As an independent third-party public charity, we empower global companies and employees to provide, and receive, meaningful financial relief when it’s needed most.  In the past 5 years, E4E Relief has received more than $330 million in donations and awarded more than $210 million in charitable grants, supporting relief efforts for over 5 million people worldwide.

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Media contact

Lacey Siegel
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937

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