Elisabeth Ryden Benjamin

Elisabeth Ryden Benjamin

Vice President of Health Initiatives

Joined CSS: 2008

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Departments & Programs

Health Initiatives


Elisabeth Benjamin is the Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society, where she supervises health policy, health advocacy, and consumer health assistance programs, including: the CSS Navigator Network (CNN), Community Health Advocates (CHA), and the Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP). The programs help over 60,000 health care consumers and small businesses enroll in health insurance or access low-cost health care through a toll-free helpline and network of community-based organizations and small business-serving groups.  She is a co-founder of Health Care for All New York Campaign (HCFANY), a statewide coalition of over 150 organizations devoted to securing affordable, quality health care for all New Yorkers.  She has published extensively and has been a frequent commentator about health policy issues. 

She has received a number of honors, including: the 2012 Progressive Leadership Award (Citizen Action of New York), the 2011 State Consumer Health Advocate Award (Families USA), the 2009 Special Merit Award (Public Health Association of NYC), and the “Health Care Hero” label in New York’s Westsider community newspaper. Ms. Benjamin also worked overseas in various community health and humanitarian projects in India, Iraq, the Philippines, Morocco, and Tunisia. 

Ms. Benjamin received a Master of Science degree in Health Policy and Management from Harvard School of Public Health in 1988 and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1992.  She clerked for the Honorable Robert Sweet, a federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.  In 2003-2004, she was a Visiting Scholar in Bioethics in a program jointly run by Montefiore Medical Center, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and New York University.

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