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September 29, 2021

New York City Mayor, de Blasio, announces Columbia University will operate and oversee Pandemic Response Institute.

Pandemic Response Institute (PRI) allocated $20 Million in City Funding, tasked with Preparing Communities Ahead of the Next Pandemic.

Columbia University

City University of New York

NEW YORK, September 29, 2021 — Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced Pandemic Response Institute (PRI). Columbia University would launch and operate it. The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) will be a crucial partner.

A broad consortium of non-profit public health entities, community-based organizations, industries, and businesses will work with the Institute to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies.

The PRI (Pandemic Response Institute) will get up to $20 million in City capital funding for eligible costs. It would prepare New York City for future health emergencies and epidemics more effectively and equitably. In addition, it would position the city as a global leader to serve as a model for public health response.

“The Pandemic Response Institute, operated by Columbia University with key partner CUNY SPH, will play a critical role in preparing for future pandemics and promoting equity in public health,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Born out of New York’s quick action during the early days of the pandemic, this institute will put our hardest learned lessons to work so that when the next public health crisis emerges, New York City will not only be prepared; we will be ready to lead these global fights.”

“The Pandemic Response Institute will serve as our City’s anchor as we invest and ensure we have the tools we need to confront — and prevent — future public health emergencies,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “We are grateful to our partners at Columbia and CUNY SPH for putting forth an ambitious and comprehensive vision for such an urgent need for New York City.”

“The experience of confronting COVID-19 and recent natural disasters has proven that we must work together to prepare and respond to public health emergencies,” said First Deputy Health Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Dr. Torian Easterling. “These investments will prepare us to fight future health crises and ensure a just recovery and the opportunity to establish New York City as the public health capital of the world.”

“One of the lessons we’ve learned over the last 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of a robust public health emergency response system,” said Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani. “The partnership with Columbia University and the other institutions will make the Pandemic Response Institute a hub of innovation, information, and planning to prepare us for the next health crisis better. A dedicated institute to analyze and plan for future crises, along with resources and collaboration with City agencies, will help minimize the impact of future disasters and strengthen our public health responses.”

“Our commitment to building a recovery for all of us includes ensuring a robust public health response to any future emergency,” said the City’s Senior Advisor for Recovery, Lorraine Grillo. “We look forward to working with Columbia and CUNY to bolster our city’s infrastructure, so we are better prepared to swiftly and equitably address any threat to the well-being of our communities.”

“Columbia University with key partner CUNY SPH demonstrated to us a high level of expertise that was unmatched,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “NYCEDC has every confidence these esteemed institutions and their partners will put New York City and all New Yorkers first. Keeping people safe and our economy open means we need an unprecedented public health response that is forward-looking and dedicated to addressing health disparities. NYCEDC is proud to help establish a Pandemic Response Institute that will be innovative and critical to our public health infrastructure.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has opened our eyes to the critical need for strong and vibrant multi-sector partnerships to protect New Yorkers from emergent health threats effectively,” said Wafaa El-Sadr. El-Sadr is Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and Director of ICAP and Columbia World Projects. He is leading the PRI. “The Pandemic Response Institute will create an unprecedented nexus for engagement, expertise, and resources from across our city,” he added.

“We are enormously excited to partner with Columbia University in this vital effort,” said Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean of CUNY SPH. “Our school’s primary commitment to health equity and social justice, coupled with existing strengths in health communication, systems modeling, and community outreach, will help to shape and support this initiative to advance a new vision for the health of all New Yorkers.”

NYCEDC (New York City Economic Development Corporation), DOHMH (The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene), and New York City Emergency Management reviewed and selected Columbia to launch this Institute with a critical partnership with CUNY SPH and other collaborators, following a Request for Proposals (RFP) in April. Through its Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University put forth an ambitious and compelling vision for the PRI.

The PRI will specifically focus on:

Dr. Claire Pomeroy, President and CEO of the Lasker Foundation, remarked, “Thanks to the Pandemic Response Institute, we are better positioned to build a healthier, more resilient, and more just New York City — and serve as a model for the world.”

Source: The City of New York, Office of the Mayor

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 10:42 PM | Link to this Post

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