Mayor Adams launches CUNY partnership with NYC Pandemic Response Institute



Rachel Dalloo

New York City Mayor Eric Adams officially launched the New York City Pandemic Response Institute, an initiative between Columbia University and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, on May 10.

“We can’t wait for the next COVID-19 to arrive to look for downstream responses — we have urgent public health crises in our city, and we need to proactively face them with upstream solutions,” Adams said. “The Pandemic Response Institute will bring together city agencies, experts across various fields, and nonprofit and for-profit partners to tackle some of the biggest, most intractable public health challenges for New Yorkers. I look forward to working with the PRI to help grow our public health toolbox with the strategic upstream solutions we need to tackle these crises.”

The Bill De Blasio Administration announced that CUNY was selected as a key partner for the Institute last year, as reported by The Ticker.

The initiative aims to prepare New Yorkers to tackle the next public health emergency following the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the New York City government website, the PRI will be addressing health concerns across NYC through “maximizing engagement,” especially in underserved communities in each of the five boroughs.

“CUNY SPH’s expertise in urban public health and commitment to addressing health disparities — and the critical role that the school and CUNY as a whole have played in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic — make us well-positioned to advance PRI’s community-centered approach and goals,” CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez said. “We look forward to working with Columbia and PRI’s many partner organizations to put health equity at the center of our city’s response to emerging health threats.”

The program has also collaborated with nonprofit, community, faith-based, research and corporate entities like Amazon and Cepheid.

“Preparing for the next generation of public health emergencies demands strengthening core and non-emergent public health infrastructure, including our frontline community health workforce, surveillance and interoperable data systems, strategic communication functions, and public health policy development — all with an eye toward addressing structural inequities in our recovery and ensuring strong relationships and partnership with communities,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said.