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Columbia University and CUNY SPH to establish first NYC Pandemic Response Institute

In an unprecedented effort to ensure that New York City is prepared to meet future health emergencies like Covid-19, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced Sept. 29 that Columbia University and its Mailman School of Public Health, with the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) as a key partner, will launch and operate the New York City Pandemic Response Institute (PRI).

Joining Columbia and CUNY SPH in this effort is a broad consortium of non-profit public health entities, community-based organizations, industries and businesses, and a network of emergency health services delivery systems across New York City who will work with the Institute and with city agencies to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies. A major focus of the PRI will be to address the current gaps in healthcare that disproportionately affect underserved communities in New York City.

“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 from this pandemic 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.”

“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.” 

“When the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact the lives of New Yorkers, CUNY did not hesitate to find new and innovative ways to support our city and our students when they needed it most,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “It is only fitting then, that CUNY SPH would be a key player in the development of the New York City Pandemic Response Institute, working with Columbia University and a large network of organizations, businesses and health agencies to enhance its efficacy as an agent of preparedness for the next public health emergency.”