Columbia University and Partners Launch and Operate New York City’s First Pandemic Response Institute

Thanks to a groundbreaking new award from the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Columbia University – through its Mailman School of Public Health – and a consortium of academic, community, government and business partners will launch and operate the first response to the New York City pandemic. Institute (PRI). This award builds on Columbia’s strong involvement in the NYC COVID-19 response and gives it an important role in preparing New York City for future public health emergencies.

The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) joins Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health in this historic endeavor. Other contributors included United Way of New York City, Emergency Medicine All Threats (EMAT) Leadership Forum, EcoHealth Alliance, AMTrace, and dozens of other nonprofit, community, faith-based and corporate entities that have stepped up the response. of the city to COVID-19 and commit to the whole-of-society approach of PRI.

The effort will be led by the ICAP Global Health Center at Columbia University in partnership with the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health’s Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) and Columbia Prediction of Infectious Diseases (CPID), as well as Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Columbia Data Science Institute, Columbia Technology Ventures, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia Doctors Network and Columbia World Projects.

“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 the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio. “Born of New York’s rapid action during the early days of the pandemic, this institute will implement our hardest-learned lessons from this pandemic so that when the next public health crisis emerges, New York City will not be not just prepared, we will be prepared to wage these global battles. “

Columbia University with its key partner CUNY SPH has shown us an unparalleled high level of expertise. NYCEDC is confident that these esteemed institutions and their partners will put New York City and all New Yorkers first. Ensuring the safety of people and the openness of our economy means that we need an unprecedented, forward-looking public health response dedicated to tackling health disparities. NYCEDC is proud to help establish a pandemic response institute that will be innovative and essential to our public health infrastructure. “

NYCEDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb

“The vulnerability of society to pandemics is painfully evident,” said Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University. “Increasing the efficiency and sophistication of our prevention and intervention efforts is essential to safeguard our future. I am grateful to the New York City Economic Development Corporation for this award, to our partners for their collaboration, and to Dr. El-Sadr for her. leadership on behalf of this university.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has opened our eyes to the critical need for strong and dynamic multisectoral partnerships to effectively protect New Yorkers from emerging health threats,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, university professor of epidemiology and of Medicine at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia. , and director of ICAP and Columbia World Projects, which heads the PRI. “The Pandemic Response Institute will create an unprecedented link of commitment, expertise and resources across our city and beyond that will enable us to prepare, predict, prevent, detect, respond and recover from fair manner in the event of a health emergency. “

“The Pandemic Response Institute will leverage a century of expertise, experience and relationships from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health to fortify and protect our city and its people from current and future health threats,” said Linda P. Fried, Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health and DeLamar Professor of Public Health. “By working with New York City, we have the opportunity to build a healthy and resilient city.”

We are extremely pleased to partner with Columbia University in this vital effort. Our school’s core commitment to health equity and social justice, coupled with existing strengths in health communication, systems modeling and community outreach, will help shape and sustain this initiative to do advance a new vision for the health of all New Yorkers. “

Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean, CUNY SPH

“United Way of New York City is proud to collaborate with the Pandemic Response Institute and join in this important work,” said Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City. “The design and implementation of PRI equitably reflects the diversity and demographics of our communities. Our partnership will play a critical role in aligning the Institute’s interventions for the communities we serve, prioritizing cultural sensitivity and raising expectations to ensure a high degree of transparency and accountability. in its operations. “

The vision of the Pandemic Response Institute is one of sustained and cooperative action to alleviate future disease, suffering and death, and to reduce the stark disparities associated with threats to public health. The Institute will pursue this vision by working hand in hand with New Yorkers in communities across the five boroughs to develop and deploy locally appropriate health solutions, information and capacities to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from. future health crises. .

Grounded in an overarching conceptual framework, the PRI will address the full lifecycle of emergency preparedness and response by advancing a dynamic set of activities that increase resilience to the adverse consequences of public health emergencies. . Concretely, it will be:

  • Engage the participation of a broad cross-section of New York and New York institutions, forming a true whole-of-society effort that empowers local communities;
  • Strengthen systems and capacity to respond to known and unknown threats, including through community-led simulation exercises and strategic investments in the workforce;
  • Intervene on the social determinants of health to fight racial disparities, promote equity and improve access to essential care and services in the most affected communities;
  • Strengthen the forecasting of public health emergencies through analysis and monitoring;
  • Develop and scale up innovations and tailor-made health technologies;
  • Improve community-led data collection, predictive modeling, and improvements in data collection and sharing; and
  • Minimize response times by providing community organizations and the public with information and resources to take quick action.

Columbia is committed to ensuring that the Institute remains as active in the event of a non-response as it does in a major public health emergency. Between active threats, the PRI will prioritize prevention and preparedness, striving to consolidate learning across sectors and communities and pursuing new strategies and technologies to ensure all New Yorkers are prepared. to face the next health threat.

The PRI will be supported by $ 20 million in capital funding from the city for eligible costs and will be dedicated to preparing New York City for future health emergencies and epidemics in a more efficient and equitable manner, while positioning the city ​​as a world leader to serve as a model. for the public health response.

Initial operational funding for the Pandemic Response Institute was provided by Columbia University, which is providing $ 2.75 million over five years; CUNY SPH, Cepheid and Amazon, which are each providing $ 1 million over five years. Going forward, Columbia is committed to working with New York institutions and others to seek additional funding to ensure the success and sustainability of the Institute.


Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

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