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(c) 2022 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

NYC Prepares for the Next Pandemic

Planning ahead is critical to avoiding uncontrollable infectious diseases. Looking forward, employers and insurance carriers should expand their health prevention programs and join efforts like those New York City has announced to prepare for the next pandemic. Inventing prevention is a necessity.


Mayor de Blasio announced the creation of the Pandemic Response Institute (PRI), a facility dedicated to preparing New York City and other jurisdictions for future health emergencies and epidemics. PRI will strengthen New York City’s health infrastructure, build on the success of the Pandemic Response Lab and recent experiences in epidemic response, and position the City as a global leader in research, innovation, and pandemic response.


This effort is part of the Administration’s long-term recovery agenda, which seeks to accelerate the City’s economic recovery by building on the network of premier hospital systems, world-leading medical universities, and growing life sciences and tech sectors to make New York City the public health capital of the world.


Pandemic Response Institute (PRI)

“The Pandemic Response Institute will establish New York City as a global leader in public health training, research, and management,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “No city in the county has sacrificed more or worked harder to keep COVID-19 at bay. It’s time to put those lessons to work – and move forward with bold ideas to keep New Yorkers healthy and jump-start our economic recovery.”


The City has identified an initial space at the Alexandria Center for Life Science to house the Pandemic Response Institute as it starts up and will aim to select an operator by mid-2021, with the goal of opening PRI by the end of 2021.


Goals of the PRI

PRI will advance research, training, and innovation on outbreak detection, investigation, and management. Specifically, it will focus on the following areas:

  • Building new technologies and systems that detect, track, and monitor health issues, particularly those that signal vulnerabilities to disease outbreaks.
  • Advancing research on cutting-edge diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as the latest science on outbreak modeling.
  • Training public health, business, and community leaders in all aspects of pandemic prevention and management, and the roles that they each can play in future health emergencies.
  • Piloting new community-based partnership models that build local-level health infrastructure, improve emergency preparedness, and advance health outcomes across all communities.

Given the critical importance of laboratory diagnosis to tracking COVID-19 and safely re-opening the city, the near-term home of PRI will be near the Pandemic Response Lab. This investment will strengthen the city’s health infrastructure and allow for important collaboration as PRI advances research and new innovations related to outbreak detection, investigation, and management.


The City will also convene a meeting in early 2021 to gather insights and expertise from public health and community leaders to inform PRI’s design and priority activities.


"Investing in public health is critical, both to ensure that the City is as well prepared as possible for the next health emergency and to help spur the City’s economic recovery," said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. "The Pandemic Response Institute builds on our existing health expertise, deep and diverse talent pool, and premier academic, research and innovation institutions to position New York City at the forefront of emergency response and preparedness, while also pioneering models to improve community health and health equity and fostering good-paying jobs in the life-sciences industry.”


"Public health is an investment, not a cost,” said Senior Advisor Dr. Jay Varma. “It’s an investment in our physical safety, our economic prosperity, and injustice, ensuring that health and opportunity are available to all. The Pandemic Response Institute will strengthen the City's resilience and help position it as the public health capital of the world.”


“The lessons we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic – and other health emergencies – must inform future responses,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “New York City can harness its expertise to serve the nation with this center for training and research.”


“The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated just how essential it is for New York City to invest in public health programs and develop effective strategies to confront future pandemics,” said U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney. “The Pandemic Response Institute (PRI) will position our city as the global leader in pandemic preparedness and research. I am excited to work with PRI as this investment in our people and in our future benefits New York City for years to come.”


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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation

Twitter: jongelman

LinkedIn: JonGelman

LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group

Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" West-Thomson-Reuters