Progress is rarely a straight path forward, especially during a global pandemic. The roll-out in a record time of highly effective vaccines to protect against the worst effects of COVID-19 is progress worthy of celebration. However, as we continue the fight against COVID-19, the parallel pandemics of racism, mental illness, drug overdose, and food insecurity threaten our wellbeing and demand renewed attention.
Our nearly 20-year partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has never been more vital. As FPHNYC turns to 2022, we build on years of progress partnering with and serving the public to innovate and scale public health solutions designed to meet our most formidable public health challenges.
FPHNYC’s Board Chair and NYC Health Commissioner, Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, has repeatedly stressed that New York’s recovery from COVID-19 will only be possible if ALL New Yorkers have an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from our response to the pandemic. To this end, we are facilitating partnerships for the Health Department with dozens of community and faith-based organizations in all five boroughs to enhance vaccine confidence and access in historically underserved and marginalized neighborhoods.
While these efforts initially focus on increasing COVID-19 vaccinations, we will leverage this network of community organizations to address what Dr. Chokshi terms “slower-moving health disasters,” such as diabetes, mental illness, and the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases. The health of nearly 9 million New Yorkers is everyone’s business, and it is dependent on the strategic collaboration of the public and private sectors.
Thanks to our philanthropic partners, in our 2021 fiscal year FPHNYC secured funding for more than two dozen projects to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers. The work of public health cannot function without public trust and cooperation. We are grateful and proud to have yours as we meet the challenges of the moment and work to ensure a safe and healthier life is in every New Yorker’s future.