Mayor Adams Announces COVID Recovery Roundtable And Health Equity From Harlem To Hollis Task Force

February 18, 2022

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced his administration’s COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force.

A commission, unprecedented in its diversity, to advise the administration on long-term, comprehensive policies around health equity and health access.

The task force is made up of approximately 40 leaders from a wide variety of sectors, recognizing that to be effective, the task force must include a wide range of voices whose sectors, taken together, are instrumental in a speedy, effective recovery.

The task force is made up of approximately 40 leaders from a wide variety of sectors, recognizing that to be effective, the task force must include a wide range of voices whose sectors, taken together, are instrumental in a speedy, effective recovery.

The task force will also build a healthier, stronger, and more equitable city for all New Yorkers. The task force will meet monthly over the next year.

“We cannot build a just and prosperous recovery for all New Yorkers without bringing together and listening to experts and community leaders from across the city,” said Mayor Adams. “The COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force bring not only the best minds together to build a speedy recovery, but a lasting one. I’m grateful to the co-chairs and members for bringing their time and ideas to the city as we work towards this shared goal.”

“I’m thrilled to have leaders from every corner of New York City as part of our COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Taskforce,” said First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo. “Thank you to everyone who has joined this effort, I’m looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work developing long term policies to guide our city through a just and equitable recovery.”

“Assembling a group of leaders, advocates, and practitioners from 11 different fields, ranging from the disability community to the tech sector and the faith-based community will yield an inclusive conversation on how we can continue on the city’s path to an equitable recovery,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “We look forward to an engaged, sustained, and productive dialogue with the task force in service of building a stronger and more equitable city for all New Yorkers.”

The COVID-10 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Taskforce will be co-chaired by:

  • Dr. Ramon Tallaj, chairman of SOMOS Community Care, a nonprofit of about 3,000 doctors serving about 900,000 Medicaid-reliant patients citywide and an immigrant himself.
  • Dr. Wayne Riley, chair, Board of Trustees, New York Academy of Medicine and president, Downstate Health Sciences University. University Hospital was designated as a COVID-only hospital during the height of the pandemic and is among New York’s most impactful teaching hospitals and research facilities.
  • Pat Kane, executive director, New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). NYSNA represents over 42,000 frontline health care workers.
  • Melba Wilson, whose renowned eatery, Melba’s, is a Harlem institution and an icon of New York City’s beleaguered hospitality industry.

Eric Adams made a promise to bring preventive care to the streets and neighborhoods of New York City that need it the most – and with this announcement he has kept that promise,” said Dr. Ramon Tallaj, chairman, SOMOS Community Care. “The mayor has done this by uniting community doctors, leaders from major hospitals and caring New Yorkers from a diverse range of industries and organizations behind a lasting COVID-19 recovery, and a lasting conversation around health equity that represents and benefits all New Yorkers. We look forward to developing and announcing a recovery plan that builds back the social fabric of the city, especially for poor and working communities.”

“As frontline nurses we have seen the devastating effects of a lethal pandemic on communities across the city,” said Pat Kane, RN, executive director, New York State Nurses Association. “Uneven resources undercut the fundamentals of equity governing access to health resources in our city. Seeking long-term health equity is key to enhancing the public’s health. We greatly appreciate and thank Mayor Adams for the opportunity to join with diverse stakeholders in a COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force, a much-needed effort to protect the health of all New Yorkers.”

“I commend Mayor Adams for bringing together such an esteemed panel of leaders and experts to help guide his administration’s efforts to advance New York City’s COVID Recovery,” said Wayne J. Riley, M.D, president, Downstate Health Sciences University. “The public health, economic, arts and recreation, education, hospitality, tourism, and workforce prowess of the city is critically important to creating a thriving ‘new normal.’ The past two years have illuminated the shortcomings of our health care systems and public health infrastructure, particularly for our most vulnerable New Yorkers. We now have an opportunity to learn from our experiences, mistakes, and successes. I am humbled to serve and contribute to this innovative COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Taskforce, and am encouraged by the mayor’s deep commitment to getting this right.”

The restaurant industry is the beating heart of our city…

“The restaurant industry is the beating heart of our city,” said Melba Wilson, owner, Melba’s. “I am honored to be a co-chair of the Recovery Roundtable and remain optimistic that New York, the greatest city in the world, will rebound stronger than ever!”

Among members of the commission are:

  • Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director, Asian American Federation
  • Avi Greenstein, executive director, Boro Park Jewish Community Council
  • Lisa Sorin, president, Bronx Chamber of Commerce
  • Joseph Rappaport, executive Director, Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled Independent Living Center
  • Mary Anne Tighe, CEO, CBRE’s New York Tri-State Region
  • Vincent Alverez, president, Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Dr. Wafaa el-Sadr, university professor, Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health Epidemiology (In ICAP); director, ICAP, Columbia University
  • Dr. Rosa Gil, founder, president, CEO, Communilife
  • Mark Cannizaro, president, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators
  • Felix Matos Rodriguez, chancellor, CUNY
  • Henry Garrido, executive director, DC 37
  • Dr. Billy Jones, clinical professor, Department of Psychiatry, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
  • Jean Ryan, disabled advocate and activist, Disabled in Action
  • Eddie Cuesta, national executive director, Dominicanos USA
  • Karen Ignagni, CEO, Emblem Health
  • Rafael Espinal, executive director, Freelancers Union
  • Stephen Scherr, chief strategy officer, Goldman Sachs
  • William Floyd, head of external affairs, Google New York
  • Fred Cerullo, president, CEO, Grand Central Partnership
  • Michael Balboni, executive director, Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association
  • Rich Maroko, president, Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, AFL-CIO
  • Loreen Loonie, senior vice president, Independence Care System
  • Bruce Flanz, president, CEO, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
  • Orit Lender, CEO, Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island
  • Guillermo Chacon, president, Latino Commission on AIDS
  • Melba Wilson, owner, Melba’s Harlem
  • Jack Stephenson, president, Molina Healthcare
  • Dr. Donna Futterman, director and professor of pediatrics at Adolescent AIDS Program, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Rev. Dr. Valerie Oliver Durrah, founder and president, Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic
  • Andrew Rigie, executive director, New York City Hospitality Alliance
  • Murad Awawdeh, executive director, New York Immigration Coalition
  • Pat Kane, executive director, New York State Nurses Association
  • Arva Rice, president, CEO, New York Urban League
  • LaRay Brown, CEO, One Brooklyn Health System
  • Javier Castaño, publisher, Queens Latino
  • Ricot Dupuy, publisher, Radio de Soleil
  • James Whelan, president, REBNY
  • Fitzgerald Giddings Jr., publisher, Reset Talk Show
  • Dr. Tom Frieden, president, CEO; former DOHMH commissioner, CDC director, Resolve to Save Lives
  • Anna Pekerman, publisher, Rusa FM
  • George Gresham, president, SEIU 1199 United Healthcare Workers East
  • Dr. Ramon Tallaj, chairman, SOMOS
  • Michelle Sabatino, executive director, Staten Island Center for Independent Living
  • Dr. Wayne Riley, president, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group
  • Fred Wilson, partner, Union Square Ventures
  • Michael Mulgrew, president, United Federation of Teachers
  • Rev. Zidde Hamatheite, senior pastor, Wayside Baptiste Church
  • Sandeep Mithrani, CEO, WeWork
  • Christine C. Quinn, CEO, Win

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