Achieving health equity requires a harnessing of talent, dedication, and understanding. The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the inequitable and disproportionate impact of COVID on marginalized neighborhoods, vulnerable populations and Black and Latinx New Yorkers. In response, the New York City Department of Health & Health Hygiene created the Provider and Community Engagement Unit (PACE) unit within our emergency response structure and eventually launched Public Health Corps to institutionalize this work.
We worked with providers, community health workers, community based organizations, and healthcare partners to successfully reduce vaccination rate inequities in the most impacted neighborhoods. This work continues now through the Public Health Corps. We are honored that the work of our health department was highlighted in the present issue of NEJM Catalyst: Embedding Health Equity in a Public Health Emergency Response: New York City’s Covid-19 Vaccination Experience | NEJM Catalyst. We hope that this publication will be useful as you reflect on the ways to institutionalize and operationalize equity within your organization during this era of COVID-19 recovery.