Last week, the NYC Health + Hospitals Test & Trace Corps announced that it has engaged over one million close contacts of cases of Covid-19 via its contact tracing program. Through communication with those who have contracted or been exposed to Covid-19, the program has helped ensure that New Yorkers effectively isolate and quarantine to stop the spread of the virus.
In June 2020, CUNY SPH partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations to help train resource navigators and supervisors to connect those infected or exposed to Covid-19 with free critical economic, social, and physical health resources and programs including food delivery, help accessing health insurance, links to a primary care provider and mental health support, help with domestic violence, connections to social services and housing resources, and a Take Care package with enough personal protective equipment for a household to quarantine.
A CUNY SPH team led by Ashish Joshi, Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, along with 70 resource navigators and supervisors, reached out to nearly 69,000 New York City households and connected nearly 66 percent of them to different community resources. Many CUNY SPH students and alumni also engaged as resource navigators and supervisors in this important project.
CUNY SPH faculty and administrators including Dr. Joshi, Sean Haley, Elizabeth Kelvin, Lynn Roberts, Victoria Ngo, and Stacey Plichta, developed and implemented training modules for the navigators and supervisors. The modules include Data and Digital Literacy, Supportive Supervision, Self-care, Management Basics, Stress Management, and Equity and Culturally Responsive Communication for Supervisors of Frontline Workers.
Since July 2021, CUNY SPH is engaged in an Aftercare Program for New Yorkers with Extended Symptoms from Covid-19 with more than 15,000 referrals completed.
“CUNY SPH, with our team of nearly 70 navigators, has connected those impacted with Covid-19 with a range of critical resources including physical and mental health resources, services to combat financial and housing difficulties and food insecurity,” said Dr. Joshi. “These resources have significantly helped reduce the negative impacts of Covid-19 on New Yorkers and their families, particularly among marginalized and minority communities. CUNY SPH is committed to work in partnership with New York City on such a critical project supporting the health and future of New Yorkers.”