Centers & Institutes

Centers & Institutes

CUNY SPH conducts research and implementation through its centers and institutes, many of which are affiliated with institutions both within and outside of the CUNY network.

CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health
Center for Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health
Healthy CUNY
Center for Innovation in Mental Health
Center for Systems and Community Design
NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center (PRC)

CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute

The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute provides evidence to inform urban and municipal food policy, making equitable access to healthy, affordable food a priority; promoting intersectoral perspectives that link nutrition, health, and sustainable community and workforce development; and engaging CUNY faculty and students in food policy research and action.

To achieve its mission, the Institute:

  • Develops, improves, and evaluates policies and programs that support nutrition and health equity;
  • Promotes economic growth and social justice through a food sector that supports good jobs, health, and sustainable urban environments;
  • Convenes and supports CUNY faculty and students with interests in food policy, food studies and food justice;
  • Improves food security and nutritional well-being for CUNY students and staff;
  • Advances fair and effective urban food policies for New York, the nation and globally in partnership with public officials, community organizations, and academics.

Institute Director:
Nick Freudenberg

Research Director:
Nevin Cohen.

SPH affiliated faculty:
Chris Palmedo
Emma Tsui

Affiliated faculty from other CUNY colleges:
Felix Cardona, Hostos Community College
Hector Cordero-Guzman, Baruch College, Graduate Center
Alyshia Galvez, Lehman College
Janet Poppendieck, Hunter College

CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health

The central mission of the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) is to translate research into sustainable, cost-effective population-level interventions, strategies, initiatives, and policies with the potential to improve health and reduce health disparities at scale around the world. We do this by understanding biological mechanisms, subtypes and major drivers of disease, identifying program/service/policy implementation gaps driving suboptimal health outcomes at the population level, and by designing and conducting rigorous experimental and observational studies of the impact of strategies aimed at improving population health outcomes. We rigorously assess the effectiveness of these strategies when implemented at scale. Given that many forces shape population health, including those outside the health sector (e.g., political, economic, sociologic, environmental, demographic), we seek and generate knowledge, collaboration and expertise to achieve our mission of improved population health through better implementation.

Executive Director:
Denis Nash, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology

SPH affiliated investigators:
Abigail Baim-Lance
Ludwig Geistlinger
Renee Goodwin
Christian Grov
Daliah Heller
Heidi Jones
Ashish Joshi
Elizabeth Kelvin
Alexis Pozen
Jim Sherry
Levi Waldron
Drew Westmoreland
Hongbin Zhang

Affiliated investigators from other CUNY colleges:
Sarit Golub, Hunter
Nancy Sohler, Sophie Davis School of Medicine

Center for Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health

The vision of the Center for Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health (CIRGH) is to serve as a hub for implementation science and innovation development in the field of immigrant, refugee, and global health. The mission of the Center is to advance scholarship, practice and understanding of the transnational policies, programs, institutions and ethos that influence global health.

The Center is partnering with leading public health research institutions around the world to develop new synergies and opportunities for faculty, students, expert collaborators and community stakeholders required to: develop new strategies for advancing health equity and outcome; foster study specializations in immigrant, refugee and global health; assemble an implementation science-based practice group; secure and execute sponsored research; and advance an active policy dialogue, including a transatlantic roundtable and an invited lecture series.

CIRGH is committed to addressing complex transnational public health issues affecting urban cities and beyond with an emphasis on closing the health disparity gap in underserved communities. To successfully address these challenges, the field requires innovative ways of framing transnational health issues, new tools with which to measure magnitudes and impacts, and new strategies to address them at community, national and international levels.

Healthy CUNY

Healthy CUNY is a university-wide initiative that seeks to ensure that all CUNY students can reach their full health and academic potential.  By reducing health-related barriers to educational achievement, Healthy CUNY works with partners inside and outside of CUNY to promote health; enhance existing policies, programs and services; and foster a culture of health within CUNY.

Healthy CUNY sponsors health communications campaigns; advocates for policies and  programs that promote the well-being of the CUNY community; prepares CUNY students to become Health Ambassadors who bring information and resources to campuses, peers, families and communities; and conducts research and evaluation studies to provide evidence that can contribute to improving the health of young adults at CUNY and other urban universities.

SPH affiliated faculty:
Nicholas Freudenberg
Spring Cooper
Meredith Manze
Chris Palmedo
Victoria Ngo

Center for Innovation in Mental Health

The Center for Innovation in Mental Health (CIMH) at CUNY SPH, funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH), is designed to serve as the academic arm of and support the DOHMH’s Mental Health Innovation Lab on all aspects of mental health quality improvement, technical assistance, evaluation, best practices dissemination, and data development, analysis, and management. CIMH coordinates between the Lab and other researchers, investigators, and academic institutions.

The center builds on a wealth of scholarly expertise in the university, including:

Center Director:
Victoria Ngo, PhD, Deputy Director

SPH Affiliated Faculty:
Abigail Baim-Lance, PhD

Current projects include:

  • Continue to expand the ThriveNYC Investigators’ Hub to match investigators from CUNY and beyond to conduct evaluations and research for ThriveNYC initiatives.
  • Manuscripts on workforce initiatives
  • For maternal depression quality improvement collaborative, implement maternal depression monthly coaching with sites and complete manuscript on maternal depression implementation and evaluation.
  • Provide Collaborative Care Implementation and Technical Assistance
  • Host annual Workforce Summit and the NYCDOHMH workforce initiative
  • Host training programs on DOHMH QI Boot Camp and the second annual interdisciplinary mental health workforce academy.
  • For behavioral health information technology collaborative, host learning collaborative and assist clinics in implementing new health IT or improving health IT to conduct process improvement activities.
  • Provide training in suicide prevention, offering providers practical and evidence-based tools for working directly with suicidal patients. This learning experience includes a mix of lectures, discussions, and roleplay.

CUNY Center for Systems and Community Design

The Center for Systems and Community Design seeks to serve as a hub of research excellence and innovation in health promotion and disease prevention through systems and community design. The mission of the Center is to develop and test innovative strategies for effective, sustainable systems and community change to transform health. In order to achieve this, the Center aims to understand the important interdepencencies, structures, and goals inherent in complex organizational and community systems underlying health and, is founded on the principle that a solution-oriented complex systems approach is necessary for achieving lasting, transformative health and for improving health equity within New York City and beyond.

As such, there are four overarching functional objectives that the Center seeks to achieve:

  • Research: Foster and conduct collaborative and trans-disciplinary research through the lens of systems science and design thinking, leverage theories and methods from diverse disciplines.
  • Educational: Train the next generation of systems thinkers and practitioners in public health through engagement in the Center’s work.
  • Convening: Serve as a think-tank and forum of multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral dialogue and solution generation for urgent and complex public health issues.
  • Practice: Provide expert consultancy to communities and organizations in diverse sectors on strategies for creating and evaluating systems change.

Center Director:
Terry Huang

SPH affiliated faculty:
Nevin Cohen
Sergio Costa
Karen Flórez
Sean Haley
Glen Johnson
Sheng Li
Chris Palmedo
Melissa Fuster Rivera
Diana Romero
Nasim Sabounchi
Marie Sillice
Emma Tsui
Kasia Wyka

NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center (PRC)

A core mission of CUNY SPH is to shape policy and practice in public health for all, and promote and sustain healthier populations in New York City and around the world. In direct alignment with that mission, the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center (NYU-CUNY PRC) was established in 2014 to implement, evaluate, and disseminate community-clinical linkage interventions to reduce cardiovascular disease disparities in ethnically diverse communities in NYC. The center emphasizes collaborative research with multi-sector stakeholders and translation of research findings into sustainable and scalable policies and programs.

The NYU-CUNY PRC draws on faculty expertise in applied public health practice and research, including implementing provider-based and community-based health interventions, as well as monitoring and evaluation of large public health initiatives and policies. A new strength of the partnership is substantive and research expertise in cardiovascular risk in Latino populations, and the promotion of physical activity through applied, community-engaged interventions.

The NYU-CUNY PRC also leverages CUNY’s longstanding tradition of serving and educating New York City’s racially/ethnically diverse and low-income populations. Across 5 graduate centers, 11 senior colleges and 7 community colleges, CUNY trains nearly 270,000 degree-seeking students each year. There is a sizeable Asian American and Latino student body in the master’s and doctoral programs, most of whom are committed to working in NYC, and who will serve as important resources to support PRC activities, while benefiting from PRC internships and related training opportunities.

For more information, please visit the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center website or contact Terry Huang (CUNY Principal Investigator).