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Launch of free citizen public health training program to educate and empower New Yorkers as public health leaders

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Fri, Mar 26th 2021 12:40 pm

√ In partnership with Cornell University, free online training in public health preparedness for New Yorkers to build a network of public health leaders across state

√ Program first announced as part of Cuomo's 2021 State of the State address

√ Learn more about becoming a NYS citizen public health leader here

√ Video preview of NYS citizen public health training program course material is available here

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the launch of a free, online citizen public health training course for New Yorkers to learn about preparedness for and prevention of public health emergencies from top public health experts. This course, delivered by the New York State Department of Health in partnership with Cornell University and supported by the State University of New York, will prepare and equip New Yorkers to become NYS citizen public health leaders and build an informed network of community health leaders across the state.

Participants will learn about COVID-19, public health emergency preparedness and response, and other public health issues, while gaining insight into information and resources that will benefit their communities. More information on the citizen public health training program, including how to register to become a NYS citizen public health leader, is available here.

"When our state was ambushed by COVID-19, New Yorkers rose to the occasion, supported each other and worked together to stop the spread," Cuomo said. "Following the facts and the science has played a critical role in keeping the infection and hospitalization rates down across the state. Moving forward, it is critical that we are equipped with the tools and knowledge we need to protect ourselves, our families and our communities not just against COVID, but also against other public health emergencies that may arise in the future. The innovative citizen public health training program will empower New Yorkers to become public health leaders in the fight to defeat COVID once and for all and help us build a more resilient New York for the future."

This training, developed by Cornell University's master of public health program and delivered through eCornell, is a four-part online training program to equip New Yorkers with expertise and tools to help build and support community-led initiatives surrounding prevention, detection and response in the event of public health emergencies. Upon completion of the training, participants will be designated a "NYS citizen public health leader" and will be informed about how they can volunteer in support of their local public health operations – especially during emergencies – as well as how to find, use and share verified information about public health matters from reliable sources.

A press release stated, “This program was first announced as part of the governor's 2021 State of the State proposal. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, New Yorkers were asked to do their part to fight a virus in ways they had never done before. Everyone was given a crash course in virology, learning to properly wash their hands, sanitize their homes and businesses, and safely care for their family and neighbors. Thousands of New Yorkers signed up and were trained to be contract tracers, helping to track and mitigate the spread of the virus. When other states needed help, these New Yorkers heeded the call and brought their new public health skills to the rest of the country. This new training will help New Yorkers gain the tools to protect themselves, their families and others against future health emergencies.”

NYSDOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "We are calling on New Yorkers in every neighborhood and community in the state to become trained citizen public health leaders to help their community prepare for and respond to public health issues and build the knowledge to mobilize against the current crisis and beyond."

Cornell University President Martha Pollack, Ph.D., said, "Cornell University is proud to partner with New York state to deliver this public health training to educate individuals across the state to inform and support their families and their respective communities. We thank Gov. Cuomo for his partnership in launching this training program, which we know will have a meaningful impact on the lives of New Yorkers across the state."

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, "At every turn of this COVID crisis, everyday New Yorkers have stepped up to play a pivotal role in slowing the spread of coronavirus and keeping their communities safe. And while there's light at the end of the tunnel, this pandemic is not over. Continued education, vigilance and leadership will be crucial in the months to come. SUNY is proud to partner with Cornell University, and to lend the expertise of our public health experts so more citizens can become public health leaders armed with the knowledge to tamp down this virus – and any others that follow."

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