The New York City Pandemic Response Institute (PRI)

PRI is a landmark initiative designed to help prepare NYC for future public health threats – from infectious diseases to climate-related health emergencies – by fortifying and diversifying the city’s public health infrastructure, improving health equity, and elevating NYC as a model of public health preparedness across the globe.


An Urgent Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic exacted a severe toll on NYC and the world through loss of life, illness, mental health impacts, social disruption, and economic harm. It also illuminated longstanding inequities that, if unaddressed, will hinder the city’s ability to meet future public health emergencies.

Through a groundbreaking award from New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Columbia University has joined with key partner the City University of New York (CUNY) and a consortium of academic, community, government, and corporate partners to launch PRI. 

In coordination with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM), PRI will work hand-in-hand with New Yorkers in communities across the five boroughs to develop and deploy locally tailored health solutions, information, and capacity to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from future health crises, regardless of their cause and scale.

Comprehensive, Community- Responsive

Designed to support New York City across the entire lifecycle of emergency preparedness and response, PRI advances a dynamic set of activities that increase resilience to the adverse consequences of public health emergencies, maximizing engagement and impact across the city, particularly in disenfranchised communities.

The PRI Central Headquarters will house PRI’s management team and citywide innovation, research, communications, industry engagement and equity initiatives. Moreover, because New York City is a city of neighborhoods, PRI will establish Borough Hubs in all five boroughs to offer locally tailored training and collaboration opportunities. 

These Hubs will also support operations during public health emergencies, as the need arises.

A Robust Multisector Partnership

PRI is led by ICAP, a global health center at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and PRI’s key partner, the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy. Multiple Columbia Centers are involved as well, such as the Center for Infection and Immunity and Columbia Prediction of Infectious Diseases, as well as the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Columbia Data Science Institute, Columbia Technology Ventures, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia Doctors Network, and Columbia World Projects.

PRI goes well beyond an academic initiative with partnerships including dozens of non-profit, community, faith-based, research and corporate entities that fortified the City’s response to COVID-19 and are committed to PRI’s whole-ofsociety approach. Examples of other collaborators thus far include the United Way of New York City, the Emergency Medicine All Threats (EMAT) Leadership Forum, and Treatment Action Group, along with industry partners like Amazon and Cepheid.

Together, this diverse array of contributors brings the necessary resources, expertise, commitment, and vision to the critical task of equipping New York City to prepare and respond to future public health emergencies, and to invest in a more robust infrastructure, resulting in greater health equity among New Yorkers.