After being caught off-guard by the COVID-19 outbreak last spring, New York is taking preemptive measures to ensure that they are prepared for the next public health crisis.
New York is launching the state’s Citizen Public Health Training Program - believed to be the first of its kind in the country - to train New Yorkers on how to best assist themselves, their families, and neighbors in the event of another event like the pandemic.
The program, which was designed and will be run by Cornell University, includes an eight-session, 16-hour curriculum that is completely free and can be completed online.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that “citizens have to be better prepared,” for the next public health event, citing multiple outbreaks over the past 20 years, including SARS, MERS, Zika, and Ebola.
“We have to be better educated and trained as citizens of the state,” he said. “It can’t be that we’re watching TV and glued to the TV to find out vital information and vital basics to protect ourselves. We should be prepared and have the information and education so that we can protect our health, our families' health, and our communities.
“This is a public health training program for citizens so they are informed, educated, and trained for the next one,” Cuomo added. “We need it for the end of COVID and for the next one, whatever that may be.”
The eight sessions are “self-paced” content and can be completed at New Yorker’s leisure. The curriculum will interactive featuring Cornell and SUNY professors, as well as health experts and national guests.
The eight-part curriculum includes:
- Preventing and addressing COVID-19;
- COVID-19 vaccines;
- Health Literacy: Factors Influencing Health;
- Health priorities and equity;
- Public health for community resilience;
- Public health improvement and community leadership;
- Public health preparedness: preparing for action;
- Health impacts from emergency events.
At the end of the curriculum, there will be an assessment, and participants who pass will earn a certificate from New York State to be a “Citizen Public Health Leader.”
Cuomo said that he believes New Yorkers will flock to sign up for the program after the experiences they went through during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe we will ultimately attract thousands of people to do this, because first - why wouldn’t you want to inform yourself after the Hell we just went through,” he added. “And they would then be all across the state and available as a possible volunteer army.”
Enrollment for the New York State Citizen Public Health Training Program starts on Friday, April 30.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.