The New York Academy of Medicine Launches Initiative to Build Health Systems Resilience

Leaders convene February 26 at Designing Health Systems Resilience in New York to begin building systems that are better prepared for increasingly impactful climate-related events.

New York, NY, Feb. 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), an innovator in public health for more than 176 years, launches its first initiative in a multiyear plan to help build more resilient health systems in the era of climate change.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare and public health systems have confronted unprecedented and co-occurring challenges. Like the rest of the nation, New York’s workforce lost health workers to burnout, with communities at risk of new threats. Canadian wildfires in June 2023 spread pollutants that doubled New York City’s asthma-related emergency room visits. Record flooding in late September impacted NYC’s public and hospital systems. 

“Our systems are reeling from workforce shortages, financial stresses, and a climate crisis impact that will only increase,” said NYAM President Dr. Ann Kurth. “The time is now to reimagine health and reorient healthcare to better support systems, workers, and communities. Working together to build more resilient systems that can recover from disasters and prepare us for new stressors will be key in creating a healthier and more equitable future for all. We firmly believe New Yorkers can lead the way,” she added.

Designing Health Systems Resilience, a full-day event at NYAM on Monday, February 26, will feature outstanding health industry leaders, including Jonathan B. Perlin, President and CEO of The Joint Commission, Vivian Lee, of Harvard Business School, and Jodi Sherman, Chair, Lancet Commission on Healthcare Sustainability, alongside other prominent national and New York health-industry leaders, including Ashwin Vasan, Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Rohit T. “Rit” Aggarwala, New York City’s Chief Climate Officer and Commissioner, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and Peggy Shepard, Co-founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Discussion topics will include system adaptation, empowering next-generation change-makers, community advocacy, and resilience data and tracking. 

NYAM’s Designing Health Systems Resilience program will begin to establish a community of practice among health executives, public health officials, payers, and policy-makers as a first step toward building a “Roadmap to Resilience,” providing recommendations for programming and partnerships to support healthcare and public health system resilience across New York. Recommendations will be published as a special section in NYAM’s Journal of Urban Health.

Designing Health Systems Resilience is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors, including the Commonwealth Fund, Mount Sinai Health System, Netflix, and Northwell Health, and our media partner City & State New York.

Future phases of NYAM’s work with public health and health systems will explore support of resilience strategies and assessment for impact, sustainability, and potential for broader replication.  

To learn more about Designing Health Systems Resilience and to register, visit

About The New York Academy of Medicine

The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) is a leading voice for innovation in public health. Throughout its 176-year history, NYAM has uniquely championed bold changes to the systems that perpetuate health inequities and keep all communities from achieving good health. Today, this work includes innovative research, programs, and policy initiatives that distinctively value community input for maximum impact. Combined with NYAM’s trusted programming and historic Library, and with the support of nearly 2,000 esteemed Fellows and Members, NYAM’s impact as a health leader continues. To learn more, visit and follow @NYAMNYC on social media.


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