On December 21, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of New York's Vaccine Equity Task Force chaired by Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Attorney General Letitia James, National Urban League President & CEO Marc Morial, and Healthfirst President & CEO Pat Wang.
The NYS COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Task Force is a dynamic group of community, policy and health experts who will assist the Governor in reducing barriers to vaccination and ensuring an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Task Force is made up of persons with expertise in addressing health equity for the purpose of reducing disparities among communities of color related to COVID-19 vaccination promotion, distribution, engagement and administration.
The Fireside Chat was developed to engage the community to highlight the work of the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Taskforce.
Fireside Chats Archive
Session 1: Building Trust
Featuring: Dr. Oni Blackstock, Health Justice; Dr. Althea Maybank, Inaugural Chief Heath Equity Officer, American Medical Association; Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Session 2: Staying Informed: Addressing Community Concerns about the COVID-19 Vaccine
Featuring: Bobby Watts, CEO, National Health Care for the Homeless Council; Jason Starr, Director of Litigation, Human Rights Campaign
Session 3: Making Informed Decisions: Exploring the Historical Context and Science Behind the COVID-19 Vaccine
Featuring: Dr. Wayne Riley, President of SUNY Downstate Medical Center; Dr. Raul Vazquez, Founder of Urban Family Practice & CEO at GBUACO
Session 4: COVID-19 Vaccines: Taking a Closer Look
Featuring: Dr. Alda Osinaga, NYS Dept. of Health, Office of Quality and Patient Safety; Dr. Elizabeth Rausch-Phung, NYS Dept. of Health, Bureau of Immunization; Dr. Charles Gonzalez, Medical Director, NYS Dept. of Health, AIDS Institute
Session 5: Overcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Skepticism: The Role of Faith Communities
Featuring: Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church; Imam Abdul-Raham Yaki, Senior Imam at the Islamic Center of the Capital District; Dr. Salvador Savino, Senior Pastor, Heavenly Vision Christian Center