Governor Andrew Cuomo has accepted the final recommendations of the blue-ribbon Reimagine New York Commission across its three focus areas: connectivity, telehealth and work.
The report, “Action Plan for a Reimagined New York,” highlights 21 actionable initiatives that are already underway through innovative public-private partnerships as well as major legislation that Governor Cuomo included in his 2021 executive budget, including the first-in-the-nation guarantee of affordable internet for low-income families and legislation to expand and improve access to telehealth.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how essential telehealth is to delivering effective, accessible healthcare for all New Yorkers,” said Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis, a member of the Commission’s Telehealth Working Group. “We must invest in infrastructure to train and equip medical and behavioral health providers with the resources they need to confidently use this important tool in care delivery. As the Commission found through conversations with providers across the state, we can only unlock the full benefits of telehealth if we support those entrusted with delivering it — and the open-access Telehealth Training Portal is a vital component of that support.”
“As we continue to reopen New York State and re-imagine New York in our new normal, we are taking advantage of this moment to implement what we’ve learned and build our State back better than ever before,” Governor Cuomo said. “The recommendations set forth by the blue-ribbon Reimagine New York Commission vastly improves our current situation and better prepares us for the future with outside-the-box thinking and creative solutions that will enrich New Yorkers for years to come.”
“This Commission was tasked with leveraging technology to build back a better and more equitable New York, and I’m confident the recommendations in our Action Plan — especially those that are already being implemented — meet that test,” said Commission chair, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt. “Our most important recommendation is this: for New York to lead the nation in both prosperity and equity, universal connectivity is a prerequisite. Affordable broadband is essential to advance education, secure the economic success of residents and businesses, provide healthcare, and enable all New Yorkers to thrive.”
The Reimagine New York Commission’s final report recommends initiatives already underway to build back a better and more resilient New York. In partnership with the State, philanthropy, non-profit organizations, and businesses have launched a Pathways Pledge to promote equitable hiring with 17 of New York’s largest employers, developed a telehealth facilitator pilot to improve access to telehealth among vulnerable populations, and supported the creation of the Entrepreneurship Navigator to mentor budding entrepreneurs, among other actions to help New Yorkers. Just last week, the Governor announced the launch of ConnectED NY, a program supported by Schmidt Futures and the Ford Foundation, to address the growing inequities among students facing a lack of internet access in low-income communities. It will help connect approximately 50,000 K-12 students across the state.