July 23, 2020
Several months ago Governor Cuomo appointed Eric Schmidt former Chairman and CEO of Google Inc., and Novell, Inc. and current President of the Schmidt Family Foundation, to head a NYS Blue Ribbon Commission tasked with “reimagining” New York State in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Cuomo continues to push for the state to consider using the crisis to make changes and improvements to how it handles such issues as public health care, education and housing and the Commission has been charged with making independent recommendations to the Executive on these and related matters. Shortly after the Commission was announced Mr. Schmidt said he would focus on issues such as telehealth, remote learning and expanding broadband access.
Recently I was invited to speak to the members of the Commissions’ telehealth committee. Given our ongoing work with our partners at CHCANYS to compel state leaders to make permanent many of the telehealth flexibilities granted to primary care and behavioral healthcare providers during COVID-19, this seemed like an excellent opportunity for both organizations to weigh in with the members of the Commission to discuss what has happened in our sectors during the pandemic, to ensure the members understand what our sectors need in order to succeed in this evolving area of healthcare, and to elevate the issues of health equity and access to care as central themes as they make recommendations to the Governor. I’ll be meeting today at 4:30 with the members of the Commission. Joining me for today’s discussion will be Rebecca Wulf, Interim Chief Program Officer for The Jewish Board, Rose Duhan, CEO and President of CHCANYS, and Mary Zelazny, CEO, Finger Lakes Community Health. I am grateful to each of my colleagues for their willingness to join me for this important discussion!
We will keep you posted.