Primary Care Development Corp. Urges N.Y. Governor to Make Primary Care a Central Focus of Her Health Care Commitment

Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), a New York-based, national nonprofit organization and PCC Executive Member that aims to increase access to primary care and achieve health equity through strategic community investment, capacity building, and policy initiatives, was very pleased to hear N.Y. Gov. Hochul begin her State of the State address on Jan. 5 by clearly recognizing that “[t]he health of every New Yorker depends on a strong, stable, and equitable health care system, and health care workers are its very foundation.” PCDC wholeheartedly agrees and, as COVID-19 continues to surge into 2022, believes that New York State must move swiftly to strengthen and invest in primary care and the primary care workforce in order to achieve health equity and protect its communities throughout the pandemic era and beyond. PCDC applauds the governor’s commitment to investing $10 billion for health care, including for capital infrastructure and to grow the health care workforce by 20 percent over the next five years. PCDC urges all New York leaders to specifically center primary care in this historic investment.  

“Primary care saves lives, leads to better individual and community health, and is unequivocally central to health equity — yet we continue to undervalue and underfund it, which hurts marginalized communities most,” said PCDC CEO Louise Cohen. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored and exacerbated existing health disparities. Communities of color and low-income, rural, and other historically disinvested communities had less access to primary care before the pandemic and have experienced both more COVID infections and greater COVID-related mortality and morbidity throughout the pandemic.  

There is an urgent need to re-orient New York’s healthcare system toward primary care, the only part of the health system that has been proven to lengthen lives and reduce inequities at the population level while also reducing costs over the long run. PCDC looks forward to working with New York leaders to move toward a primary care-centered health system, investing in the care that will address long-standing health disparities, improve the health status of underserved communities across New York State, make New York’s health system more effective during this pandemic, and help keep all New Yorkers protected in any future public health crisis. 

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