Media Release: October 4, 2021

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Black Health Leader C. Virginia Fields Lauds Appointment of Dr. Mary Bassett as State Health Commissioner

"Gov. Hochul and Dr. Bassett have expressed a commitment to tackling the health disparities in our state, and we applaud that commitment and anxiously anticipate working with them in combatting it,” said Fields. “The ravages of the COVID pandemic exacerbated those divisions which have existed for far too long. Dr. Bassett is an excellent choice based on her knowledge, skills and demonstrated commitment to an equitable approach to public health in New York City and the rest of the state.”

C. Virginia Fields, Founder and CEO of Black Health

Ms. Fields applauds commitment by Gov. Hochul and Dr. Bassett to tackle health disparities and vows to work with them towards healthier lives and saved tax dollars.

Virginia Fields, the president of Black Health, today lauded Governor Hochul’s appointment of Dr. Mary Bassett as New York State’s new Health Commissioner, saying she looks forward to renewing the productive relationship she had with Dr. Bassett when she served as New York City Health Commissioner.

“Gov. Hochul and Dr. Bassett have expressed a commitment to tackling the health disparities in our state, and we applaud that commitment and anxiously anticipate working with them in combatting it,” said Fields.  “The ravages of the COVID pandemic exacerbated those divisions which have existed for far too long. Dr. Bassett is an excellent choice based on her knowledge, skills and demonstrated commitment to an equitable approach to public health in New York City and the rest of the state.”

Black Health, a national organization founded and headed by Fields, has worked across New York State and throughout the United States during the COVID pandemic first on test and trace programs, and more recently tackling vaccine hesitancy. The group is part of citywide coalitions working to bridge the disparities that see communities of color suffer disproportionately from COVID exposure, as well as longtime disparities in chronic diseases including diabetes, hypertension, asthma and HIV/AIDS.

“We know the programs and paths that can bridge those disparities leading to better health for vulnerable residents, and tax dollar savings for the state’s Medicaid program,” Fields said. “Dr. Bassett has the opportunity to tackle those disparities aggressively and effectively. We stand ready to move this bold agenda forward with her.”

Black Health is a nonprofit organization that depends on donations and grants to work with communities to fight to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, addressing Hepatitis C while expanding to include cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, sickle cell, diabetes, and mental health. More recently, Black Health has been at the forefront combatting the COVID epidemic through community-based outreach on test and trace programs, and combatting vaccine hesitancy.

Media Contact:

Bob Liff, George Arzt Communications, Inc.
c: 917-287-7089
e-mail: bob@gacnyc.com

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