PRI Innovation Forum: Designing the Future of Public Health Preparedness in NYC


Start Date and Time: Mon, Apr 8, 2024, 8:30 am ET

End Date and Time: Mon, Apr 8, 2024, 6:00 pm ET


The Forum at Columbia University, 605 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027

The NYC Pandemic Response Institute (PRI), in partnership with Columbia Engineering, invites you to attend the inaugural PRI Innovation Forum: Designing the Future of Public Health Preparedness in NYC. The event will be held at The Forum at Columbia University on Monday, April 8th from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, and includes breakfast, lunch, and a cocktail reception. 

COVID-19 has revealed critical problems in public health preparedness and response that can be addressed through innovative combinations of engineering and public health. The power of new approaches in artificial intelligence and machine learning could also be successfully applied to tackle many of these problems.

The PRI Innovation Forum is a day-long convening that invites researchers in engineering and public health, industry innovators and social entrepreneurs, government officials, and community representatives to spur partnerships and develop innovative solutions to address key problems in public health preparedness and community resilience. Throughout the day attendees will engage with community, government, industry leaders, and researchers about the key issues and needs facing public health preparedness and opportunities for innovations to address these gaps.

Registration is now closed – if you missed the deadline and still want to attend, please email us.

Please note that this event is closed to the press. Please do not forward this invitation to others. If you are unable to attend or would like someone else to attend on behalf of your organization, please email us. We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please let us know if you need any special accommodations when registering.

Breakout Tracks

Attendees will work collaboratively to examine or develop project concepts. These concepts will be eligible for submission to PRI’s forthcoming Request For Proposals (RFP). The RFP will provide seed funding for select research projects across four tracks:

  1. Diagnostic Solutions which address access gaps and advance point of care, laboratory, or other testing efforts
  1. Community Engagement & Communications Solutions which enhance the ability to reach and mobilize the public
  1. Data Sharing, Analytics, Modeling, & Forecasting Solutions which increase the prediction and shared understanding of public health emergencies
  1. Access to Care and Social Service Solutions that improve the ability to fill critical needs during public health emergencies

Projects that focus on meeting hyperlocal needs and utilizing technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are strongly encouraged. When you register, please choose a track that you’re interested in exploring. All tracks will include a focus on racial equity and the social determinants of health.

Featured Speakers

Sandra Albrecht, PhD, MPH
Columbia University, Those Nerdy Girls

Devin Balkind
Sarapis, Mutual Aid NYC

Emily Black
Barnard College

Ayman El-Mohandes, MBBCh, MD, MPH, FAAP
NYC Pandemic Response Institute (CUNY SPH)

Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA
NYC Pandemic Response Institute (ICAP at Columbia University)

Alex Foard, MPA
New York City Office of Technology & Innovation

Dawn Heisey-Grove, PhD
Amazon Web Services

Terry Huang, MPH, PhD
Firefly Innovations (CUNY SPH)

Garud N. Iyengar, PhD
Columbia Engineering

Beth Maldin Morgenthau, MPH
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Sideya Sherman, MS
Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice

Samuel Sia, PhD
NYC Pandemic Response Institute (Columbia Engineering)

David Stark, MD
Morgan Stanley

Jeanette Stingone, PhD
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Mitch Stripling, MPA
NYC Pandemic Response Institute

Daniel Voloch, PhD
Girls Who Code

Harry West, PhD
Columbia Engineering

Event Venue

The event activities will take place at the The Forum at Columbia University located at 605 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027.


Subject to Change.

8:30AMRegistration & Breakfast
9:00AMWelcome and Opening Remarks
Wafaa El-Sadr & Samuel Sia
9:20AMPanel: What are the biggest problems in the public health emergency space which technology could potentially address?
Moderated by Ayman El-Mohandes. Panelists: Sandra Albrecht, Devin Balkind, Beth Maldin, David Stark
10:05AMPanel: How can AI and machine learning help public health preparedness and response?
Moderated by Garud Iyengar. Panelists: Emily Black, Alex Foard, Dawn Heisey-Grove, Jeanette Stingone
10:50AMTransition to Breakouts
11:10AMBreakout Sessions
12:40PMLunch & Pitch Sharpening
1:40PMInnovation Refinery Part 1 – Pitches
Moderated by Terry Huang.
2:25PMInnovation Refinery Part 2 – Refiners Panel
Moderator by Wafaa El-Sadr. Panelists: Joshua Lee, Sideya Sherman, Harry West, Daniel Voloch
3:10PMBreak and Solar Eclipse Viewing
3:30PMInnovation Refinery Part 3 – Audience Q&A and Plenary
4:15PMClosing Remarks & Next Steps
Samuel Sia & Mitch Stripling
4:30PMReception and Networking Session
6:00PMEvent Ends