UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett visited the City of Utica on November 30th. She noted the importance of places like the center which provide vital resources to refugees looking to resettle in Utica

“This center where we are now has been a beacon of hope for people who have been for reasons outside of their control forced to leave their homes their livelihoods the place that they loved and lived and find a new home here in Utica,” said Dr. Bassett.

Dr. Bassett also discussed the issue of health equity, which is a problem The Center is working to address.

“All of us don’t know our chances for a long healthy life these vary from individual to individual but when the chances for a long and healthy life vary by geography vary by race-ethnicity, by national origin, by immigration; avoidable and unjust differences and that’s the pursuit of health and these unequal opportunities have been intensified by the covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Bassett.

Executive Director of The Center, Shelly Callahan explains that The Center has established a Health Equity Task Force to help reduce these unequal opportunities.

“When there is health news, vaccination clinics, when you need things in other languages we can all work together to make sure that our communities are served,” said Shelley Calhan, Executive Director of The Center.

Shelley hopes that showing the commissioner the work that The Center is doing will lead to ways to partner with the state and future funding.