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GHC letter to newly appointed OASAS commissioner Dr. Cunningham

Greater Harlem Coalition has delivered a letter to Dr. Cunningham , the newly appointed Commissioner of OASAS to present to her the excessiveness of harm reduction programs in Harlem as indicated by OASAS’ data and to explore ways to address this inequity and racial injustice.

Notably, in the appendix of the letter, readers will find a summary of relevant data analysis performed over the last 3 years. To help raise awareness of this issue, we encourage you to send the letter to politicians, media and academic researchers. GHC stands by to speak to anyone who can help push back on this issue of systemic racism. 

For background, Dr. Chinazo Cunningham is the rising star of the New York harm reduction field with excellent research credentials. In May 2021, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has appointed Dr. Chinazo O. Cunningham to serve as the Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She successfully established two supervised injection sites in East Harlem and Washington Heights without consulting the local communities with funding from the city and the state. And, she altered the original plan to set up these sites in Park Slope and Midtown in NYC, which unlike Harlem, do not suffer from the excessive burden of harm reduction programs. After her successful creation of the sites, on November 9th, she is then swiftly promoted by the New York State Governor Kathy Hocul as the Commissioner of OASAS (Office of Addiction Services and Support).

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