Pfizer Booster is Now Available for Children Ages 5-11

The Health Department announced that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for children ages 5 to 11 is widely available in New York City. Health Department vaccination sites, pharmacies, community health centers, hospitals, and City-run clinics will be providing no-cost COVID-19 vaccines. Visit or call 877-VAX4NYC to find a location. You can read the full announcement here.

New York City is now on High Alert, as COVID-19 is increasing. In addition to staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, New Yorkers should:

  • Wear a face mask in all public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings. Upgrade to higher-quality masks, including KN95, KF94, N95, or a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask. Higher-quality masks will most benefit people who are at high risk of severe illness, are over 65 or are unvaccinated.
  • Consider avoiding higher-risk activities. Do not go to crowded, indoor gatherings. Limit any type of gathering to a small number of people.
  • Get tested. Testing is especially important if you have COVID-19 symptoms or were recently in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. You should also get tested before and after traveling or getting together with others
  • Stay home if sick or recently exposed. Follow all isolation and quarantine guidance, including wearing a face mask. COVID-19 is highly contagious. You can spread COVID-19 even if you do not have symptoms.
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer.

Safely Dispose of Your Unused Medication


Dispose of your unneeded prescription medication, no questions asked! Saturday, April 30th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. You can take part by properly disposing of your unneeded, unused, or expired prescription medication. Thanks to the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, you can find a drop-off location near you:


[Press Release] Staten Island Performing Provider System & Partners Get NYSDOL Approval for New Apprenticeship Programs



These new approvals are a part of a greater effort from Staten Island Performing Provider System to fill workforce gaps on Staten Island.


Staten Island, NY, APRIL, 2022 – Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) has received approval from the New York State Department of Labor for three apprenticeship programs; Community Health Worker (CHW), Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). This is the first time that these apprenticeships have been granted approval in the state of New York. These new apprenticeships are a part of a greater effort from SI PPS to fill workforce gaps on Staten Island and will streamline the process from training to employment.


The apprenticeships are a mix of classroom and on the job learning. Students who have taken the CHW, CRPA, or CNA classes can continue their education with hands-on learning experience. SI PPS has been collaborating with Brian Licata, Membership Relations Manager at Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, to expand the reach of the apprenticeship program by connecting with programs within the New York City Department of Education to introduce healthcare career paths to youth on Staten Island.


Mr. Licata added, “The SI PPS has been instrumental in helping the SI Chamber navigate the labor market material and training programs that are needed to meet the demands of the local industry.”


SI PPS has been expanding their workforce efforts since 2015. Results from a 2015 partner survey indicated unmet training and job development needs. From these results, SI PPS began to develop and offer continuing education certificate programs in conjunction with institutes of higher education. These programs include CHW, CRPA, CNA, and Home Health Aide (HHA). Some of these courses also offer a college credit component. The trainings are free for the students and open to any Staten Island resident who is eligible. As of 2021, SI PPS and participating partners have trained 95 CHWs and CRPAs, 25 CNAs and 10 HHAs. The Home Health Aide program was featured in an article published in October 2021: Since then, the graduates from the Home Health Aide program obtained their Home Health Aide Certificate approved by New York State and have begun employment at SafeHarbor Healthcare Services on Staten Island.


“The workplace learning programs support participants’ entry and advancement in health care jobs, offer existing staff the ability to learn new skills and earn college credits toward a degree, and help incumbent staff adapt to new job demands,” said Joseph Conte, PhD, executive director of SI PPS. “From the organization’s perspective, these programs build hiring pipelines for recruitment needs, promote collaboration, allow for a platform to continually review, assess and modify skills training to keep the programs meaningful, and enhance collaboration among organized labor, employers and higher education to build community relationships to ensure there is staff to fill current and new job needs.”


“It’s easy to overlook what tremendous value SI PPS has brought to the community, from being able to fund critical programs and help people to being able to put people to work,” added Brahim Ardolic, MD, executive director at SIUH. “It’s one thing to do this in an environment where there’s a massive amount of federal funding, but it’s another to be able to maintain and continue this vision. We are going to see thousands of lives change in Staten Island over the next few years.”


About Staten Island Performing Provider System


In 2014, Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) formed an integrated network of medical, behavioral, and social services agencies under the New York State Department of Health Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP). Our founding goals included improving the quality of care, reducing costs and improving health outcomes for Staten Island’s Medicaid and uninsured populations. By the end of the DSRIP Program, we exceeded our goals and maintained our network to continue enhancing and refining the transformative work built in the Staten Island Community.


Today, we continue to work with our partners to improve population health outcomes, address social determinants of health, grow our network and reduce health disparities. We are dedicated to improving health equity by holding conversations with our community, creating educational and workforce opportunities for youth, and bridging connections with non-traditional service providers to meet people where they are in the community. Learn more at



You Can Get More Free COVID Tests Sent to Your Home



Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 2 sets of 4 free at-⁠home tests. If you already ordered your first set, you can order a second today.

How to get free COVID-19 tests

You only need to provide the Postal Service with a few bits of information to get your free test kits. You won’t be asked to provide any credit or debit card details, as both the tests and shipping are free. Here’s how to get your free test kits.

1. Visit You can also get there via

2. Enter your contact details and shipping information.

3. Click Check Out Now.

4. Verify that your information is correct and select Place My Order.

Get FREE Fruits and Vegetables in your Neighborhood!


Staten Island University Hospital is partnering neighborhood corner stores and community leaders around Staten Island to set up fresh fruit and vegetable kiosks from which customers can help themselves to free, healthy produce that otherwise would be less accessible. You can access the kiosks at the addresses below:


Green Apple Deli
Open 24 hours
191 Broad Street
Staten Island 10304
(718) 313-9919


The Curtis Deli
7 days a weeks, 7:00 am-9:00 pm
10 Daniel Low Terrace
Staten Island 10301
(718) 807-4654


Columbia Meat Market
Monday-Saturday, 8:00 am-6:00 pm
437 Jersey Street
Staten Island 10301
(718) 447-1744



[Press Release] Staten Island Performing Provider System and Partners Announce $4 Million Investment From The Secure Future Project and Northwell Health to Combat The Opioid Crisis

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Announce Plans to Explore the Adoption of this Innovative Program in Their Jurisdictions

Staten Island, NY, NOVEMBER [10], 2021 – In the face of an unprecedented 50% increase in overdose deaths across the United States, the Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) and partners announced a game-changing $4 million investment to combat the opioid crisis, funded both by Northwell Health and by a $3 million grant from the Secure Future Project and its founders.


The grant—provided by The Secure Future Project and its founders, Fabienne and Doug Silverman and Jennifer and David Millstone—will launch “Hotspotting the Opioid Crisis,” a data-driven program designed to provide high-risk individuals with peer-centered, recovery-focused care. This program will be implemented by SI PPS alongside local treatment providers and the Office of the Richmond County District Attorney, with the goal of providing care before, not after, an opioid overdose.


In collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management, SI PPS has developed a predictive algorithm to focus the initiative’s efforts on community members who are most at risk of suffering from an overdose. Many of these individuals have been inadequately engaged in care, have left treatment programs, or have been impacted by system-wide issues such as a lack of access to in-person services. The “Hotspotting the Opioid Crisis” program will deploy fully-funded teams whose sole focus will be on preventing opioid harm by engaging and coordinating these high-risk individuals in their recovery journey, thereby improving outcomes and delivering value to the health system.


County Executives Pat Ryan of Ulster County and Steve Bellone of Suffolk County also announced that they will actively explore the adoption of the “Hotspotting the Opioid Crisis” model in their respective counties. ushering in an exciting new state-wide paradigm for combating the Opioid Crisis in New York.


Former New York Congressman and The Secure Future Project Senior Advisor, Max Rose notes, “Next year, more people will likely die from the Opioid crisis than COVID. This is a crisis of the gravest proportions which demands not more of the same, but an innovative, bold, and data-based strategy. The Secure Future Project is honored to be supporting this hotspotting pilot not only because it will save lives on Staten Island, but also because it will set the framework for a new statewide and nationwide model to combat this horrific epidemic. In short, because of this amazing investment and partnership, lives will be saved and healthcare provision will be transformed.”


“For more than two decades, the opioid crisis has ravaged New York, taking thousands of lives and tearing apart countless families,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “By intervening before it’s too late, SI PPS will serve as a vital resource for the people of Staten Island and will help stop high-risk individuals from falling through the cracks. I am confident that the $4 million investment being announced today by The Secure Future Project and Northwell Health will work hand-in-hand with the hundreds of millions of dollars my office has already secured for New York City to tackle this epidemic. Just as I have worked tirelessly to end the devastation from opioid addiction, SI PPS is doing incredible work to combat the opioid crisis and protect New Yorkers.”


“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on our region, causing heartbreak for far too many families,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “As we work to end this pandemic once and for all, I have already spoken with Northwell Health about the possibility of bringing this innovative, data-driven initiative to Suffolk. I believe this approach can make a real difference, and I’m recommending the program architects present before our Opioid Task Force for consideration in Suffolk County.”


“We know that the pressures created by COVID-19 have led to an increase in opioid overdoses and fatalities in Ulster County and around the nation,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “In light of this, we must double down on our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. In Ulster County we are expanding our High Risk Mitigation team and using our recently received opioid settlement funds to combat this crisis. I am confident that these initiatives along with programs like the Hotspotting the Opioid Crisis model⁠, will help to save lives.”


“This is an exciting and unique collaboration with SI PPS that could result in a significant amount of learning—not just about what works, but also about how and why it works and how it can be adapted and scaled to other groups,” said Dr. Anne Quaadgras, director of MIT Sloan’s Initiative for Health Systems Innovation (HSI).


“The majority of the tools available in our criminal justice system are reactive, yet for anyone battling a substance use disorder, particularly as fentanyl has become even more prevalent, failing to be proactive is too often the difference between life and death. That is why this initiative is so important, because identifying those at risk and deploying resources, including peer recovery coaches, to work alongside them and connect them to services before they suffer an overdose, will undoubtedly save lives, keep families whole, and make Staten Island a healthier and safer place,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “As always, we are incredibly proud to be working in partnership with the Staten Island Performing Provider System, Staten Island treatment providers, former-Congressman Max Rose, and the founders of The Secure Future Project, who all have shown tremendous leadership on this important issue.”


“The opioid crisis cannot be addressed alone. It takes allies,” said Brahim Ardolic, Executive Director of the Staten Island University Hospital. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic has burned in the background, and all of the data suggests that it will keep burning as we come out of the pandemic. We need to use that data to our advantage.”


Dr. Ardolic pointed to how predictive modeling like MIT’s algorithm has been successful in positioning ambulances in the community for better emergency response time after each call. Joseph Conte, Executive Director of the Staten Island PPS, said, “With this generous funding, our goal is to design and implement an evidence-making program that will contribute to attacking the substance use disorder problem on Staten Island and beyond.”


For more information, contact:
Lauren Tepfer
(917) 830-1149

2022 Behavioral Health Planning Symposium Recap

On Wednesday, November 3rd from 12:00-4:00pm in the Persimmon Room at the Hilton Garden Inn, Staten Island PPS hosted the 2022 Behavioral Health Planning Symposium. It was an in-person, behavioral health planning session in which current trends and challenges were discussed as we develop 2022 programming and initiatives.

Our Executive Director, Joseph Conte, provided the opening remarks. Robert Kent, Esq., General Counsel, Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy gave the keynote presentation followed by Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, who provided the Current State Address on overdoses on Staten Island. We held an open comment session for providers, peers and participants to provide public comments. We closed the day with an interactive panel discussion with managed care payers and behavioral health providers who discussed innovative payment models. Thank you to our sponsors, Ready Computing and Ontrack, our speakers and attendees for making this even possible!

Staten Island PPS Health Equity Internship: Community Health Worker Aide Program

The Staten Island PPS Health Equity Internship is one of many possible “first rungs” in a career ladder program, created to offer a paid opportunity for youth from underserved communities to gain on-the-job health care experience. The program trains individuals as Community Health Worker aides, or CHW aides, and places them in field-based community partner sites. When intern successfully complete the program, they are eligible for a scholarship to a federally recognized Community Health Worker Certificate offered by the College of Staten Island and funded by the Staten Island PPS.  This will be an ongoing opportunity for Staten Island youth of all backgrounds.


Staten Island PPS worked with a group of community partners including charter schools, youth workforce agencies, youth coalitions, and the Northwell Health Community Health team to develop the program and assist with recruiting youth from underserved communities.


Interns range in age from 17-25 and have varied levels of work and volunteer experience and have either graduated high school, gotten their equivalency or are still in high school and looking for some exposure to the health care field and work environment.  Interns identified many and varied reasons for being interested in the program. Some identified this desire was heightened by COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy and others wanted to leverage volunteer experience directly working on pandemic response efforts.  One intern identified that he witnessed the unequal treatment of disabled people, the uninsured, BIPOC people and LGBTQIA+ community members that led him to apply for the internship. Some included their own experiences of poverty, disability, a sincere desire to help others, and being inspired by family members with multiple medical conditions.


One intern said, “For someone like me with barriers, born in Brooklyn and growing up in poverty, an internship such as this can make a real difference in my life. I will gain valuable experience, meet people working in the field, and get exposure to the healthcare work environment. It will help me to understand the steps needed to achieve my desired goal and further pursue a career in healthcare.” Another stated, “Discovering this opportunity was like being struck by lightning. I felt a charge immediately and felt drawn to the promise of helping others. Being a part of my community and giving back is something I am passionate about. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself and really make a difference for those who need it.”


CHW Aide interns had to complete and pass a 4-hour virtual course which included the subjects on definitions of a Community Health Worker and their roles in the community; social determinants of health; skills, responsibilities and boundaries of CHWs; HIPAA definitions and regulations, information on the COVID-19 virus, vaccine, how it works, and protocols to stop transmission.


Interns are placed at different partner sites on Staten Island with various roles and learning experiences. Staten Island PPS has initially partnered with Central Family Life Center, Community Health Action of Staten Island, and Staten Island University Hospital Community Health Team. Central Family Life Center is a not for profit run by the First Central Baptist Church since 1979, led currently by Reverend Dr. Demetrius Carolina.  The Central Family Life Center has a 10,000-foot square facility that is the only minority led community center of its kind on Staten Island.  It houses many critical social service programs for the borough’s diverse residents. CHW Aide Interns will be introduced to the different programs that the Central Family Life Center houses and have the opportunity to see how the organization plans, organizes, and executes community events.  Interns will assist the social media team in creating flyers for programs such as Test & Trace and for different events held.


Community Health Action of Staten Island emerged from the AIDS crisis in the 1990’s by delivering a model of care that resulted in dramatic improvement in the health of their clients.  They help the community with a range of services including domestic violence interventions, harm reduction services, and operating a food pantry in Port Richmond.  They also provide HIV and viral hepatitis screenings as well as on going care and disease management for the HIV/AIDS population.  They also provide assistance with insurance enrollment, help with SNAP benefits and mobile health screenings.  Interns working on this rotation will be assisting CHASI with all of their programs as well as helping with food distribution and mobile markets.


The mission of the Community Health team at Staten Island University Hospital is to promote the health and wellness of all Staten Island Residents. The team is deployed throughout Staten Island providing grassroots support by building trust, identifying needs, and establishing partnerships with local community-based organizations and residents. They address social determinants of health including income, housing, education/employment, legal status, and personal/family safety. The team holds local community events, encourages community conversation and provides education about COVID-19 and the vaccine. They provide COVID-19 vaccinations at pop up locations throughout Staten Island.


Paid internships can often lead to full time work and other opportunities to which youth might otherwise not be exposed or have access. The health care field continues to grow and this opportunity will provide opportunities for higher education, income and the opportunity to stay, work, and live on Staten Island.  Staten Island PPS and its partners aim to provide Staten Island youth exposure to a variety of jobs in the healthcare field and to help them identify pathways to future careers as health care workers.


For more information about Staten Island PPS and the Health Equity Internship program, visit or contact Mindy Mannarino at or 917-830-1143.