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Queens congressman awards $2.5 million to York College in Jamaica

york college
Photo courtesy of York College

York College in Jamaica will receive $2 million for health disparity study and equipment for its nursing and other healthcare programs and $527,000 for a workforce Step-Up Program, Congressman Gregory Meeks announced. 

The funding is made possible by Meeks, who announced that he secured $15 million for his district in partnership with Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. 

Based in the epicenter of the COVID crisis and serving as a testing and vaccination site at different phases of the pandemic, York has been an essential player in the fight against COVID. 

Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes, president of York College, said she is thankful for the support the college is receiving under her leadership and looks forward to working with the community in this mutually supportive way. 

“I thank Congressman Meeks and the U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their support in this process and look forward to further collaborations to empower York and Southeast Queens,” Eanes said. “York College is honored to have had its request for these funds granted. In my three years as president of this outstanding institution of higher learning, I have noted the needs not only of the college, but of the larger community as well. These funds will help level the playing field for those who need marketable skills training in the health and business fields. York will offer the training to help lift families into economic stability and strengthen the community.” 

Meeks, who has often said “York College is the brain trust of the [5th] Congressional District,” expressed his excitement in a statement on the overall funding for his district.

“I am proud to have secured funding that will make our community healthier, safer, strong, and even more resilient,” Meeks said. “This bill includes meaningful investments throughout Queens and Nassau County that will provide our community leaders with the resources they need to rebuild following COVID-19’s disruption.” 

In York’s application, Dr. Maureen Becker, dean of the York College School of Health Sciences and Professional Programs, highlighted how the Health Disparities Initiative will support multi-level research projects with state of the art equipment to examine the causes of differential health outcomes and test possible ways to address them. 

Meanwhile, Dr. George White, interim dean of the School of Arts and Sciences focused on the Step-Up Program funding and the skills training that will be available to the external community.

“The federal funding secured by Congressman Meeks provides York College with the tangible means to intervene in a real-world crisis,” White said. “The Health Disparities project is just another example of the College’s commitment to improving the lives of our neighbors as well as our students!”

York College, a senior institution of The City University of New York (CUNY), offers baccalaureate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, accounting and business, journalism, communications technology, computer science, social work, teacher education, various health professions including nursing and Clinical Laboratory Science. There is also an aviation management program; and MS degrees in Pharmaceutical Science, Occupational Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies; as well as the Master in Social Work (MSW). Founded in 1966, the college boasts over 30,000 alumni succeeding in their professional endeavors.

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