A group of High-School students give back to the epicenter of the pandemic.
As one of the highest growing populations in NYC, Corona, Queens has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the highest infection rate in the city, the current hospital for the area, Elmhurst hospital is running at 125% capacity, 40% more than it would on a regular day. As a result of the continued exacerbation of the COVID-19 pandemic and healthcare inequity, thirty local students from the International Socioeconomics Laboratory, alongside real estate partners, acquired property in Corona, Queens. They will work with the local government, with a goal of building a healthcare facility on said property. The land owner, Niko Andreopoulos, has had the land in his family for generations, and he, with help from the Laboratory, is ready to use it in order to give back to the community.
“Having been born and raised in Queens, NY, I have grown up to see peoples’ struggles first hand. From a young age I was taught to never give up, and when told something is "Impossible" I learned to keep moving forward. It's because oftentimes it's the crazy ones who change the world. So here I am, proud to say that besides being a businessman, I am a proud citizen of NYC, the city that never sleeps. To keep that name though, our city has never been more in need for revitalization, new infrastructure, and most importantly services that will help us today and provide for a greater tomorrow.” - Niko Andreopoulos
The students want to make sure that the facility that will be built on this plot of land would benefit the community during, and after the pandemic. Which is why the Laboratory conducted a one-way ANOVA test to determine if the desirability for certain facilities were different amongst the participants of the survey who reside in Queens. Participants were asked to provide a desirability score for four different facilities: medical facility (n = 173), educational facility (n = 173), recreational facility (n = 173) and corporate facility (n = 173).
The ANOVA showed there was a desirability score significantly different between the different facilities, F(3, 688) = 12.458, p < .001. Desirability score increased from the medical facility (7.948 ± 2.561), to recreational facility (6.561 ± 2.694), to educational facility (6.491 ± 2.686) to corporate facility (5.208 ± 3.278) in that order. Tukey post hoc analysis revealed that the mean difference between several facilities was significantly different; from medical to corporate (p < .001), recreational to corporate (p < .001) and educational to corporate (p < .001).
From the results of the research, the Laboratory has been in contact with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Congressman Gregory Meeks, and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, thus providing the city with a great team working towards expanding health care to the citizens of Corona, Queens. In terms of working with members of the community, New Yorkers have the opportunity to sign the Laboratory’s petitions. These petitions already have over a thousand supporters and counting, allowing for the Laboratory to connect with more officials in the future, including Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Councilman Francisco Moya, and more.
Overall, with research from the International Socioeconomics Laboratory, students are now planning on taking this project to new heights by pushing to build hospitals in Brooklyn next through their property acquisition, as this student-led effort has the potential to serve hundreds of thousands of people. The results showed that city-wide healthcare expansion will uplift NYC economically and is highly desirable among residents.