January 19, 2022

Announcement $1 million Award to City of Paterson Recipient of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge Competition

Event:              Paterson Mayor's Announcement Press Conference

Where:             Sheefa Pharmacy - 1040 Main St, Paterson, NJ 07503 (Street parking)

When:              January 20, 2022 12:00 PM

Participants (order of speaking tbd):  

  • Mayor André Sayegh
  • Edward Boze, Paterson Chief Innovation Officer
  • Maritza Davila, City Council President
  • Stanley H. Weiss, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health
  • Daniel M. Rosenblum, PhD, assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Rutgers School of Public Health, and Director of the Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition, a NJDOH regional chronic disease coalition

Contact:           Lisa Merriam 917 596 8011

NEWARK, NJ - The City of Paterson New Jersey has been named a recipient of the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Global Mayors Challenge award of $1 million dollars. The Global Challenge focuses on identifying and accelerating the most ambitious ideas developed by cities during the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project from the City of Paterson includes a focus on drug use issues and problems affecting the homeless. 

The City of Paterson competed against applications from mayors in 631 cities in 99 countries around the world. It is one of just three US cities selected to receive the award.  Paterson will use this award to implement the breakthrough ideas presented in their application.

Dr. Stanley H. Weiss, professor in the Department of Medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, has served as medical consultant to Mayor André Sayegh and Mr. Boze, and was involved in every aspect of the application. 

Paterson's application was the only one in the world that included strategies to deal with the intractable problem of drug use. They call their initiative RealFix, a safe, rapid way to reach opioid users who have the cravings and effects of opioid withdrawal, and which is available 24/7. Many addicts end up back in the trap of using and buying from street dealers when they cannot effectively deal with these issues. 

Dr. Weiss's involvement is part of a wider initiative to forge closer ties between the City of Paterson and Rutgers, and Dr. Weiss' support began early in the Covid-19 pandemic at the request of the city to Rutgers.

Dr. Weiss has been involved in examining the epidemiology of drug use issues in New Jersey, including Paterson, since 1984. He is the principal investigator of the largest long-running cohort study of drug users in the world and other endeavors. He serves on multiple committees that deal with drug abuse and public health matters.

Paterson now enters a three-year implementation period with this $1 million grant and robust technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropy consultants. During this time, the process will include real-life programs to improve residents' lives. The impact will be broader than just upon drug abuse and homeless issues.  As will all the 15 winning cities, they will also work to share their ideas to enable their tested innovations to spread.

About Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Founded in 1954, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the oldest school of medicine in the state.  Today it is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and graduates approximately 170 physicians a year. In addition to providing the MD degree, the school offers MD/PhD, MD/MPH and MD/MBA degrees through collaborations with other institutions of higher education. Dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community outreach, the medical school comprises 22 academic departments and works with several healthcare partners, including its principal teaching hospital, The University Hospital. Its faculty consists of numerous world-renowned scientists and many of the region's "top doctors." Home to the nation's oldest student-run clinic, New Jersey Medical School hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, including the Public Health Research Institute Center, the Global Tuberculosis Institute and the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit: