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Fostering Community-Driven Change During COVID-19 And Beyond - Health Leads USA; September 14, 2020

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

BARHII is proud to have contributed to an article published in the September 14, 2020 edition of Health Leads USA.

The article focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has deeply and rapidly changed our environment and tested the systems that hold up our health. It's based on a conversation with Melissa Jones, Executive Director of the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII), sharing how her community has mobilized to meet the challenges of our new reality head on. We talked through what it means to build effective collaboration structures, push forward policy changes, and address the inequities that have been made more apparent than ever.

Key quotes from the article include:

“COVID-19 has disproportionately harmed communities of color, particularly African-American, Latinx, and Pacific Islander communities who are more likely to be essential workers and who must go out to work on a daily basis, while others can shelter in place. One of BARHII’s key efforts during this pandemic is to keep focus on these disparities, and not let them be sidelined as health systems struggle to maintain services.”

“The Bay Area has a strong history of community organizers, policy experts, and public health leaders all working together. COVID-19 has sharpened focus on the importance of community resilience to public health, and we have a strong community-wide commitment to health that we haven’t seen before.”

“We need better analysis of contract tracing data immediately to pinpoint the industries most at risk, and to reduce the spread in the communities of color who are most impacted. Healthcare institutions like hospitals and public health clinics can put in place stronger racial data collection protocols to ensure that consistent, accurate data is gathered on everything from testing requests to patient outcomes. Providers also need to be reminded of potential biases that they may not be thinking about when screening patients for COVID-19, and take active steps to eliminate or minimize those biases.”

View the article BARHII contributed to here.


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