When the COVID-19 pandemic finally ends, there will be careful reflection and lessons learned for public health officials (and communicators!). But one important thing to take away needs our attention right now: COVID is affecting people of color at a disproportionate rate.
Addressing this issue will require a change at the systems level, which is why we were thrilled to learn about the new COVID-19 Biden-Harris Health Equity Working Group. Established by President Biden Executive order to ensure an equitable response and pandemic recovery, the working group will make recommendations to help address health inequalities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. i prevent these inequalities in the future.
(Although the working group is new, it starts with equity sending COVID-19 vaccines directly to federally qualified health centers – safety net providers dealing with neglected populations.)
According to the Executive Order, members of the working group will come from within and outside the federal government and include people with lived experience of health inequality in their own communities, such as the woman designated to lead it. If the The working group will be led by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate professor of internal medicine, public health, and management at Yale University, and we just do it ❤.
If you don’t know much about Dr. Nunez-Smith, we’ll give you an idea of where she comes from in her own words (as quoted in the New York Times):
“Ensuring that the communities most affected by the pandemic have access to safe and effective vaccines remains a priority. [But] what is needed to ensure equity in recovery is not limited to health and health care. We need to have conversations about housing stability and food security and educational equity, and the paths to economic opportunities and promise. ”
Conclusion: Creating the COVID-19 Biden-Harris Health Equity Working Group is a step in the right direction, and we are excited to see where Dr. Nunez-Smith’s leadership will lead us.
Tweet about it: We have a lot of work to do to address health inequalities in the United States. This week, @CommunicateHlth talks about Biden-Harris ’new health equity working group # COVID19: https://bit.ly/2NnO3GY