THE NEXT NORMAL:
What does life look like beyond the pandemic?
Seemingly overnight, COVID-19 changed the course of health care permanently.
As the virus ravaged the country in early 2020, communities of color began contracting COVID and dying at faster rates. The pandemic highlighted the disparities these communities were facing in accessing the health care system and resources to help them stay safe and healthy. Community-based organizations stepped up to amplify the message that the pervasive barriers and inequities in our health care industry were leading to less access to the vaccine, resulting in higher positivity and death rates for people of color. The curtain was pulled back and the truth became clear – community-based organizations and public health needed to work together to create a way to ensure health care, and our responses to the virus, were equitable.
Two years later the role of community health centers (CHCs) has become a critical centerpiece in addressing the disparities exacerbated by COVID-19. In partnership with public health departments, CHCs and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) we have been able to extend the reach and impact of our programs, moving beyond the clinic walls and taking care into even more of the community.
As we begin to move into a post-pandemic world, there is more to ask. What do the partnerships formed during the pandemic mean for the health care system today and well into the future? How will the partnerships and collaborations that were established and deepened over the past two years, in the midst of uncertainty, create opportunities and further remove barriers for underserved populations? How will this increased collaboration continue to offer our communities the opportunity to receive high-quality, culturally-appropriate care right where they live, work and gather?
Join us on Thursday, April 21, at 11:30am, when we will welcome Dr. Bechara Choucair to guide us in a discussion on these very questions along with our moderator Carol Cheney, CEO of The Collins Foundation.