Connection, Community is Key to COVID-19
By: Brandy Mai, Director of Public Information, Global Health Crisis Coordination Center (GHC3), Center for Global Health Innovation
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our way of life. It has altered our routines, divided belief systems, and separated us from the communities where we thrive. From your families to your workplaces to the schools where your children learn to your houses of worship . . . those community connections are at the core of our society — and the key to our collective survival.
Across America (and the globe), there are people and communities who are suffering higher infection rates, hospitalizations, deaths, and mental health impacts. Those populations need community, connections, and resources to overcome the health and societal inequities that have been magnified by the novel coronavirus. The Global Health Crisis Coordination Center (GHC3) has been spearheading collaborative efforts to solve those differential impacts. By connecting those in need to resources from organizations that have much to give, GHC3 is working to address disparities in areas that are core to every community.
Back 2 School
By partnering with KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools, a network of public charter and partner schools in the city of Atlanta, GHC3 developed recommendations for applying public health guidance and connected the school with corporate…to the classrooms.
Back 2 Work
The convening of several closed roundtables with leaders from Fortune 500 companies, public health officials and legal and ethics experts saw the development of best practices for safe work environments. Collaborations continue and broaden as our knowledge of COVID-19 impacts evolve, including how to support employees who are navigating health, financial, and community impacts from the pandemic.
Back 2 Worship
GHC3 has assembled a broad range of faith and religious thought leaders to come together and develop universal best practices for congregation and worship amid COVID-19. This group will continue to be engaged as a sounding board for community public health issues such as vaccine acceptance.
Equitable Distribution of Vaccines
Anticipating the availability of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in the near future, GHC3 is working with Microsoft, Reprivata, state and local health departments, and other stakeholders on a web-based tool that will enable health departments and other programs to align allotted vaccine doses with local priorities for immunizing people who meet specific criteria. Given that the number of vaccines available will be limited as they become licensed, this tool will facilitate equitable and optimal immunization strategies and coverage.
GHC3 will also be working with partners to facilitate behavioral research, community engagement, and messaging, as part as its overall communications strategies to provide culturally specific, appropriately configured information on COVID-19 vaccines. This approach will help to reduce vaccine hesitancy, which may be quite high within many of the populations likely to be targeted for immunization.
Mental Health & Wellness
The pandemic has accelerated a global mental health crisis, exacerbating the anxieties of those already struggling with mental health and newly afflicting burned-out and exhausted COVID-19 frontline workers. Working with private sector partners, GHC3 is creating novel ways to reach out to underserved populations and provide opportunities to access much needed mental health services.
Spearheaded by industry experts and corporate partners, GHC3 augments global health response through connections. Not only are those connections core to our mission, they’re also the key to communities overcoming COVID-19 and other global health crises.
Additional resources can be found at globalhealthc3.org.
The Global Health Crisis Coordination Center coordinates Enterprise Capabilities, Emerging Technologies and Public Health Expertise to make an impact during global health crises. Is a sister division of the Georgia Global Health Alliance.
Photo credit: KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools