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Multisector partnerships such as ACHs: How can they improve population health and reduce health inequities?

C. Brunton, T.C. Duong, F. Jacobs, J. Levi, P. Meadows, B. Midura, S. Sim, R. Thomason, A.F. Weiss
Health Affairs Blog

Over the past year, the United States has witnessed tremendous health inequities from COVID-19 across populations defined by race, ethnicity, geography, and disability. As part of the pandemic response and recovery, communities have taken advantage of existing multisector partnerships to address individual and community-level health and social needs. Indeed, in the recently released National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, the Biden administration commits to:

Facilitate linkages between clinical and social services. Given the increased need for social services during this pandemic, HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] will identify opportunities and mechanisms to support screening, referral and linkage to social services during COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs, with particular focus on expanding community-based, multisector partnerships that can align health and social interventions. [Emphasis added]

As foundations that have invested in and continue to support expansion of community-based, multisector partnerships, we applaud this commitment. Comprehensive, integrated, and collaborative efforts will be essential to support the most at-risk communities through the remainder of the pandemic. We hope that the Biden administration will support these partnerships as not just a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as part of rebuilding and transforming our health system to address health and social inequities that have exacerbated the impact of the pandemic in Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities across the United States. Indeed, this approach has critical elements that can also address the administration’s commitment to a government-wide approach to racial justice.

Brunton C, Duong TC, Jacobs F, et al. Multisector partnerships such as ACHs: how can they improve population health and reduce health inequities? Health Affairs Blog; April 6, 2021. Available online.

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