Three workforce strategies to help COVID affected communities

Health Affairs Blog

An unemployed father with undiagnosed depression. An isolated grandparent with diabetes and an empty fridge. A mother worried about escalating violence from an abusive spouse. A homeless veteran unable to wash his hands.

The scale of this pandemic’s impact is unprecedented in our time. Beyond the lives directly lost to this virus, the most profound measure of its impact—and our response—can be gauged by those most affected by this virus and most vulnerable to its fallout: the families of low-income essential workers, the newly unemployed, those facing food insecurity and homelessness, and historically marginalized populations and communities. To protect our most vulnerable neighbors, we need swift, bold action, in hospitals and the halls of Congress, but also in our communities.

Here are three ways state and federal leaders can ramp up a community-based workforce to protect vulnerable communities and augment the efforts of hospitals and public health leaders. They are inspired by the bright spots, the innovative solutions that my colleagues and I have mapped through discussions with hundreds of allies in our network, including leaders in health systems, community-based organizations, public health departments, and philanthropies across the country.

Manchanda, R. Three workforce strategies to help COVID affected communities. Health Affairs Blog; May 9, 2020. Available online.

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