The COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on communities of color have highlighted racial health disparities in America and renewed a sense of urgency to an ongoing issue.
During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the images Americans saw were of hospital workers overrun on the frontlines in major metropolitan areas like New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Even if not faced with the same volume of cases, hospitals in rural America have their own COVID-19 related challenges.
In healthcare – and indeed, society, as a whole – the year 2020 has brought us to a precipice, where we can acknowledge a set of real disparities and take steps to reform key institutions or continue to ignore them, at our own peril.
The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly be with us for years to come. However, we may soon be feeling a wave of aftershocks. Doctors across the country are already reporting their pediatric patients are missing essential immunizations, which could contribute to the rise of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough.
Many of our modern public health campaigns rely on a large and well-codified body of knowledge based on decades of data, evidence-based messaging, and at least a shared understanding of how best to address the problem.
In other words, a playbook.
Public health is something you’ve scarcely thought of before maybe receiving an order to “shelter in place.”
Merriam-Webster defines public health as, “the art and science dealing with the protection and improvement of community health by organized community effort and including preventive medicine and sanitary and social science”
Last week, an object lesson in health care marketing and branding nearly escaped notice outside of HIV/AIDS circles.
While a lot has been written about Hispanics and healthcare, particularly in relation to the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, not enough attention has been paid to the opportunity they represent. Hispanics are a vital consumer segment for the large and growing healthcare industry, not just a population to be managed.