Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic through an Equity Lens
The Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus stands with our local health departments and health systems in addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic through an equity lens. Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities have experienced 2-3-fold higher hospitalization and death rates from COVID-19 than the white community, and we are committed to our mission of the best health for all people in the Columbus region, even in such unprecedented times. We are proud to have funding from Partners In Health, a global health equity non-profit, who has been a leader in pandemic response nationally and around the world. Through this partnership, we have been able to be at the forefront of providing support toward several pandemic related initiatives in Central Ohio:
- Case Investigation: 10 Community Health Workers from the Central Ohio Pathways HUB have partnered with Franklin County Public Health to provide case investigation for people who speak English as a second language or a language other than English.
- Care Resource Coordination:
- In partnership with Partners In Health, HCGC created a care resource coordination screening and referral tool that is being used by all Franklin County Public Health case investigators. This screening and referral tool ensures that people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have a safe place to quarantine, access to food during that 10 day period, as well as access to a primary care physician. When a case identifies two or less risks, they are connected with local agencies to address those needs. When more than two risks are identified, they are offered the opportunity to be enrolled in the Central Ohio Pathways HUB to receive comprehensive care coordination from a CHW.
- Community Health Workers in the Central Ohio Pathways HUB began providing care resource coordination with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, ensuring that any of their 35,000 residents in central Ohio had both rental and utility assistance, as well as dozens of other connections to care and services during unprecedented times.
- Equitable Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine: Eligibility does not mean access, and HCGC is working to use data to map equitable access to vaccine locations. See below for more information on this project.
Mapping Vaccine Access
In collaboration with Partners In Health, HCGC has initiated a community effort to map access to the COVID-19 vaccine through an equity lens. This process began by identifying local partners that were tracking a diverse set of data and bringing those efforts all under the umbrella of one regional mapping effort. HCGC is proud to partner with Futurety and the Ohio State University College of Public Health in rolling out the following mapping strategy:
- Using collaborative spatial mapping, community, government, and academic partners comprehensively document and visualize the resources and vaccination needs of communities most vulnerable to COVID-19.
- Through census tract-level analysis, the team has identified gaps in coverage and insufficiencies in public transportation.
- Four major health systems and two local health departments are working with a portion of this data, as well as data that is being analyzed by Ohio State University's College of Public Health to inform placement of mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics.
- The mapping will also inform the deployment of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to provide vaccine education, assist clients to locate and register for appointments, and furnish transportation assistance.