The institutional impact of COVID-19 on organizations of color providing HIV/STI/HCV services to people of color living with HIV or at risk of HIV/STI/HCV across the US, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Associated Pacific Island Jurisdictions
The Black AIDS Institute, San Francisco Community Health Center and Latino Commission on AIDS, three organizations led by and serving people of color, are joining forces to address the challenges posed by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as they utilize their existing strengths and resources to continue addressing health inequities among their constituents, including those created by HIV and now COVID 19.
We know that through the power of partnerships, collaborations and strategic support, we can integrate our strengths to address structural challenges together. We also believe in the need for innovative strategies, developed by and for people of color, to overcome our common challenges. Our three organizations have a 30+ year history of partnership and collaborative advocacy in support of HIV organizations led by people of color and serving people of color across the country.
The impact of COVID-19 has been overwhelming and we are extremely concerned, alarmed and shaken by its impact on our nation, especially among racial/ethnic minorities. We are also concerned about the institutional impact on organizations led by people of color providing HIV/STI/HCV services to racial/ethnic minorities. COVID-19 has already disrupted HIV/STI/HCV service delivery, forced relocation of staff and service sites, and required prioritization of programs and clients. In addition to the current programmatic impact, COVID-19 could severely impact their capacity to navigate the new and uncharted territory created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The partnership among these three agencies, named Strong Together Partnership (STP), will conduct a national rapid assessment of the institutional impact of COVID-19 on organizations led by people of color providing HIV/STI/HCV services to racial/ethnic minorities in the Unites States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Associated Pacific Island Jurisdictions. The main research goals are to assess:
- The impact of COVID-19 on the ability of these organizations and their workforce to provide HIV/STI/HCV services as well as the strategies enacted to continue providing them;
- The institutional and workforce capacity to address the emerging COVID-19-related needs among their clients/consumers;
- The institutional capacity to make COVID-19 an added organizational service focus; and
- The institutional capacity to continue or achieve institutional stability in order to implement their strategic plans to End the HIV Epidemic.
The STP will also convene a Virtual Strategic Think Tank on October 14th with community leaders, researchers, policy makers, public health leaders, and providers to (a) discuss the findings of the national rapid assessment; (b) develop a strategic direction to the outcome of the US Presidential elections; (c) develop strategies to achieve the goals of “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America by 2030”; and (d) map out future strategies to strengthening our community-based organizations nationwide as we address the COVID-19 health-related needs of people of color beyond 2021.
The strategic blueprint developed at this meeting will include research, policy, funding, and practice recommendations. It will also take into consideration health disparities exacerbated by COVID-19, the critical 2020 Presidential election, the results and subsequent implementation of Census 2020, and the challenges of the US economy.
2020 National Rapid Assessment and Virtual Strategic Think Tank: The institutional impact of COVID-19 on organizations of color providing HIV/STI/HCV services to people of color living with HIV or at risk of HIV/STI/HCV across the US, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Associated Pacific Island Jurisdictions. (More information coming soon)