The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced new health equity principles aimed at guiding the efforts of state and local officials to create an equitable and lasting post-pandemic recovery.
Detailed in a brief released by the foundation, Health Equity Principles for State and Local Leaders in Responding to, Reopening, and Recovering from COVID-19, (5 pages, PDF), the principles address health equity issues that have been highlighted by the pandemic, including the disproportionate suffering of certain communities and the inextricable link between personal health and the health of the larger community. To address those disparities, the brief recommends efforts to strengthen and broaden data collection so that policy makers and public officials are better able to target resources to those most in need; include local residents in policy and funding decisions; establish teams dedicated to promoting racial equity in response and recovery efforts; proactively address existing policy gaps; and invest in public health and social infrastructure, including paid sick and family leave, broadband, and Medicaid expansion.
"These principles are designed around a simple yet essential premise: Every reopening and recovery plan must prioritize the health and well-being of those who have been hit the hardest and communities that have historically been left behind," said RWJF president and CEO Richard Besser, a former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "If governments start with the needs that are hardest to meet, systems will be built that meet the needs of all."
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