June 2020 Newsletter During COVID19

One of many examples of the mixed emotions on this Independence Day

Introduction

Welcome to the June 2020 newsletter. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different stories and initiatives in my LinkedIn articles and on my website. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign. I’m still dispensing with the newsletter subsections and concentrating on ways to address disparities and inequities.

Shannah’s Insights and Reflections

Month three of largely COVID19 lockdown. I’ve decided in honor of Independence Day, I’m going to provide an optimistic overview of all of the potential positives that can come out of our current state of oppression that has 3 strong drivers: the pandemic, the economy and systemic racial injustice. I use the term oppression in recognition that this weekend’s celebration commemorates the 13 colonies declaring independence from the oppression of the British Monarch. Many are not celebrating this year’s Independence Day because too many people in our nation do not have the freedom they should.

For those of you who know me, you know that a rosy outlook is a bit uncharacteristic, because I’m more a tell it like it is, don’t sugar coat it, kind of gal. Nevertheless, I am also passionate about transformation and believe we are at a critical juncture where we can choose a new and improved path for all people.

I live in a county and state that have embraced caution in reopening and erred on the side of keeping people safe. Our numbers continue to decline, but the US numbers are headed in the wrong direction. The upside perspective is more of our society needs convincing that the risks of the pandemic are greater than the benefits of reopening as quickly as possible.  We are seeing leaders recognize the need for caution and reversing their early opening decisions. Let’s hope this is the start of a reverse trend.

The growing cases continue to reflect inequities and disparities in our health system and in our country, underscoring the need for a reckoning with systemic, structural and cultural racism. There is a growing silver lining that I hope to portray in this month’s newsletter. The intersection of the pandemic, economic crisis and social injustice is sustaining pressure for much needed change and improvement. This is a growing perspective across the nation. As a country we can be much better than this and now is the time for change!

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May 2020 Newsletter during COVID19

Introduction

Welcome to the May 2020 newsletter. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different stories and initiatives in my LinkedIn articles and on my website. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

Shannah’s Insights and Reflections

Two months of COVID19 and lock down/social distancing in Montgomery County Maryland while states and counties create a patchwork of openings, sustained lock down or social distancing and many things in between. Meanwhile individuals and leaders vary in their willingness to continue safe practices.

Added to the pandemic is the long overdue collective outrage over police brutality and the sustained injustices against individuals and communities of color in our society. Is the political landscape we each live in another important social determinant? Having a true voice in how policies and programs are shaped that fosters hope and the belief that each of us can influence change. More fundamentally, whether individuals can trust law enforcement and safety institutions to protect their rights and safety is a sustained uncertainty for Blacks and communities of color.

Sadly, as the pandemic exposes the systemic disparities and inequalities of our communities and health system for communities of color; we experience a harsh reminder of how racism is still a fundamental driver of life and health disparities through the brutal police murder of George Floyd.

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April 2020 Newsletter during COVID19

Introduction

Welcome to the April 2020 newsletter. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different stories and initiatives in my LinkedIn articles and on my website. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

Shannah’s Insights and Reflections

We’ve experienced a sustained month of COVID19 and lock down/social distancing. It has also been a jarring exposé on health disparities and the implications of living conditions on individuals’ and families’ health status, health risks and access to care. I am again breaking away from my standard reporting this month and instead will highlight the ways the pandemic exposes the many drivers of health disparities and our need to address the fundamental inequities across all segments of our society.

Inequalities, prejudices and social and economic disparities lay the disastrous foundation for the disparate risks, impacts and treatment experienced by African Americans, Hispanics, immigrants, low income people and communities and elderly populations. This past month coverage focuses on the need for data. There is a growing voice that the disparities not only result from social determinants and comorbidities, but prejudice and discrimination. Unfortunately, how individuals and institutions treat individuals can be influenced or dictated by factors that should have no role in testing, treatment or services. Gaining true insight on this aspect will also be data dependent.

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March 2020 Newsletter During COVID-19



Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

Introduction

Welcome to the March 2020 newsletter. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different stories and initiatives in my LinkedIn articles and on my website. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

Shannah’s Insights and Reflections

Nothing in March is business as usual and this newsletter is no exception. I gather my intel on living conditions and health from google alerts. The first Coronavirus online story that surfaced (based on my search terms) was on March 8th about the first case in Kansas and that she was isolating at home. Just this statement underscores how living conditions or social determinants will be part of the fabric in which people manage through this pandemic. “Isolating” and “home” are two fundamental factors for how individuals who test positive will fair. Do they have a support network, albeit remote, that will help them through this challenge? Do they have a home in which they can isolate/self-quarantine, manage needed services and resources and avoid infecting others?

There was no further mention in my alerts until a COVID-19 Q&A on the 20th and an article identifying protection for rideshare drivers. This article discussed helping drivers know if they have been exposed to the virus, particularly medical rideshare drivers who are critical for patients needing rides. Drivers are at greater risk for exposure from patients and in turn are potentially exposing others.  The drivers may also want riders to wear protective gear that is increasingly difficult for even healthcare workers to get. Since that story the intersection of the pandemic and living conditions was regularly reported.

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February 2020 Newsletter

Early Signs of Spring!

Introduction

Welcome to the February 2020 newsletter. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different stories and initiatives in my LinkedIn articles and on my website. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

This month you can read about: the politics of health inequality; varying roles of plans and hospitals in communities, services and investments; New Mexico and Rhode Island thinking more holistically; Colorado and California trying new levers to address social needs; Healthy Alliance IPA convener model for CBO collaboration; several community investments – Molina, OneCity, Inspira Health and the AMA; research and metrics continue to grow and be debated; and some past and future SDOH events.

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January 2020 Newsletter

Apparently Punxsutawney Phil says winter will be shorter this year!

Introduction

Welcome to my first 2020 newsletter. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different stories and initiatives in my LinkedIn articles and on my website. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

This month you can read about: Community Care Corps; Lyft’s grocery access program; strengthening Human Services; Medicaid block grants, the public charge rule; the proposed Social Determinants Accelerator Act; DC Senior Housing Summit; ACP position on SDOH; Life experiences and income inequality; RISE SDOH benchmark survey; the impacts of closing Auto plants; Knowality; and recent eHI & WEDI and NASEM events.

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2019 Year-end Newsletter

Wishing You Peace, Health and Happiness

Introduction

Welcome to my 2019 year-end newsletter and some aspirations for 2020. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different stories and initiatives in my LinkedIn articles and on my website. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

This month you can read about: Forbes 8 solutions for improved living conditions; West Virginia’s sustained community improvement; Humana’s no senior eats alone; ChristianaCare’s community investment; states finding the right balance between social and health investments, Don Berwick’s thoughts on change from within the healthcare system; and CHIME’s concerns about the no-blocking rule.

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November 2019 Newsletter

Introduction

Welcome to my November 2019 newsletter. You can find past newsletters in my LinkedIn articles and on my website with some additional background materials, different stories and initiatives that might be of interest. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

This month you can read about: Bernard Tyson; Detroit medical students caring for the homeless; Oversight for the $1.5B ANC Healthcare trust in NC; alternatives to provider centric community initiatives such as land trusts, collaborative networks and public health initiatives; the role of CHCs in disasters and prevention; CMS changes in Medicaid flexibility and delay in consumer access regulations; hospital system investments in communities; Aetna/CVS’ loneliness program; US life expectancy downturn; Neighborhood Atlas and Healthify’s latest investment round.

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October 2019 Newsletter

Hopefully more treats than tricks!

Introduction

Welcome to my October 2019 newsletter. You can find past newsletters in my LinkedIn articles and on my website with some additional background materials, different stories and initiatives that might be of interest. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

This month you can read about: Elijah Cummings; Michael Jordan’s investment in NC clinics; 50th anniversary of a White House Food, Nutrition and Health Conference; A Medicare executive order and open enrollment; More Medicaid programs embracing Lyft; NQF’s call to action; Foundational principals for healthcare initiatives in SDoH; Kaiser’s California food initiative; WellCare analysis of SDoH referrals; physician disagreement about focusing on social injustice; Technologies from, Urban institute; Sales Force, Aunt Bertha in partnership with Innovaccer and Socially Determined; eHI’s webinar about proposed ICD-10 Z code implications for improved living conditions; and, Patchwise Labs the Dispatch.

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Summer 2019 Volume 2

Summer’s end and Fall begins

Introduction

Welcome to Volume 2 of my Summer 2019 newsletter. You can find past newsletters in my LinkedIn articles and on my website with some additional background materials, different stories and initiatives that might be of interest. Join me in improving and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.

This month you can read about: caregiving realities; the growing role of home care in improved living conditions; ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in Frederick Maryland, an example of a non-healthcare sustained investment in improved communities; USDA and USCIS policies threatening living conditions, providers opposing the USCIS rule while the healthcare industry continues to invest in needed community support; CAN Community health’s LGBT youth mentorship program; Intermountain Health, CVS Aetna and Cedar Sinai continue to expand their efforts; Many studies – one saying few hospitals and physician practices screen for top 5 social needs, another saying the US spending on social services is comparable to other countries, parent focus groups raising concerns about certain pediatric screening questions and AmeriHealth Caritas showing substantial impact on hospital utilization; A NASEM consensus report recommending 5 goals for integrating social care into healthcare; AHRQ announcing 12 semifinalists in an SDOH visualization challenge; and a new BU Community Wellbeing Index.

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