Dear Friends,

For many years we have talked about medically underserved areas, inadequate insurance protection, food deserts, poor access to appropriate healthcare, and many other conditions that contribute to health disparities. COVID-19 highlighted and brought into focus what we already knew- health disparities contribute to poor health outcomes. There are multiple factors contributing to health disparities that are embedded in societal structures and policies, many of which are archaic. We need to address these issues with appropriate public health strategies and community investment. Our community-based organizations were critical during this past year in supporting many vulnerable older adults who live in areas where poverty is prevalent. Dr. Anderson Torres, the CEO and President of R.A.I.N TOTAL CARE, INC in the Bronx, is our guest contributor this month. R.A.I.N Services provide 20 programs including 13 full-service senior centers, home-delivered meals, home care services serving the homebound, integrated care coordination, housing, case management, advocacy, support groups for older adults and caregivers, dementia initiatives, and intergenerational programs. Dr. Torres describes the work that this community-based organization has done over the past year.

Happy Spring. Soon every adult will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Be sure that you have yours!