Dear Colleague,

As economies are starting to open, which is a welcome turn of events, we are seeing a simultaneous increase in Covid-19 cases. In many areas the public health measures we have been using are being relaxed which does not spell well for people’s health nor the economy. We need to continue to convey to the public that we must maintain our vigilance, wear a mask, socially distance and wash our hands frequently.

As always, this newsletter contains an abundance of material that you and your colleagues may find useful. Please register BELOW for our June 23 webinar on the WHO: Reforms, Covid-19 and the US’ departure. YOU CAN RECEIVE CME CREDITS FOR IT. Please share this newsletter with your networks. Above all, stay safe and thank you for all the work you and your colleagues are doing to address this pandemic and the many other health challenges we are facing. 

Best wishes,
Keith Martin MD
Executive Director
CUGH
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Archives of past newsletters are available at : https://www.cugh.org/announcements/covid-19-newsletter

This newsletter is divided into the following sections:
  • Advocacy efforts
  • Recent pandemic updates
  • Resources for educators
  • Resources for researchers
  • Resources for health practitioners
  • Member requests
  • Other resources

June 23 at 2 PM ET:  The WHO- Reforms, COVID-19 and the United States  (CME credit option available)

Several big issues have rocked the World Health Organization. The COVID- 19 pandemic is the greatest public health challenge in a century. It has also laid bare global weaknesses in dealing with an outbreak of a deadly infectious disease. In the midst of this, US President Donald Trump decided to defund and remove the United States from the organization.

This crisis is an opportunity to build better global public health systems. Four experts will address these important issues affecting the world's premier public health agency: the situation in Congress regarding the WHO; reforming the WHO; and our collective ability to respond to COVID-19 and other public health challenges.


 The WHO’s State of the World’s Report on Nursing and Midwifery was released this year, the Year of the Nurse. Nurses represent 59% of all healthcare professionals and are the backbone of health systems worldwide. How can this sector be strengthened and what of the future challenges it faces in helping to deliver effective health coverage especially during the COVID-19 pandemic? Dr. Patricia Davidson, Dean of the School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Nancy Reynolds, Associate Dean of Global Affairs, Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Sheila Tlou, Former Minister of Health, Botswana, will present on these important issues.

It's not too late to register for the (virtual) COS annual meeting taking place from June 26th to June 28th. Dr. Keith Martin will be a keynote speaker on June 26th.
ADVOCACY EFFORTS

Please provide your feedback and thoughts about the impact of the COVID-19 on global health and academia using this form.  

Please use this letter and call your Congressperson to reverse these decisions. Once you take action, complete  this short post-engagement form in order to help us track our members' efforts.

As countries around the world struggle to contain the coronavirus, inequalities brought about by existing imbalanced power structures are resurfacing, resulting in growing calls to decolonize global health.

This white paper written by Senator Lamar Alexander discusses the various actions needed to prepare for the next pandemic.

The authors propose that a Right to Health Capacity Fund (R2HCF) be created as a central institution of a reimagined global health architecture developed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a fund would help ensure the strong health systems required to prevent disease outbreaks from becoming devastating global pandemics, while ensuring genuinely universal health coverage that would encompass even the most marginalized populations. The R2HCF’s mission would be to promote inclusive participation, equality, and accountability for advancing the right to health. The fund would focus its resources on civil society organizations, supporting their advocacy and strengthening mechanisms for accountability and participation. The authors propose an initial annual target of US$500 million for the fund, adjusted based on needs assessments. Such a financing level would be both achievable and transformative, given the limited right to health funding presently and the demonstrated potential of right to health initiatives to strengthen health systems and meet the health needs of marginalized populations—and enable these populations to be treated with dignity. They call for a civil society-led multi-stakeholder process to further conceptualize, and then launch, an R2HCF, helping create a world where, whether during a health emergency or in ordinary times, no one is left behind.

While the pandemic has touched every community in our country, it has revealed the striking socioeconomic and healthcare inequities in the U.S. that disproportionately impact African Americans, Latinx, Native American in addition to underserved communities such as individuals in correctional facilities, rural and immigrant populations, people with disabilities and individuals experiencing homelessness.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America and its HIV Medicine Association represent more than 12,000 infectious diseases and HIV physicians and other health care providers, public health practitioners and scientists committed to ending the health disparities that have historically impacted the lives of black and brown and other underserved Americans and that have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

This policy brief will include a brief addressing each population individually, highlight issues contributing to the health disparities related to COVID-19 specific to each of these unique and vulnerable communities, as well as policy recommendations for addressing them.

Since COVID-19 distancing restrictions and business closures were implemented, early childhood immunization rates have dropped considerably due to fears of contracting the virus.

U.S. public health experts are predicting a second wave of COVID-19 this fall, in conjunction with the start of flu season. The steep decline in vaccination rates may lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, whooping cough and influenza, among others. CDC provides guidance for and emphasizes the importance of obtaining routine vaccinations during the pandemic.

Boosting immunization rates is essential to preventing these outbreaks that could cause severe illness and death, overwhelm health care facilities and deplete supplies of medications, personal protective equipment and critical care equipment.

In this Network for Public Health Law webinar, Professor Gostin discusses public and global health law and ethics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including balancing public health with human rights. Prof. Gostin discusses the use of model public health laws, such as the Model Emergency Health Powers Act. He also discusses the role of the World Health Organization and global health law. Importantly, he examines the impact of the pandemic upon vulnerable populations across the globe, and future directions.
RECENT PANDEMIC UPDATES

This daily (M-F) newsletter from the University of Washington provides a succinct summary of the latest scientific literature related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click here  to subscribe.

This website from Johns Hopkins University is an outstanding resource to help advance the understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives. It includes access to an interactive COVID-19 map.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Center provides tailored guidance to keep people safe. The site also contains a number of resources on the virus, including cases, data, and surveillance.

The COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Antiracist Research & Policy Center. Together, they're gathering the most complete race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States.
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS

June 24, 2020, 9 AM ET/13:00 GMT

Join AFREHealth for their next webinar, "COVID-19: Interprofessional Education for Capacity Development."

Globally, institutions of higher education are facing unprecedented challenges related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The resulting academic, financial, ethical, and operational questions are complex and high-stakes. The COVID-19 pandemic may represent an inflection point, fundamentally altering how we work, socialize, and learn. The authors of this toolkit collectively believe that our institutions need near-term tools to ensure continuity through this pandemic as well as methods for rethinking the basic assumptions and values of their institutions.

This guide and accompanying risk assessment are designed to provide practical planning resources to help institutions gauge how effectively they are addressing a range of COVID- 19 scenarios. It is intended to accommodate a wide range of institutions: public, private, large, small, comprehensive, specialized, urban, and rural. Each institution will need to develop and implement its own tailored approach to reopening in-person instruction.

The Coalition for Physician Accountability’s Work Group on Medical Students in the Class of 2021 Moving Across Institutions for Post Graduate Training (Coalition WG), a cross-organizational group, including AACOM, AAMC, ACGME, AOGME, AMA, CMSS (OPDA), ECFMG, and NRMP developed a guidance document to address transition to residency concerns for the 2020-21 cycle using guiding principles that sought to prioritize patient care and the safety of the community, patients, and learners during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations were made to assist in maintaining an equitable residency selection process for applicants.

In addition to the transition from medical school to residency, there is a similar transition from residency to fellowship during the 2020-2021 academic year. To provide guidance for that transition, the recommendations submitted by the Coalition WG have been adapted as appropriate for the sub-specialty community.

ID medical educators and students share how they’re adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode includes guest moderator Dr. Anna Person of Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and panelists Dr. Brian Schwartz of the University of California San Francisco, medical student Cassandra Thanh, & Drs. Vera Luther and Kelsie Peirre of Wake Forest University.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health concern affecting over 5 million people and posing a great burden on health care systems worldwide. The aim of this study is to determine the knowledge, attitude, and practices of medical students in Uganda on the COVID-19 pandemic.

This online symposium on July 2 will serve as an interdisciplinary platform for the researchers, academicians, practitioners, educators and policy actors to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Distance Education and Online Learning, Assessment and Evaluation in the Higher Education. The registration of this online symposium is  FREE .
RESOURCES FOR RESEARCHERS

This University of Pittsburg webinar discussed the important biostatistical modeling, estimation, and decision making support to respond to COVID-19 properly.

This site provides a link to all clinical trials related to COVID-19 on clinicaltrials.gov.
RESOURCES FOR HEALTH PRACTITIONERS

On June 5, 2020, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a webinar on Innovative Hospital-Based Palliative Care Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives from Program Leaders of Two Large Hospitals. The webinar featured the key principles and lessons learned from these two specific innovative and rapid hospital-based responses to addressing palliative care needs during the pandemic.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a webinar on keeping nursing home residents and staff safe in the era of COVID-19, highlighting the innovative approaches to address these complex challenges that are currently being implemented in the state of Maryland. The collaborative approach involves health care professionals at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the state department of health, emergency medicine professionals, and newly formed “strike teams” made up of members of the National Guard.

The purpose of the Omaha System Guidelines App is to provide evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines/standardized care plans in coded format for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers. These Omaha System/SNOMED CT guidelines were developed using crowd-sourcing techniques by numerous stakeholders including scholars, clinical experts, and Omaha System experts.

This course provides principles, minimum requirements and technical specifications to design and set up SARI-related facilities though short lectures and technical tutorials. It targets personnel involved in preparedness and response, including health managers and planners, architects, engineers, logistics, water and sanitation staff, clinical and nursing staff, carers and other health care providers, and health promoters.
MEMBER REQUESTS

COVID-19 has lead to shortages in life saving medical supplies, and deciding who gets these scarce resources is a massive ethical challenge. New analysis looks at the ethics at the intersection of triage protocols, disability rights, and optimizing health outcomes. To ensure the trustworthiness of the health system, disability rights advocates and health care leaders should work together to finalize crisis triage plans.

The course will provide you with a broader and more comprehensive understanding of the pandemic. UC Berkley has gathered faculty with a wide range of expertise to deliver over 20 lectures addressing essential topics relevant to the prevention and control of this deadly infectious disease that has affected the entire globe. The course starts with an introduction to the history of global pandemics and lessons learned, and then moves on to the biology, epidemiology, diagnostics, and basic concepts in modeling the spread of the virus. The course then shifts to cover prevention and control strategies, including the populations most at risk during this pandemic and the systemic causes of these disparate impacts. Finally, UC Berkley covers how organizations and individuals are coping, and look at the range of potential health and economic impacts of this pandemic that depend on our global and local responses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to sheltering in the home for "safety" but what if you don't feel safe in your home? This forum discusses intimate partner violence and the challenges that have emerged related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists from the USA, New Zealand, and the UK discuss issues of domestic violence in their prospective countries, ways in which this is being addressed, and how we can promote safety during this time. This forum ends with a Q&A session with the audience.
OTHER RESOURCES

Friday, June 26th, 2020, 4:00 PM (ET)

How does the current pandemic compare with other public health crises like the polio outbreaks in the 1940s and 50s? This University of Pittsburgh seminar will provide an opportunity to collectively reflect on what we can do to extend the reach of the field and to improve population health and well-being.

Peter Salk part-time professor in the department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and president of the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation, will share his thoughts about how the current epidemic connects to his father’s work at Pitt developing the first polio vaccine and to his later commitment to a sustainable human future. How will COVID-19 change the field of public health? 

Mehran S. Massoudi (EPI '92, '93), captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and a distinguished alumni, will discuss his public health practice experience and join Salk in reflecting on what we can do to extend the reach of the field and to improve population health and well-being. 

In the latest installment of AMA's YouTube Prioritizing Equity series, join practicing physicians and leaders in health care as they share how they are addressing root causes of inequity during COVID-19 and beyond – by centering equity in their workspaces and dismantling racist policies and practices.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 1:00 PM (ET)

A recent  Amnesty International report   warned that overcrowded refugee camps "will become new epicenters" of the COVID-19 pandemic if action is not taken immediately to address the situation. The AI report noted that lockdowns and curfews in some host countries have "exacerbated dire living conditions, leaving millions of people at risk of starvation and illness." The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, is working with governments and NGOs to boost health, water and sanitation services to protect refugees, though with inadequate funds. With 134 refugee hosting countries reporting local transmission of COVID-19, the situation remains precarious.  Refugee and aid agencies worldwide are calling for a global response to avert an uncontrollable spread among the global refugee populations who remain one of the the world's most vulnerable groups. In addition to presenting a global overview, this Wilson Center webinar will home in on the special cases of the Rohingya and Syrian displacements in Asia and the Middle East and the danger the virus poses to these communities.

This guide provides recommendations to nonprofits, Red Cross Red Crescent network and community organizations who are designing programs and materials in response to COVID-19 in low- and middle- income countries. The working group designed it as a supplemental tool for organizations working specifically with community health workers (CHWs) (including trained community health volunteers) as they are reaching households, however the content can be adapted for other purposes.

This webinar explored best or successful health literacy strategies that health professionals, community organizations, and individuals can use to promote health equity in communities of color, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic, which is coinciding with nationwide public demonstrations against police violence towards Black people and other people of color. 

The speakers shared observations from their work conducting street outreach in the recent months and explore opportunities for tailoring public health responses to specific communities, as well as systems changes to improve health literacy and protect the health of communities of color.
Consortium of Universities for Global Health
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