Monthly Roundup
Community Health News and Resources for Researchers, Practitioners, and Policymakers in the United States

We are thrilled to announce the release of

The Playbook compiles field-tested strategies and tactics for advancing the community health sector locally. Its practical guidance is the culminating product of CommuniHealth, the successor to the CommuniVax Coalition. With the support of a national working group, teams in Alabama, California, and Maryland used direct experience, trial and error, and ground-level truth to develop practical ways of mobilizing local forces for vibrant and sustainably resourced community health systems.

Download the Playbook here! See below to learn more about each team's incredible efforts to strengthen community health systems across the country.
Local Team Updates
Building a Ground Game: How to Conduct a Community Needs Assessment and Launch a CHW Workforce Development Coalition. In this report, the University of Alabama team recounts how they conducted a communitywide needs assessment of community health infrastructure in the state’s Black Belt counties as the first step in mobilizing a community health coalition well suited to serving rural populations, which are often overlooked. Other jurisdictions wanting to establish a baseline of their community health sector are invited to adapt and apply the CommuniHealth Alabama team’s tools and templates(University of Alabama, 11/17/22)
Guide for Effective Partnerships Between Academic Institutions and Community Health Workers/Promotores. Based on their own experiences, the CommuniHealth San Diego State University team developed these training materials to support other community-oriented universities that wish to leverage their neutral brokering position and access to resources to strengthen academic-community partnerships that integrate community health workers/promotores(San Diego State University, 11/17/22)
Strengthening Health Promotion Through Sustained Hyperlocal Community Engagement. The University of Maryland team has codified and communicated lessons learned from its successful track record of implementing hyperlocal approaches to community engagement and health promotion, epitomized by a network of barbers and hairstylists championing the health of their host neighborhoods. Community health champions from elsewhere are welcome to adapt/apply the Maryland team’s the practical guidance on fostering partnerships and communicating successes. (University of Maryland, 11/17/22)

COVID Consequences - Next Steps in Ethics, Policy & Public Health: The Future of Emergency Powers in Public Health. This webinar will bring together national experts to discuss the future of public health powers, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to rebuild trust in public health institutions in communities across the country. Panelists will discuss these pressing issues and respond to audience questions during this highly interactive webinar. This webinar will take place on Thursday, December 15, 2022 and will feature Dr. Sandra C. Quinn of the Prince George's County team. (Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment and the Life Sciences, 11/22)
COVID-19 Equity and What Works Showcase. Members of the CommuniHealth Coalition teams in Alabama and Prince George's County were among the community health experts that participated in the White House's What Works Showcase as part of the Summit on COVID-19 Equity. This event highlighted interventions and approaches that have moved the needle on equitable COVID-19 outcomes and showcases a path forward. (PR Web, 11/17/22)

The full event recording is available here. For remarks by Dr. Stephen B. Thomas on health equity efforts in Prince George's County, click here.
COVID-19 Vaccination News
Beyond the COVID-19 Emergency: Sustaining and Expanding Vaccine Equity - 20 Recommendations from Public Health and Equity Leaders.  A panel of leading experts on vaccine equity is urging federal, state, and local authorities to sustain and expand the significant progress that has been made to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccinations. The 20 recommendations include the formal designation and inclusion of community-based organizations and workers (CBOs/CBWs) as essential members of the public health infrastructure. If implemented, these recommendations can help save lives in vulnerable communities hit hard by the pandemic and ensure communities are ready to respond to future outbreaks. (Rockefeller Foundation, 11/15/22)
An Intervention to Vaccinate Hard to Reach Populations Against COVID-19. This report describes an innovative health intervention which built on trusted relationships to effectively create a COVID-19 vaccination program that met the needs of participants from over 15 different cultural backgrounds. We believe the strengths and success of this intervention in vaccinating/boosting nearly 200 individuals from refugee/immigrant/farmworker populations are due to a design based in applied medical anthropology. It incorporated interpersonal trust and local level community involvement to reassure participants. We suggest specific approaches for use in projects of this type. (University of South Florida, 10/22)

Interim Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the Use of Bivalent Booster Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines — United States, October 2022. Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster doses might improve protection against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineages and, along with completion of a primary series in persons who remain unvaccinated, are important to protect against COVID-19, particularly among those persons who are at increased risk for severe illness and death(CDC, 11/11/22)

See also:
We asked Dr. Anthony Fauci how to fix the slow booster rollout. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to President Biden, sat down for an interview with Jeanne Pinder, founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts, a partner with Epicenter-NYC in the Vaccine Equity Partner Engagement grant program with the Fund for Public Health of New York City. (Epicenter NYC, 10/27/22)

AstraZeneca’s covid-19 (mis)adventure and the future of vaccine equity. No company seems likely to reprise AstraZeneca’s corporate martyr role in future crises. And there are questions on whether Oxford’s decision to partner, rather than pursue its original non-exclusive licensing plan, was a bad decision from the start. What now for the market foundations Hill sought to shake—which seem, if anything, reinforced, firmly ensconcing profit in the pandemic response? (BMJ, 11/11/22)
Sanofi, GSK crash the COVID-19 vaccine party late with a world-first nod for their next-gen booster. After months of review at European regulators’ desks, GSK and Sanofi have scored a world-first nod to enter the COVID-19 vaccine market in Europe with their pandemic booster VidPrevtyn Beta. Thursday, the European Commission signed off on the Sanofi-GSK booster to augment protection against COVID-19 in adults ages 18 and up, making VidPrevtyn the first next-gen, protein-based adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine approved in Europe(Fierce Pharma, 11/10/22)
Funding Opportunities
FTG Makes Rapid Response Funding Available for Trans-Led Groups. The Fund for Trans Generations (FTG) is committed to providing rapid response funding to trans-led organizations responding to their community’s rising needs. In April 2020, in partnership with other funders, FTG launched our COVID-19 Rapid Response fund to help folks survive the pandemic. In 2020, we have moved over $500,000 in 87 grants to trans-led groups across the United States, 80% of which are BIPOC-led. We are still accepting requests for COVID-19 specific funding. These grants, which range between $2,000 and $10,000, are processed quickly and without strings to meet the pressing needs of trans communities of color. (Fund for Trans Generations)
Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society (ComPASS): Coordination Center. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit applications for the Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society (ComPASS) Coordination Center (CCC). The CCC will provide administration, coordination, data, and research capacity-building and training support to the ComPASS consortium. In addition to the CCC, the consortium includes Community-led, Health Equity Structural Intervention (CHESI) projects that intervene on structural factors that create and perpetuate health inequities and Health Equity Research Hubs to provide localized technical assistance to the community-led health equity structural interventions(NIH, 10/3/22)
Research to Address Vaccine Hesitancy, Uptake, and Implementation among Populations that Experience Health Disparities. This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) highlights the need for research on strategies, and interventions to address vaccine hesitancy, uptake, and implementation among populations who experience health disparities in the US and its territories. Research is needed to understand and address misinformation, distrust, and hesitancy regarding uptake of vaccines (e.g., SARS-CoV-2, pneumococcal, influenza, hepatitis B, human papilloma virus (HPV)) among adults in the United States and territories, especially in populations at increased risk for morbidity and mortality due to long-standing systemic health and social inequities and chronic medical conditions. (NIH, 11/22)
Community Health Resources
Covid-19 is an inverse equity story, not a racial equity success story. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, increases in excess deaths led to a decline in life expectancy of 6.6 years for American Indian or Alaska Native populations, 4.2 years for Hispanic populations, and 4 years for non-Hispanic Black populations. Overall, American life expectancy declined by 2.7 years — the biggest decline in almost 100 years. The Covid-19 pandemic reversed more than 10 years of progress made in closing the gap in life expectancy between Black and white Americans and reduced the previous Hispanic mortality advantage by over 70%. Moreover, more than 200,000 American children lost their caregivers due to Covid-19, losses that were concentrated among children of color. (STAT, 10/25/22)

Thousands of public health experts are losing their jobs at a critical time. As covid-19 raged, roughly 4,000 highly skilled epidemiologists, communication specialists, and public health nurses were hired by a nonprofit tied to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to plug the holes at battered public health departments on the front lines. But over the past few months, the majority of the CDC Foundation’s contracts for those public health workers at local and state departments have ended as the group has spent nearly all of its almost $289 million in covid relief funding(CNN, 11/14/22)
White House seeks more covid funding in lame-duck session. Biden officials finalized a request this week for about $10 billion in public health funds by year’s end, part of a larger request in the lame-duck session of Congress that would also include funding for Ukraine and disaster relief for hurricane damage in Florida, according to six people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe confidential budget discussions(Washington Post, 11/15/22)
Accountable Communities for Health: What We Are Learning from Recent Evaluations. Being accountable to communities served, particularly through community engagement and power sharing, are central to achieving systems change. This engagement requires strengthening relationships and taking the time to build trust. Accountable communities for health can be a vehicle for moving toward greater equity in our communities across the country, no matter the political climate(National Academy of Medicine, 10/31/22)
Root Causes, Relationships Are Keys to Health Equity. Amid the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, prominent thought leaders and stakeholders in health care say it’s time to rethink how health inequities are addressed, stressing the need to build better relationships with patients and to mitigate the causes of health disparities that have plagued racial and ethnic minorities for years. (U.S. News & World Report, 11/16/22)

See also:
Health Equity for the LGBTQ+ Community Starts With Providers. We sat down with Dr. Renee McLaughlin, national medical director for LGBTQ+ health and well-being at Cigna, to talk through some of the health disparities LGBTQ+ people face, what causes these disparities, and how providers can help reduce the stigma and discrimination this community faces. Dr. McLaughlin also shared tips for providers on how to provide quality and inclusive care for LGBTQ+ people. (Cigna, 11/22)

This newsletter supports CommuniVax, a research coalition convened by the
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Texas State University Department of Anthropology,
with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.