For example, KFF’s summary of changes points to continued access to COVID vaccinations, testing, and treatment for people with insurance, though out-of-pocket costs may increase for testing and treatment. The summary notes that free resources available to everyone—including those with low incomes or no insurance—will not immediately end on May 11th, but because emergency federal funding made them possible, they are only free while existing supplies last.
Despite the tragedies associated with the pandemic, it also opened our eyes to what is possible. The public health emergency declaration unleashed an unprecedented series of proactive public health actions. One of the unanticipated benefits is that more services have become accessible and available to our underserved communities.
With the emergency phase officially ending, we’re left with a choice. Do we let that health equity momentum peter out? Or do we harness it for more permanent progress?
At PCC, we stand firmly in the latter camp, and we have a plan to do it.
Before the pandemic began, PCC worked with Nonprofit Montgomery, the Montgomery County Food Council, and others to lead a series of nonprofit community conversations that became A New Vision for Nonprofit and Government Collaboration. We were preparing to launch the next phase of that work—to develop shared measures for each of those outcomes and a system to measure progress—when emergency response demanded attention for other kinds of collaboration.
But if we’ve learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that we need systems for continued collaboration. From community hubs offering one-stop supports to the public-private partnerships turning federal recovery funding into tangible assistance, we’ve proven the power of coordinated response. We’ve demonstrated the potential of systems that balance the technical resources of some organizations with the deep community connections of others. We will need both to build the healthy, equitable community we envision.
If you feel the same, we invite you to join us. Sign up for our phase 2 collaboration mailing list, to let us know you want to stay involved and you’re ready to take on the next steps.