A Letter from our Executive Director:
Dear HealthierHere Partners and Stakeholders,
I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to share some changes HealthierHere is implementing as a result of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
We are in a very unusual time in our region as everyone is mobilized to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many of you are on the front lines, working tirelessly to respond to the increasing need for healthcare services, supports and outreach to our communities. We see you, and we thank you.
HealthierHere has been tracking the situation and following the guidance of our own Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) as well as the State of Washington Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). As you may know by now, King County and Public Health are recommending that all external meetings of 10 or more be cancelled, postponed or done virtually whenever possible. They also recommend that individuals work from home or flex their schedules whenever possible to limit contact/transmission. Additionally, we recognize the tremendous burden being placed on our healthcare delivery system, Tribal healthcare providers and many of our social service partners.
For Partners and Committees:
In an attempt to both help providers free up time to attend to the health needs of our community, as well as do our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus, HealthierHere will be:
- Canceling all large external meetings/events for the month of March
- Reviewing committee, partner and workgroup meetings and converting them to virtual/online only meetings or postponing them to a later date
For Everyone in our Community:
PHSKC is working to get accurate information out to community members regarding the virus and strategies to prevent the spread. We are doing everything we can to support those efforts, and we ask that you please:
- Reach out to us if you notice a need for information within the communities you work with or within your organization. We will do our best to help!
- Pay special attention to the unintended consequences of this situation as it relates to stigma, unconscious bias and the adverse behavioral health implications resulting from distancing and social isolation. We encourage you to work with your staff, family, friends and communities to support one another. You can help address these unintended consequences by providing accurate information and taking affirmative steps to address any bias, stereotypes and/or stigma that you observe as our community experiences this situation.
These are unusual times, and they require us to be patient, flexible, and attentive to our own needs and those of others as we work through this together. HealthierHere is here to help in any way we can.
Susan McLaughlin, Ph.D