On Thursday, May 11, 2023, several community and health organizations voiced concerns surrounding the effects that the termination of the COVID-19 National Public Health will have on the local community.
Organizations like Jordan Health, Mosaic Health, The City of Rochester, Urban League of Rochester, Trillium Health, Action for a Better Community, IBERO, Regional Health Reach and Common Ground Health are partnering to relaunch the “You Deserve Answers” initiative to provide information and answers for the Greater Rochester community.
Officials say ending the public health emergency does not mean COVID is no longer a public health crisis in our community.
A COVID outbreak can resurface similar to the FLU, official say, and the ending of the National Public Health Emergency means local health departments may no longer be able to offer free services when it comes to COVID-19, like testing or vaccines.
"Jordan Health understands that ensuring everyone has access to quality healthcare remains a public health crisis," said Dr. Linda Clark, Chief Medical Officer at Jordan Health. "We all have witnessed the extreme levels of health disparities throughout the pandemic and that continues today.”
Jordan Health officials say that termination may also impact some recipients of Medicaid, who may need to re-enroll in the program in order to receive coverage and aid, and determine program eligibility.
Clark says Jordan Health will remain a resource and safe haven for those in our neighborhoods whether the care they require is related to COVID or the improvement of their overall health. “Our providers are prepared to care for our community including some of the most vulnerable regardless of their ability to pay.”
The health and community partners plan to hold a series of community group discussions, host telethons, provide additional information and educational materials and plan any needed Interventions.
“The Urban League was at the forefront in the fight to protect our community against the COVID-19 virus. So, while many of us may be tired of COVID, we know that COVID continues to impact us,” said Dr. Candice Lucas, Senior Vice President, Equity and Advocacy. “The Urban League will continue to work alongside our partners as a resource for those in need and an advocate for continued services.”
The initiative is in support of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
For more information and answers regarding who is impacted and where you can go for free COVID testing and vaccines visit GetYourAnswers.org.