Ensuring an Equitable Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Pima County, Arizona, Through Local Political Support and Policy Action.
In the United States, persistent health disparities and preexisting gaps in local public health infrastructure led to disproportionate effects of COVID-19 across populations at high risk of COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality. In Pima County, Arizona, equity-centered local government engagement and policy action, multipronged community-based responses, and expansion of historically underfunded local public health infrastructure improved equitable outcomes and addressed multiple systemic factors. This case study examined Pima County's 3-pronged public health response to COVID-19 using an equity-based approach. As a result, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in Pima County in 2021, compared with being the leading cause of death in Arizona. Strong political support from local elected officials created the authorizing environment for the Pima County Health Department to advance health equity. Passage of a resolution in December 2020, which framed the racial and ethnic health and socioeconomic inequities as a public health crisis, supported innovation and fostered the creation of an Office of Health Equity, a public health policy program, and a data and informatics program. New structures for community engagement were formed, including an ethics committee and a community advisory committee, to ensure a formalized process for community participation in public health actions, during and after the pandemic response. Key lessons learned included (1) the importance of local government support, codified to allow implementation of creative strategies; (2) opening avenues for community voice and engagement in planning and implementation to respond in areas of greatest need; and (3) having flexible funding to sustain an equitable response.
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.
Your Privacy Choices