The challenges of illness, job loss, isolation, economic distress, and educational interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the need to develop consensus-driven and actionable recommendations to support timely, coordinated response efforts and address community resilience. In response, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) and the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) convened a joint task force to assess lessons learned during the first year of the current pandemic and develop consensus on actionable recommendations for resilient response with funding and support provided by the Duke Endowment, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation (an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association), and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The work of the task force will be guided by a focus on equity, a cross-sector approach to health and well-being, and attention to the needs of vulnerable populations and historically marginalized communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
The Carolinas Pandemic Preparedness Task Force will address several areas: (1) health and human services, including health care, social services, aging services, and educational systems; (2) infrastructure needs; (3) ensuring economic stability for communities, including businesses, individual employees, and families to mitigate against economic impacts; (4) expediting access to essential pandemic response services in rural communities; and (5) building resilience in communities across the state.
Machelle Baker Sanders, MHA
North Carolina Department of Commerce
Harris Pastides, PhD, MPH
University of South Carolina
Alison Miller, MA, MPH
North Carolina Institute of Medicine
Brie Hunt, M.Ed.
South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health