|To Our Partners & Community, |
In listening to the World Health Organization briefing on Friday, I was struck by this statement by the Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. After sharing how we can physically and mentally take care of ourselves and each other, he said “COVID is taking so much from us. But it is also giving us something special. The opportunity to come together as one humanity, to work together, to grow together.”
As North Sound ACH explores ways to support partners and community members responding to COVID-19, a few strategies are emerging:
• Our team has shifted away from required site visits and reporting. We want to take away tasks from you and our team that are non-essential, and hope you will share with us what is/should be essential right now.
• We are gathering information on the numerous Emergency Response Funds being created across the region. We can be an information source of what is available, for what purpose, and how to access those funds. We can do the legwork to find that information to save you time.
• We made 2020 partner funds available earlier than planned, recognizing that your services are critical right now. Let your project manager know where the ACH could be of immediate help by contacting Team@NorthSoundACH.org.
• We have been asked to support the Whatcom Unified Command structure, and we are ready to do the same for other health departments in the region.
• We have technical assistance available:
– Need access to a Zoom line? Want to learn more on how they can be used?
– Need to talk about what happens with furloughed staff or volunteers, and how to support their well-being?
– Need help sorting through the volumes of COVID-19 resources to know what you should share with your team and community members?
We continue to monitor and respond to COVID-19, and encourage you to utilize local health departments and tribal governments as the best information resources. A landing page with links can be found on our website here. We are working with our community networks to convene, coordinate, and fund, in hope to lessen the burden on ‘front line’ organizations.
We know “social distance” and “shelter in place” recommendations are critical to follow. Please follow the recommended guidelines in protecting yourselves and others, while still practicing compassion and kindness. Some in our community don’t have a safe place to follow all the guidelines– people experiencing homelessness, those who live in unsafe residences, and at-risk youth, for example. We are working with partners on solutions for community members who are still in need of safe places.
We are so grateful for all the caregivers stepping in to help – clinicians, first responders, outreach workers, faith communities, and more. We are all in this together.
Resources that North Sound ACH is using and recommending can be found on our COVID-19 page on our website. We also plan to send email updates as we have new information to share (most likely on a weekly basis). We remain committed to being flexible and responsive to your needs
Thank you for all you do,
Liz Baxter, CEO