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Like you, I have been enjoying the spring weather, allowing us to see each other with some sunshine around our often still masked faces! Overall, we see the ways that COVID is abating, allowing opening of spaces and closer gatherings, but that is still looking through a wide-angle lens. When we zoom in with the telephoto lens, we still see communities struggling with access to testing and vaccine and the ACH is drawn to offer help in those areas.

We’re amazed every day to learn of one more organization or new effort to reach people who don’t connect to the standard ways of outreach. They might be disconnected from the internet, speak another language (that I wish I could quickly learn!), not be able to navigate complex appointment sites, or not feel welcome in traditional clinic and community settings. 

We’ve been honored to share space with tribal partners who are reaching out to surrounding communities to assist with vaccine delivery, trusted community organizations working with community health workers and promotoras – living in, understanding, and supporting their community in immeasurable ways. We are so grateful for them and all they do and continue to search for ways we can support them as they support community.

We also learned that the primary effort we’ve been working on – focused on improving the lives of people on Medicaid – has been extended for another year. That brings us one more year of financial resources to invest in the region through our partner organizations. At the same time, our team continues to receive the maximum scoring on our deliverables to the Health Care Authority, a sign that the work our partners are doing is showing measurable impact. 

Through the last 15 months we’ve also seen the importance of public health, and the burden they carry in responding to a pandemic. Finding linkages between traditional public health and those amazing community organizations has shown itself to be a role for the ACH – bridging and advocating for communities to play a role in how emergency response is planned, organized, and delivered.