APHA establishes Alliance to coordinate and support COVID-19 response, strengthen public health

Date: Feb 18 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: APHA Media Relations

Our nation’s public health, medical care and first responders have stepped up heroically, but our nation is experiencing challenges that undermine our pandemic response, including:

  • Newly emerging, easily spread virus variants with grave and unpredictable health consequences;
  • Inadequate public health coordination and investment;
  • Rampant misinformation about COVID-19 and successful strategies to address it;
  • Lack of public trust and understanding and shared norms; and
  • Disproportionate pandemic impact and resource allocation on communities of color.

To address this, the American Public Health Association, in partnership with Shared Cause, established the Alliance for Disease Prevention and Response. The Alliance is a collaborative of public health organizations, business groups, the faith community, non-profits, philanthropies and other key stakeholder groups working together on this national movement to improve COVID-19 prevention and control and to strengthen our nation’s capacity to protect against future pandemics and disease outbreaks. It will also support and help inform efforts at local, state, tribal and national levels.

The Alliance’s five stated goals are to:

  1. improve alignment of efforts and information-sharing within and across multiple sectors;
  2. increase increase public engagement and acceptance of COVID-19 prevention efforts, including masking, hand hygiene, testing, contact tracing, social distancing and vaccine use;
  3. ensure adequate health and social supports of populations that experience racial, health and resource inequities and the heaviest pandemic burden;
  4. increase and sustain public and philanthropic support for a strong and resilient public health system; and
  5. eliminate the COVID-19 pandemic and protect against future societal health crises.

“The Alliance offers a much-needed home to build cross-sector support and alignment for COVID-19 efforts to enhance public health response and capacity,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “Our collective efforts will serve as a model to not only efficiently respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also improve public health through long-term disease prevention.”

“In addition to helping to coordinate and amplify efforts around COVID prevention and containment, one of the main purposes of this alliance is to engage the public directly through trusted messengers and with clear, science-based messages, “ said Stephen Greeley, president of Shared Cause. “We hope to cut through the noise and empower communities to take protective actions.”

During the Alliance’s inaugural meeting on Dec. 14, more than 70 partners from multiple sectors met to share information and lessons about the COVID-19 response and establish how the Alliance can collectively support and advance COVID-19 prevention and support public health.

For more information about the Alliance visit their webpage or contact Alliance@apha.org.

###

The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.