NASHVILLE, Tenn., December 14, 2021 (Newswire.com) - As cities across the country brace for new COVID-19 variants, NashvilleHealth and partners have released a comprehensive review of lessons learned from the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic so far. Nashville is the first city in the nation to conduct an in-depth analysis of its COVID-19 response.
NashvilleHealth, in partnership with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Health Care Council, and Meharry Medical College Center for the Study of the Social Determinants of Health consulted Washington D.C.-based research firm Avalere Health to conduct the independent analysis.
"This deeply researched, collaborative project is a prime example of our healthcare, nonprofit, business, government, and stakeholder communities responsibly coming together to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of all Nashvillians, for now and the future," said Senator Bill Frist, M.D., former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and founder and chairman of NashvilleHealth. "The report's far-reaching, practical recommendations provide an indispensable roadmap to a safer and better-prepared future for the next crisis."
Avalere Health conducted a series of wide-ranging interviews with key community leaders to understand Nashville's response and presented these findings in a detailed report - "Strategies for Future Preparedness: Examining the Impact of COVID-19 in Nashville" - that makes specific recommendations to inform and better prepare for future health emergencies.
In its findings, the report commends Nashville's science-driven approach, crisis communication infrastructure, and public-private partnerships, and encourages the city to continue to leverage these and other assets going forward.
The report then offers 28 recommendations to be considered by hospitals, community-based organizations (CBOs), metro government, researchers, non-profits, and business leaders in Nashville for any future public health emergency. The recommendations encourage leaders to: emphasize and prioritize regular investments in our public health infrastructure and crisis readiness, elevate supports for Nashville's most vulnerable populations based on unique needs, align best practices across Nashville's thriving tourism community, elevate leaders of Nashville's minority faith communities as key influencers and trusted representatives, develop improved and standardized data sharing among health providers for better care coordination and outcomes and create mobile-friendly online portals for residents and businesses to use for testing, vaccinations, and applying for economic relief, as well as following progress on pandemic metrics.
Consistent with the rest of the country, the report finds Nashville's most vulnerable residents disproportionately felt the negative impacts of COVID-19, both physically and economically.
"This report is critical to examining Nashville's response to one of the largest public health challenges in the history of our nation," said Dr. James E. K. Hildreth, President and CEO of Meharry Medical College. "This review shows us how we can work together to make systemic changes to create a more equitable and healthier Nashville."
In conducting this report in real-time, Nashville has established a precedent for collaborative, comprehensive self-examination that allows for immediate and long-term improved response to current and future challenges.