PR Contact Info

Julie Sommer
Vice President of Marketing
julie.sommer@leavittpartners.com

Newly Released Report Details How Utah Can Reduce Health Disparities During COVID-19 and Beyond

Salt Lake City, December 14, 2020—Today, Leavitt Partners released “Addressing Health Disparities Among Racially & Culturally Diverse Populations in Utah During COVID-19,” a final report discussing the spotlight COVID-19 has put on health disparities in Utah and around the nation. The report was conducted in partnership with the Multicultural Advisory Committee of Utah’s COVID-19 Response and analyzes the national landscape of health disparities, providing interventions that could be employed in the state.

Commensurate with national trends, racially and ethnically diverse communities in Utah are experiencing more severe cases of COVID-19 as well as a greater prevalence of mental health challenges, unemployment, and other negative impacts of the pandemic. Recommended short-term interventions include including community partners in test events, implementing state-level hazard pay, ensuring accessible education on COVID-19, allocating important resources, and implementing accountability measures related to health disparities. As many disparities exist due to underlying health inequities not bound by COVID-19, the report suggests long-term interventions geared toward systemic change. Such interventions include initiatives addressing social determinants of health, lengthening funding cycles for community-based organizations, and improving coordination with private- and public-sector organizations to implement interventions.

Leaders of the Multicultural Advisory Committee, Nubia Peña, Zee Min Xiao, and Byron Russell, issued a joint statement stating, “We have the opportunity to learn from the difficult teachings of this past year. The pre-existing inequities that BIPOC communities face have been compounded during the pandemic and we are well positioned to change future outcomes by engaging in culturally responsive and inclusive efforts. When we plan for, develop, and collaborate for emergency infrastructure to service the most systematically marginalized among us, we are ensuring the safety, wellbeing and sustainability of all communities. We hope this report will elevate the invaluable perspectives of community health workers and frontline stakeholders to help inform decision makers on immediate and long-term equity-oriented interventions to address and avoid in the future the socio, cultural, economic, and health implications magnified in the pandemic.”

The English version of the report can be viewed here. A Spanish version is available here.