South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health releases report on lessons learned from COVID-19

IMPH Releases Report and Recommendations Developed by S.C. Experts Examining Lessons Learned...
IMPH Releases Report and Recommendations Developed by S.C. Experts Examining Lessons Learned from COVID-19(IMPH)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:59 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health, released its latest taskforce report: Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Contagious Disease Outbreak Planning and Response in South Carolina, which includes recommendations focused on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carolinas Pandemic Preparedness Taskforce examined pandemic preparedness, response and recovery in North and South Carolina, with help from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. The taskforce included more than 80 key experts from both states, according to an IMPH press release.

Executive Director of IMPH, Maya Pack says the COVID-19 pandemic continues to lead to widespread societal changes.

“It is of the utmost importance for us to not only document and learn from the pandemic but also find ways to inform and enact policy that will help South Carolina navigate the challenges presented by epidemics, pandemics and other contagious disease outbreaks,” Pack said.

North and South Carolina taskforce members found commonalities in recommendations needed to address the pandemic, including:

  • Promoting health equity.
  • Developing a supported workforce.
  • Strengthening data infrastructure.
  • Improving the resiliency and flexibility of supply chain operations.
  • Improving health care and behavioral health accessibility.
  • Ensuring a system of education adaptable to virtual and hybrid learning needs.

Co-chair of the Carolinas Pandemic Preparedness Taskforce, Dr. Harris Pastides says the taskforce focused on equity with attention to the needs of vulnerable populations and historically marginalized communities.

“We must create the infrastructure, preparedness and response resources that will protect us all moving forward,” Dr. Pastides said.

The taskforce’s South Carolina-specific report includes recommendations addressing public health infrastructure, data, workforce, education, supply chain, health care delivery, behavioral health and telehealth and broadband.

The report also covers:

  • Health disparities that led to significant life expectancy losses beginning in 2020.
  • Case, hospitalization and mortality rates by race and ethnicity from 2020-2022.
  • Foundational elements and competencies critical to a strong public health infrastructure.
  • Workforce challenges in health care and public health worsened by COVID-19 and associated nationwide competition for a select workforce.
  • Opportunities for policies and initiatives to ensure individuals and groups on the local level are aware of state resources and vice versa.
  • Challenges associated with inaccurate predictive data-sharing early in the pandemic.
  • Policies to better support essential workers.

The Carolinas Pandemic Preparedness Taskforce worked from 2021-22, collecting and sharing its insights, information and recommendations for the report.

For information on the taskforce, the contributors and more, access the full report.

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