To date there has been over 42,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. alone. Data shows disproportionate rates of infection and death within communities of color, with the disparity in death rates up to 40 percent in some communities. There are various reasons cited for this disparity including more underlying health risk in these communities that increase vulnerability, lack of appropriate protections, denseness of community populations, more exposure due to the economics of the communities, and the basic lack of access to healthcare. Infections within these communities occur at twice the national rate according to released data.
The American College of Emergency Physicians' (ACEP) Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity Section developed an initiative to reach out to these high risk communities with letters to community leaders and ministers. Understanding community cultures, we realized that trusted ministers and community leaders have a great impact on messaging within many of the high-risk communities. Our goal is to communicate the personal concern from emergency physicians and to provide messages concerning risk and recommendations for safety.
We developed a set of letters, audience dependent, that we are circulating to ministers and community leaders to solicit their involvement with this messaging initiative. We are receiving positive feedback and leaders are notifying us that they are forwarding the letters. We are confident that this effort will be beneficial within these high-risk communities. We are sharing our initiative with the emergency medicine community and welcoming your participation.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity Individualized Letters
A message for community safety