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PERSPECTIVE/VIEWPOINT
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-72

Project CommUnity: Integrating Social Determinants of Health to Meet the Needs of the Underserved During the COVID-19 Pandemic


1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA
2 Department of Humanities, Health and Society, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Eduardo Camps-Romero
Department of Humanities, Health and Society, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St, AHC2 591, Miami, Florida 33199
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_1_21

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The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and its consequences have seriously affected Americans' physical and mental health. We developed Project CommUnity, an integrated individual and population health response to the COVID-19 pandemic based on the preexisting foundational principles of the Florida International University Green Family Foundation Neighborhood Health Education Learning Program (NeighborhoodHELP). NeighborhoodHELP identifies and addresses the social determinants of health (SDOH) that can improve the health outcomes for household members by emphasizing social accountability and interprofessional education while providing patient and household-centered care. A lack of pandemic related mental health literature led us to build on a disaster mental health framework that is informed by our community resulting in the elaboration of specific concerns and our program's responses to them. Integrating the systematic assessment of SDOH and addressing these factors as a routine component of clinical care has the potential to improve the health of our underserved patients. We discuss how NeighborhoodHELP has mobilized to address the psychosocial needs of our households by expanding upon our existing programming and providing a range of tailored services in response to the current crisis. It is our aim to present how a social understanding of the current disaster can guide the development of an integrated health care response, focusing on the needs of low-income minority households who are disproportionately affected and least equipped to respond to the burdens suddenly imposed on them.


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