LOS ANGELES – During COVID-19, Heluna Health’s outbreak response programs ensured that essential health resources reached communities during this unprecedented emergency.
With an investment in mission-driven research, the organization has already begun the work of helping our community partners tackle gaps in preparedness that may be responsible for negative health impacts during a future outbreak.
Heluna Health researchers have conducted a systematic review to identify the range of available tools or indices to assess community outbreak preparedness, vulnerability, and resilience. The results were published online on June 15 in Preventive Medicine Reports. Led by Jo Kay Ghosh, PhD, MPH, Director of Research and Evaluation, the review “lays the groundwork” for ongoing work in preparedness and provides insights into what kind of tools are needed to improve outbreak preparedness at a local level.
Outbreaks like COVID-19 have shown that local resources have an influence on a wide range of communicable disease outcomes. However, the review found few existing indices with local-level metrics that identified the resources and community attributes most relevant to future outbreaks of communicable diseases. For example, the review found no tools that assess both public health system capacity and measures of community socio-demographic characteristics that contribute to disease vulnerability.
Ghosh and the review’s co-authors, Christopher Rogers, PhD, MPH, Kasturi Bhamidipati, MPH, and Heluna Health’s President and CEO, Blayne Cutler, MD, PhD., may conduct further research based on this review with the goal of equipping local decision makers with information that can strengthen future outbreak responses.