An open letter to State Legislatures

Please Support Bill H.4672

22 so far! Let’s get to 25 signers!

Dear Senator, As a Baystater, I am asking for your full support of H.4672 addressing COVID-19 data collection and disparities in treatment. In addition, I hope that you will consider ensuring that "long-term care facilities licensed by the department of public health," as defined in this bill includes congregate living settings such as substance abuse facilities, residential homes, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, psychiatric facilities, group homes, etc. This bill just passed successfully through the MA House of Representatives. Supporting this bill as it now moves onto the Senate floor is a critical step to protect our most vulnerable populations, effectively allocate resources, and save lives. This legislation follows the recommendation of the CDC and the American Medical Association who strongly support the collection and publication of demographic information during this global pandemic. The limited demographic information available indicates that COVID-19 disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minority communities, with higher rates of COVID-19 infection and fatality. Systemic inequities and barriers to care contribute to high rates of underlying medical conditions in this population. Due to economic and social conditions, these communities often live in close quarters and cannot afford to stay home from work. In addition, those living and working in congregate living settings are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and should be included and protected by H.4672. The demographic information provided by this law will improve health care delivery to all populations, especially those most vulnerable to COVID-19 impacts, by improving: 1. Awareness: More demographic information will allow researchers and healthcare professionals to fully recognize the impact that COVID-19 has on all people and populations. 2. Resource-allocation: This law will better equip us to call for and utilize appropriate, culturally-responsive resources to ensure that disproportionately affected populations receive the testing and treatment they need to recover from COVID-19. It will also ensure that we are allocating appropriate resources to the healthcare providers who are tirelessly working within these communities. 3. Patient safety and health: More demographic information and research will ensure that healthcare providers can use evidence-based strategies to reduce the health disparities we are currently witnessing. Please stay safe and healthy and thank you for all you are continuing to do to support our community and state. Sincerely,

First sent on April 29, 2020 by COVID-19 Action Coalition

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