As COVID trends downward, Louisville health leaders look toward new, equitable focus
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - COVID-19 is declining in Louisville, and the worst of the omicron variant may be in the past. The approximately 12,000 cases reported in the previous week are 2,000 fewer than the previous week and 4,000 fewer than a month ago.
Health experts like Dr. Edward Miller, the Chief Diversity Officer at UofL Health, said there are already plans to capitalize on COVID response plans by using them elsewhere.
“We have so many health care disparities, with cancer rates, hypertension, diabetes,” said Dr. Edward Miller, Chief Diversity Officer at UofL Health, “and I think what we have to learn is that if we don’t put that same emphasis on solving those barriers like we did with COVID, we’re not doing what we need to do.”
Delanor Manson of the Kentucky Nurses Association said Tuesday only 4% of nurses in Kentucky are Black, despite representing 8% of the population. She said she believes it is critical for people to feel represented and comfortable when seeking medical treatment.
“It is extremely important that in health care that people whom come to the health care system see people that look like them,” Manson said.
Rather than waiting for minorities and underserved communities to come to them, Manson said the pandemic emphasized the necessity of reaching out to them. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Tuesday that efforts to treat and prevent COVID in minority and underserved communities have been largely successful.
Similarly, Miller said the pandemic has provided an extended opportunity to speak with people who are hesitant to get vaccinated, which represents a larger group of people.
“Those are individuals that are also more likely to not be up to date on preventative health care screenings,” said Miller. “,and it’s an opportunity to have a conversation not just about COVID.”
To check vaccination numbers and incident rates in different neighborhoods in Louisville, check the city’s COVID-19 dashboard.
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