Dear Healthcare Ready Community,
Looking back on the past year, I am inspired by the way Healthcare Ready brings together partners from across public and private sectors to address our most pressing healthcare challenges. In fact, it was Healthcare Ready’s unique positioning that inspired me to join as the organization’s new Board Chair.
Over the past several years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Healthcare Ready has grown rapidly. As the only 501(c)3 nonprofit in the nation coordinating a network of partners to respond to both healthcare emergencies, supply chain disruptions, and natural disasters, we were at the forefront of innovating local, equitable resiliency and recovery strategies.
The work ahead demands that we take the lessons learned from COVID-19 and use them to become a leading voice in operationalizing how to build and rebuild resiliency, preparedness, and equity in our public health systems and communities across the country.
The Healthcare Ready team is uniquely positioned to drive this work. In June, we welcomed Tom Cotter, MPH as our new Executive Director. Tom’s proven track record in international development and emergency management will be crucial to these efforts. We also welcomed several full-time staff and announced new appointments for our board members last year. Together, we are steadfastly committed to making our vision of enduring health equity and community resiliency a reality.
My confidence in our ability to be a leader in this work comes from our past successes—success that would not be possible without you, our community of partners, donors, and collaborators. I hope you will enjoy learning about some of the incredible work you catalyzed in 2022 and that we will continue to move mountains together in 2023.
Phyllis Arthur, MBA
Board Chair, Healthcare Ready
Vice President, Infectious Diseases & Diagnostics Policy at Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Healthcare Ready leverages unique relationships with government, nonprofit and medical supply chains to build and enhance the resiliency of communities before, during and after disasters.
Healthcare Ready understands equity to be both a structural outcome and an intentional process. We know that social determinants affect how communities and individuals can navigate and heal after a crisis. We work to overcome health disparities caused by disasters and disease outbreaks so that everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic or medical status, can thrive after a hazardous event.
Disaster preparedness starts long before the first spark of a wildfire or the first image of a hurricane on radar. That’s why we worked closely with the Centene Charitable Foundation to create and disseminate the ARCHER series: a curated collection of disaster preparedness tools and resources to help frontline care providers support their communities before, during, and after disasters. Thanks to the Centene Charitable Foundation’s partnership, Healthcare Ready designed 11 trainings and 8 disaster preparedness resources that collectively reached over 650 community health center staff—giving those with the greatest local knowledge the most up-to-date guidance on how to deliver critical health and human service care in any situation.
Healthcare Ready was not only on the ground with us in Florida, helping to get needed supplies to people displaced by Hurricane Ian, but they are on the ground before disasters even strike, so that community health centers are more prepared to respond to the very immediate and urgent needs of their neighbors in crisis. We’re so glad to support the ARCHER project and provide input to it through our state health plans. We’ve also made sure that the trainings and tools created through the project are available to our health plan provider networks. This kind of preparedness makes a real difference for our members who are displaced or disconnected from the health services they need in times of crisis.”
—Keith Williamson, Centene Charitable Foundation at Centene Corporation, President
As communities across the country continued to implement measures to manage COVID-19, mpox emerged as a new contagious disease threat to the U.S. Thanks to the partnership of the AmerisourceBergen Foundation, Healthcare Ready was able to rapidly respond to this emerging crisis by:
The AmerisourceBergen Foundation was also a vital partner in 2022 hurricane response efforts, including our Hurricane Ian response and resources. Together, these efforts helped bring comprehensive, up-to-date information to frontline providers across the country.
As recent disasters have had exceedingly harmful impacts on communities, the AmerisourceBergen Foundation has remained committed to supporting efficient and safe access to pharmaceutical care around the world. We are proud and appreciative of our long-term, strategic partnership with Healthcare Ready, who is leading front-line response efforts and having a direct impact on those in need."
—Susan Lorenz-Fisher, AmerisourceBergen, Senior Vice President-Global Sustainability, ESG Integration & Real Estate
While children make up nearly 25% of the U.S. population, a comparable percentage of healthcare and disaster preparedness resources are not allocated to our youngest patients. That’s why our partnership with Patricia Frost, Vice-Chair at the National Pediatric Disaster Coalition is crucial for both protecting and advocating for our youngest patients and their families. This advocacy was crucial during 2022’s Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) surge. With the National Pediatric Disaster Coalition, Healthcare Ready created and curated resources for providers, published 11 situation reports to guide frontline clinics, and advocated for emergency declarations to bring needed resources to the hardest hit communities—all to help ensure infants, children, and their families have the resources we all need to thrive.
When NPDC reached out to Healthcare Ready at the beginning of the Pediatric Respiratory Surge we found a true partner willing to go above and beyond because ‘it was the right thing to do.’ Their public national pediatric respiratory surge situation report conducted in partnership with the many pediatric disaster organizations and champions from across the country put a spotlight on the needs of children in disaster and the work that still needs to be done.”
—Patricia Frost, Vice-Chair, National Pediatric Disaster Coalition
In our 2021 Impact Report, Board Chairman Perry Fri wrote: “2021 raised the nation’s awareness of the need for a more equitable and resilient approach to public health and emergency management.” If the last several years brought this awareness to the forefront, then 2023 demands we transform that awareness into action.
With the COVID-19 public health emergency set to expire in May amid continuing economic uncertainty and rising inflation straining communities across the country, we seem to be collectively standing on the threshold of a difficult transition into a post-COVID world. And there’s too much at stake to go back to the way things were before 2020.
This is the exact moment that Healthcare Ready was made for: to take the learnings, partnerships, and insights forged over the last three years and operationalize them to promote enduring health equity across the country. Already, we’re advancing several crucial initiatives:
Cross-sector collaborations and initiatives like these are vital for sustaining healthy communities. It’s thanks to you, our donors and partners who fuel this work, that we’re building and expanding on 2022’s successes. Together, we have no doubt that through these efforts, communities across the country will become stronger, more resilient, and with more equitable health and emergency management investments to fuel long-term recovery and enduring equity.
Partnerships power our work. Without their support, the work we do would not be possible. We are proud to work with our partners on issues related to healthcare resilience and improving the preparedness posture of the field together.
If you’re committed to health equity and community resiliency, we’d love to learn how we can work together. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.
None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the steadfast dedication of the Healthcare Ready team, who consistently go above and beyond to ensure our vision of enduring health equity for every community becomes a reality.