As Elmhurst Hospital Center became the epicenter of New York City’s COVID-19 crisis, Mount Sinai’s Arnhold Institute for Global Health stepped up as a critical part of the health care response in partnership with the Global Health Institute at Elmhurst Hospital/NYC Health + Hospitals. We have identified three areas of urgent need and quickly developed a research unit to answer critical questions and then to implement solutions to protect the most vulnerable. We believe health care system improvements that address social inequities are fundamental to pandemic preparedness and response.
Our programs address:
Reproductive and Child Health: We are examining the broad impact of the pandemic on women and infants using survey and medical record data: physical and mental health, social and economic losses, and the effect on the birth experience. We are engaging with providers and community-based organizations to improve the social support and care of pregnant and postpartum women and their children facing COVID-19.
People Living with HIV: We are evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and social distancing measures on the physical, mental, and social health of adolescents and adults living with HIV by performing phone-based assessments and outreach.
Social and Environmental Factors: Exploring the impact of social and environmental factors on the health disparities faced by vulnerable populations is central to our approach, including our work with mothers and babies and people living with HIV. In addition, we are participating in a large retrospective analysis assessing at the household level the effects of air pollution, overcrowding, excessive policing, race/ethnicity, household income, and the built environment on COVID severity, with the long-term goal of developing strategies to mitigate these risks.