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St. Louis area leaders, groups come together to form centralized COVID-19 response team

"No single organization or institution can respond to this crisis alone. The only effective response is a coordinated one."

ST. LOUIS — Leaders and organizations in St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Madison County and St. Clair County have come together to form a regional team to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Regional Response team will build on the knowledge and experience of established organizations and form a centralized team to help people get assistance to those who need it most.

"No single organization or institution can respond to this crisis alone. The only effective response is a coordinated one," a news release from the response team said.

The team is led by Jason Purnell, Associate Professor in the Brown School at Washington University and Director of Health Equity Works. It will utilize the United Way's 211 information service and volunteer center.

The team's four goals, according to the news release, are:

  1. Identify and prioritize the critical needs of vulnerable populations
  2. Share effective solutions and approaches between providers in different areas of need
  3. Deploy critical resources in an efficient and coordinated manner
  4. Highlight needs and opportunities to funders, decision-makers and the broader community

“Our region’s most vulnerable populations are historically under-served and this pandemic requires us to provide care and services in ways that no individual agency can accomplish on their own,” Purnell said in the release. “An equitable response to this pandemic requires that we focus our attention on those at greatest risk of contracting this virus and those whose lives were lived in risk before this crisis.”

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The team will be split into six areas of coordination:

  • Food, housing and basic needs
  • Physical and behavioral health
  • Children and education
  • Employment
  • Justice and legal supports
  • Services for older adults and people with disabilities

If your organization would like to be a part of the team, you can find more information at C19RRT.org.

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