NEJM September 23, 2020
Patricia J. Peretz, M.P.H., Nadia Islam, Ph.D., and Luz Adriana Matiz, M.D.

As the United States navigates the uncertainties of Covid-19 and begins a long-overdue process of confronting systemic racism, the communities most affected by poverty, racism, and language barriers and those with the largest populations of immigrants continue to have the worst health outcomes. In the weeks immediately after the pandemic spread to the United States, disadvantaged communities were faced with reduced access to care, a widening digital divide, and inadequate supplies, such as food and diapers. Investing in community health workers (CHWs) and community-based organizations can help address the social determinants of poor health that disproportionately affect low-income, minority populations and that are magnified during times of crisis. These workers and organizations can help improve material conditions, facilitate access to...

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