Public Health Experts Must Build Effective Partnerships, Engage Better With All Communities Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Says Opinion Piece
Washington Post: We’re public health experts. We need to do a better job of talking to conservatives
Lindsey Leininger, clinical professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and co-director of the Dear Pandemic public health campaign, and Harold Pollack, professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and co-director of the University of Chicago Health Lab
“…We [in the public health community] have failed to nurture and preserve our own standing as a trusted resource for much of America. We must do better. A key piece of our professional training involves identifying and addressing the blind spots caused by our beliefs, backgrounds, cultural influences, and preferred information sources. It’s crucial to do this if we want to build effective partnerships with communities and cultures that differ from our own. … We cannot allow the public health enterprise to become estranged from conservative America. We can do better, starting with a reaffirmation that our shared values are more important than what sets us apart. … Rather than assuming we know best how to promote protective measures and behaviors, we who work in public health should always look to successful messengers for these ideas within the communities we hope to persuade. … We must build and sustain these relationships for the long haul. In the fight against covid-19, and beyond, we’re going to need them” (10/12).