The coronavirus is quickly spreading across the globe and many are asking what they can do to assist with this pandemic and how they can help better prepare for similar situations in the future. The NIC recently held a webinar around the coronavirus pandemic and discussed the importance of advancing issues that surround social determinants of health. One of the biggest questions that came up during the discussion is how universities can be helpful in terms of assisting with the coronavirus, particularly on the social determinants of health side.

There were many different responses to this question, to include having universities capture learnings around how people respond to these types of emergencies and what toll does it take on people’s mental health, particularly when it comes to infectious diseases. It was also recommended that universities partner with public health departments within local communities to not only ask these departments what role universities can play to assist during these types of emergencies but how universities can help these departments plan for similar situations in the future.

The School of Public Policy out of Canada wasted no time in putting out information around how the Canadian government could act swiftly to mitigate the impact of this pandemic and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Implementations included strengthening the healthcare sector, enacting universal paid sick leave, providing additional financial resources to low-income families. Could other countries benefit from these implementation suggestions?

These are all great suggestions for universities but what other suggestions do people have? What data can universities capture to help public health departments now and in the future? Can you share examples of universities assisting in this pandemic? Are there helpful university resources that you’ve seen and can share?

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