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COVID-19 Health Equity Response Team​

In April of 2020, the OHE established the COVID-19 Health Equity Response Team. This diverse taskforce is made up of over 300 community, government, and academic stakeholders who have developed COVID-19 recommendations to serve 11 vulnerable populations in the Commonwealth. In the summer of 2020, the Health Equity Response Team developed 69 recommendations constituting a plan to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 among vulnerable populations and to reduce the potential of unintentional harm, loss of life, suffering and long term multi-generational impact. Moving forward, this group will look to reduce the burden of the pandemic during the recovery phase and proactively look at ways to increase health equity within public health infrastructure.

Vulnerable populations served:

  • Pregnant women and parents of extremely young or multiple children
  • Pennsylvanians over age 65
  • Racial and ethnic minorities(R/EM)
  • LGBTQ community
  • Incarcerated or returning citizens
  • Individuals living with mental health and/or substance abuse disorder
  • Rural Pennsylvanians
  • Economically challenged individuals, low-wage essential employees, and the un-and underinsured
  • Survivors of interpersonal violence(SIPV)
  • Pennsylvanians with disabilities and individuals who experience short-term or persistent housing insecurity or live in congregate housing
  • Individuals who have immigrated and/or those for whom English is a second language
Team Leads

Pennsylvanians Over Age 65Geoffrey Roche
Racial and Ethnic MinoritiesOralia Dominic
Khadijah Mitchell
Pregnant Women and Families of Young/Multiple ChildrenNancy Mimm
Aasta Mehta
Rural PennsylvaniansAllison Robinson
Pennsylvanians with Disabilities and Individuals Who Experience Short-Term or Persistent Housing Insecurity or Live in Congregate HousingChristine Heyser
Individuals Who Have Immigrated and/or Those for Whom English is a Second LanguageMeagan Hume
Survivors of Interpersonal ViolenceBelinda Williams
Incarcerated or Returned ResidentsTaWanda Stallworth
Individuals Living with Mental Health and/or Substance Abuse DisorderRoseanne Scotti
Economically Challenged Individuals, Low-Wage Essential Employees, and The Un-and UnderinsuredRebecka Rosenquist
Caroline La Rochelle
The LGBTQ CommunitySarah Russo