COVID Community Response Advisory Council

En Español


Last April, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the United Way of Central and Northeastern CT began convening remotely a COVID-19 Community Response Advisory Council, consisting of representatives from nonprofit, business, faith-based and other sectors with frontline knowledge of the pandemic’s impact on the communities we serve.

The goal is to draw upon a collection of perspectives in real time. The sessions provide an opportunity to come together as thought partners and to reflect on conversations with experts. We recognize that the pandemic has revealed and exacerbated longstanding disparities in the Black and Latinx communities in accessing healthcare, employment and other opportunities. Through the Council’s collective dialogue, we are exploring strategies to address inequities and racial discrimination to ensure residents with the greatest needs have access to health services and other safety net resources.

We hope these exchanges and resources can inform our and others’ COVID recovery responses and planning to address health, housing, food insecurity, workforce, economic, and other challenges that existed before the public health crisis and have become more urgent during the pandemic.


Highlights and Resources

Kick Off Council Meeting  

Advisory council members shared out the needs most pertinent in their sector; food distribution, homeless shelters, student needs, health concerns, etc.

Read the meeting highlights.

211 Covid-19 Data Walk-through from United Way 

Annie Scully, research analyst and community outreach coordinator at United Way, gives a presentation on United Way's 211 system and COVID-related findings. 

Read the meeting highlights.

Additional Articles and Data Reports.

Challenges of COVID-19 and Mental/Behavioral Health Treatment of Already Underserved Populations  

Dr. Carlos Gonzalez, medical director and staff child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Community Child Guidance Clinic in Manchester presents Challenges of COVID-19 and Mental/Behavioral Health Treatment of Already Underserved Populations.

Read the meeting highlights. 

Additional articles and resources.

The Disproportionate Impact the Pandemic Has on Communities of Color 

Steve Grossman, president and CEO of Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), and his team--Diego Portillo Mazal, Marynee Pontes, and Howard Wial discuss impact on small business, and Dr. Maysa Akbar, Urban Trauma LLC, focuses on the impact of systemic racism.

Read the meeting highlights. 

Additional articles and resources.

Public Health and Health Equity - Breath, Eyes, Memory: Transforming Health Systems, Restoring Trust, and Advancing an Agenda For Radical Healing 

Dr. Wizdom Powell, director of the University of Connecticut Health Disparities Institute and associate professor of psychiatry at UConn Health presents Public Health and Health Equity - Breath, Eyes, Memory: Transforming health systems, restoring trust, and advancing an agenda for radical healing. 

Additional articles and resources.

Workforce Development and Employment Pre- and Post COVID 

Niall Dammando, Chief of Staff of the Office of Workforce Strategy, from the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, and Kelly Aiken, Vice President of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions present Workforce Development and Employment Pre- and Post COVID.

Additional articles and resources.

State and Local Vaccine Education and Distribution Plans, Community Outreach and Access with a Focus on Equity 

Presenters Reggy Eadie, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Trinity Health of New England, and Liany Arroyo, MPH, CPH, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services for the City of Hartford, share their experience implementing state and local vaccine education as well as distribution plans, community outreach and access, with a focus on equity.

Additional articles and resources.


Council Members
 

 Areas of need

 Council Members 

City of Hartford Mayor Bronin/Designee(s)
Education Richard Sugarman, Hartford Promise
Faith Organizations  Michael Elfenbaum, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, VP of Grants
Senior Pastor Ronald Holmes, President, Greater Hartford Interdenominational Ministries Alliance; Pastor, Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church; social worker, Department of Children and Families
Family Support  Toral Sanghavi, Associate Vice President, Management and Analytics, The Village for Families and Children
Food Security / Basic Needs Programs Jason Jakubowski, President & CEO, Foodshare
Lena Rodriguez, President & CEO, Community Renewal Team
Health / Health Access Tiffany Donelson, CEO, CT Health Foundation
Jose Ortiz, Executive Director, Hispanic Health Council 
Housing Security  Richard Cho, Chief Executive Officer, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness
Matthew Morgan, Executive Director, Journey Home
Regional Economic Impact Jim Horan, Executive Director, LISC
Statewide Philanthropic Response / Emergency Management Response Representative Karla Fortunato, President, CT Council for Philanthropy, and member, Governor’s Emergency Management Response statewide coordination taskforce
Vulnerable Populations Sarah Eagan, Connecticut’s Child Advocate, Office of Child Advocate

Enid Rey, Our Piece of the Piece (includes Opportunity Academy)
Jamey Bell, Executive Director, Greater Hartford Legal Aid

Workforce / employment security - nonprofit/for-profit  Alex Johnson, President & CEO, Capital Workforce Partners
David Griggs, President & CEO, Metro Hartford Alliance