This collection of FAQs launches a national outreach program to dispel myths and increase awareness among traditionally underserved populations
Today, the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) issued patient-centered frequently asked questions (FAQ Community Watch) related to COVID-19 for its community health advocates and partners. The ABC created FAQ Community Watch to provide concrete and trustworthy information about the danger and challenges of the disease with particular attention to those with heart disease. ABC Community Programs Committee Co-chairs Paul Underwood MD, and Daphne Ferdinand Ph.D., RN, will update the FAQ Community Watch as needed.
“The unfortunate higher death rates seen in African Americans and other minorities and disadvantaged persons is not new, but has been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic and requires urgent, comprehensive action,” said Dr. Ferdinand. “Direct, culturally-sensitive messages are needed to inform and motivate the African American community and overcome myths and misinformation.”
FAQ Community Watch comprises a set of three separate documents that include a community-facing version of ABC’s healthcare professional-oriented COVID-19 FAQ Watch with “COVID-19 Community Guidelines,” and “Common Myths and Misconceptions Regarding COVID-19.” In addition to informing community members about the medical impact of the coronavirus infection, the Association seeks to raise awareness and encourage action within diverse populations. This is consistent with the Association’s focus on traditionally underrepresented communities, particularly African Americans with heart disease.
LaPrincess Brewer, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic cardiologist and Community Programs Committee member said, “The ABC has always been a beacon for addressing health inequities directly impacting the African American community and other communities of color. These communities are more accepting of health messaging from those they trust. Thus, our efforts are crucial to help mitigate the unacceptable disparities in COVID-19 cases and outcomes among our most vulnerable populations.”
COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the African American community and those with heart disease, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart failure, who are at the highest risk of severe infection. FAQ Community Watch addresses critical questions, including what factors put communities of color at increased risk, and what can be done to diminish the spread of COVID-19 and reduce their risk of deadly outcomes.
ABC continues to be inspired by how medical, scientific, and spiritual communities are pulling together at the individual, leadership, and public health levels to minimize the impact of this pandemic. This collection of downloadable FAQs and accompanying educational resources are available on the ABC website and integrate with earlier actions initiated in response to the virus.