Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have gathered together to educate and provide support for assisting individuals and families. Organizations such as the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN) have greatly impacted the community and done a phenomenal job in creating awareness for the COVID-19 outbreak to people of racial and ethnic minorities.

The partnership between the Morehouse School of Medicine and the NCRN coordinates a strategic and structured national network of national, state/territorial/tribal, and local public and community-based organizations that mitigate the impact of COVID on racial and ethnic minorities, and rural populations. Specifically, the NCRN provides awareness of culturally appropriate health education information and linkage to care, helping organizations and families recover from pandemic difficulties. The NCRN was created for community, by the community, governed by community leaders across the nation’s states, territories, and tribes.

The six primary objectives of the NCRN program are: identify and engage communities through local, state, territory, tribes, and national partners; nurture existing and develop new partnerships to ensure an active information dissemination network; disseminate culturally and linguistically appropriate information in partnership with communities and national, state, local, territory, tribe, and government organizations; link communities to resources with technology by connecting communities to community health workers, healthcare, and social services; monitor and evaluate identifying successes and measuring outcomes to improve the program; and comprehensive dissemination using mainstream media, white papers, and publications to educate and train the response workforce.

The priority populations that the NCRN targets include: Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Blacks/African Americans, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Individuals with Disabilities, Justice System Involved Adults, Migrant/Agricultural Farmworkers, Immigrant/Refugee Communities, and Underserved Rural Populations.

In order to serve the priority populations and the communities, the NCRN has created a sub-committee of the NCRN National Community Coalition Board (NCCB) called the Regional Community Coalition (RCC). The RCC allows for the expansion of the network at the grassroots level while fostering collaboration and networking to create sustainability among Community Organizations and Strategic Partners and includes representation from the Territory and Regional Offices of Minority Health. The RCC has opened to all community-based organizations that sign up as volunteer Community Organization Partners for the NCRN including grassroots non-profit organizations, academic institutions, inpatient and outpatient healthcare facilities, clinician networks, hospital systems, faith-based organizations, and federal agencies. By joining the RCC, organizations will be able to receive many benefits including access to news/publications that are culturally relevant to the serviced populations; access to COVID-19 educational materials that are culturally and linguistically designed to assist in COVID-19 mitigation efforts; the opportunity to engage and network with other national and international organizations committed to combating the effects of COVID-19 within their communities; a monthly NCRN newsletter highlighting resources, promising practices, and cultural insights from the community; the opportunity to participate in the Regional Community Coalition with representation from State and Local Offices of Minority Health; and the opportunity to apply for RCC Microgrants, which is funded by the NCRN to help fund Regional Community Coalition partnerships while amplifying the NCRN’s objective of mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority, rural, and other disproportionately impacted populations.

Through the opportunity to apply for the RCC Microgrant provided by the partnership between Morehouse School of Medicine and the NCRN, the Asian American Resource Foundation (AARC) is a proud recipient of the 2021 Microgrant. AARC has worked in Gwinnett County for over 25 years now and has established credibility and reach within the Asian American Community. Our role as a Community-based organization will allow for expansion and delivery of the NCRN’s network of designed collateral materials, tools and technology, and other news and publication resources that have been culturally and linguistically designed to assist and optimize their COVID-19 outreach efforts.

AARC has a roadmap and network to effectively spread the message across the community and reach the isolated and underserved members of the community through an array of activities including news articles, blog posts, flyers, posters, website content along with engagement opportunities such as mental health seminars and help desks to disseminate the information about safety, preventative measures, and self-care during COVID-19 and assist to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the mental and emotional health in the community.

The Asian American Resource Foundation greatly appreciates the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network for the opportunity to further mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Asian American population.