#FirstRespondersFirst: The Path Forward

Summary

#FirstRespondersFirst: The Path Forward
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Presented jointly by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation
Hosted by The Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Four months ago, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation launched #FirstRespondersFirst with a simple mission: get help to those who need it most. Since then, the organization has raised nearly $8 million to provide PPE, food, housing, child care, and mental health services to the frontline health workers–social workers, home health aides, nurses, physicians, and more–who continue to risk their lives every day in the fight against this enduring pandemic. 

But COVID-19 cases continue to surge in many parts of the US. Unemployment filings are still rising. The pandemic’s profound mental health effects are just starting to reveal themselves. And after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, our country is now reckoning with the systemic racism that permeates our infrastructures and has manifested itself in the disproportionate COVID-19 impacts on racial and ethnic minority groups. If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that we cannot take our foot off the gas. 

This panel discussion took stock of what #FirstRespondersFirst has accomplished and where we need to go next. We are committed to making #FirstRespondersFirst an enduring effort so as to elevate and improve the long-term physical and mental health of our frontline workers, particularly the most vulnerable and underserved.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Press release: #FirstRespondersFirst Raises Nearly $8 Million to Support Healthcare Workers on the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Launches New Mental Health Initiative and Announces Leadership Council