PSC Compendium Articles
The United States has made tremendous strides in improving our nation’s health through numerous policies, initiatives, and programs. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has unraveled much of the progress made in recent and highlighted the glaring gaps and system failures that have historically driven health disparities for specific racial, ethnic, income and age groups and geographic locations. As government and public health partners strive to eliminate health disparities and address inequities that are preventing individuals and communities from achieving optimal health—not only during this pandemic but in moving forward—all sectors of society must address the social determinants of health and maximize opportunities for creating change.
The HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and opioid use disorder (OUD) epidemics constitute a syndemic of crisis proportions in the United States today. This syndemic is overwhelming a public health system that is deeply engaged in managing emerging infectious diseases, chronic diseases, environmental disasters and unintentional injuries resulting from violence and accidents. Successfully addressing the syndemic and eliminating HIV, HCV, and OUD will be challenging, but if each public health sector commits to working in partnership and leveraging the knowledge and skills at our collective disposal, we can certainly reach this lofty goal.
Community Systems Analysis: A Mixed Methods Approach to Evaluating the Integrated Effects of Public Health Interventions (2018)
All too often, attempts at addressing public health challenges focus only on the individual and their personalized behaviors. These attempts can yield desirable outcomes; however, they are typically short-lived in the absence of the community’s capacity and will to change. Consequently, public and private funding is increasingly being provided to communities to support system-level outcomes. At MayaTech, we developed the Community Systems Analysis (CSA) model to analyze multiple sources of data from targeted communities and assess contextual factors, facilitators of, and barriers to intervention success and sustainability. This model produces highly nuanced information for intervention management and public policy assessment.
Hepatitis C infection is a significant public health concern that impacts an estimated 3.5 million people in the United States. Research indicates that seventy-five percent (75%) of those living with chronic hepatitis C are Baby Boomers; however, the opioid abuse crisis escalating throughout the United States has substantially increased the rate of new hepatitis C infections among young adults. Public health efforts to address this complex epidemic must consider the unique challenges faced by these priority populations, including the high price of curative efforts and social stigma associated with injection drug use.