The students were actively engaged in teamwork, exchanged experiences, opinions, and perspectives to develop the most relevant approach to accessing social service issues from the perspective of the local entities.
Despite working as a team, each student was able to apply personal views and project-related knowledge when synthesizing the community needs to be detected during the survey. From this perspective, the development of relevant questions was essential because it influenced the direction of the overall project, the success in the identification of some tentative problems that have the highest level of impact under the circumstances of pandemic-induced isolation. The diversity of opinions allowed the research team to increase its capacity and ultimately integrate the multiple concerns into a comprehensive framework of approachable tasks.
Support larger HEMA?
The students managed to contribute to the cause pursued by the HIEMA at large by enhancing the evidential data availability for further work on increasing funding, expanding necessary services, and filling the identified gaps in managing the COVID-19 emergency.
Insights into the Pandemic Response
As identified during the survey, the list of immediate concerns related to organizational strain is the lack of personal protective equipment and the understaffing of healthcare organizations. As the first responders to the disaster, medical workers are disproportionately exposed to the threats of the pandemic. The identified issues of insufficient funding, the lack of protective means, and an inadequate patient-specialist ratio comprise a significant task to solve in the future for enhanced response to COVID-19 threats.
The statistically approved high level of risk of COVID-19 to the elder populations triggers the need for enhanced caution when serving these groups.
As a particularly vulnerable population, patients with chronic illnesses are at risk due to the restrictions in performing scheduled medical procedures. Moreover, since the majority of resources are directed at the pandemic response, individuals with chronic conditions remain underserved.
The contribution of the academic team has enhanced the scope of research using an interdisciplinary approach to surveying. All counties and multiple community organizations were surveyed to obtain a multifaceted picture of the population’s needs and nonprofits’ concerns. The research is a valuable contribution to the future of the community since it provides the foundation for achievements evaluation and further planning of NiEMA’s efforts aimed to manage the COVID-19 situation.