Leveraging Primary Care, Public Health and Social Context During the COVID-19 Response Within a University Setting: Considerations for the Osteopathic Family Physician
The COVID-19 pandemic placed a spotlight on both the successes and the needs across the spectrum of the healthcare system. The trusting, enduring relationships developed within the primary care setting served as an important foundation on which to build response strategies throughout the pandemic. Early detection and testing, implementation of telehealth, delivery of continuous comprehensive care, and vaccine education and administration are all key areas where primary care and public health systems successfully served patients and community. Emerging national research from the COVID-19 pandemic experience has also demonstrated the reduction in COVID-19 infection and death rates through the synergy between primary care, public health and social factors, emphasizing once again the critical role these services play and the importance of developing integration strategies for the future. In particular, the COVID-19 experience within the university setting served as a key example of this integration and synergy in action. As osteopathic family physicians, these experiences can serve as lessons learned toward embracing the opportunity afforded by our unique training, expertise and commitment to the osteopathic philosophy.