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Read the full story here: The American Cancer Society and Color Health announce a partnership aimed at increasing access and adherence to cancer screening and prevention.

The American Cancer Society and Color Health announce a new partnership.

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How COVID-19 Prepared Us for MPX: Key Components of Infectious Disease Response Management

Scott Topper, PhD

lab clinician with microscope

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a cascade of administrative actions that are spurring the response to monkeypox, increasingly referred to as MPX – the World Health Organization, the White House, CDC, HHS, FEMA, State of California, State of Washington, and the cities of San Francisco and New York have all declared health emergencies. These measures signal a consensus recognition across many levels of government that we are at a critical time in the early stages of the spread of a dangerous infectious disease that is new to our part of the world. 

We hope to have learned lessons from COVID-19. An organized and rapid response, that coordinates testing, treatment, vaccinations and clear messaging and that is deployed through effective partnerships with community groups can be effective in limiting the impact of this most recent pandemic. As Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization puts it:

 “This is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.”

Color Health works hand-in-hand with governments, public health institutions, employers, community partners, and national health initiatives to drive public health outcomes by transforming access to basic health care services like testing, vaccinations, clinical consultations, and access to prescription treatments. Infectious disease prevention and management are major applications of our infrastructure. Color supports access to public safety programs across COVID, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections and diseases, in the public and private spheres, and has a presence in all 50 states and over 26,000 zip codes. 

What we have learned through that work is this: it is possible to deploy effective, large-scale public health interventions quickly, safely and fairly. When we prioritize clear clinical protocols, convenient access to recommended services, community partnerships, and a deep respect for user experience, access, and equity, effective programming is welcomed by the communities it is intended to support.

The key components of an infectious disease management program are clear guidance, easily available testing, accessible immunization, and therapeutics distribution. In all of these areas, Color partners with organizations and communities to manage seemingly complex, disparate health needs by combining them into a simple solution. Our model serves as an example of a leading public health response and includes:

  1. Easy access to testing through community sites or at-home sample collection protocols.
  2. A national laboratory testing network infrastructure by integrating commercial and public health labs into a high-capacity, national lab network, which can respond quickly to surges. 
  3. Fast, secure information management, which includes lightweight patient registration and return of results, infectious disease state agency reporting, HIPAA secure results sharing, and program effectiveness statistics and dashboards. 
  4. A “clinic in a box” which supports logistics, procurement, staffing, and protocol support for community partners for testing and vaccination programs. 
  5. Telemedicine support and prescription services to provide therapeutics access via equitable and accessible virtual consultations, prescriptions, and pharmacy fulfillment. 
  6. Billing support, information management and claims processing to offset the cost of large-scale programming.
  7. Access. This includes multi-language materials, clear communication, and effective design.

For MPX, stopping the spread and providing timely treatment to those who need it is possible if we build on the hard-earned lessons of the last few years.