Our Most-Read Stories of 2020
A list of the top 12 PIH blog posts that caught readers’ attention
Posted on Dec 30, 2020
Though the COVID-19 pandemic flooded our work, website, and lives in 2020, a third of our most-read blog posts this year focused on other topics. From University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, gaining global accreditation to the documentary “Bending the Arc” debuting on Netflix and the launch of Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History, the latest book by Dr. Paul Farmer, Partners In Health (PIH) co-founder and chief strategist, 2020 was a year to remember.
PIH supporters were also eager to know about what we’re doing to stop COVID-19—how we’re supporting the response across the U.S., why contact tracing is a critical part of the fight, and how community health workers are helping vulnerable groups in Immokalee, Florida and beyond.
Below are the 12 most-read stories of 2020, listed by date of publication.
University Hospital in Haiti Earns Global Accreditation as Teaching Institution
University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, received accreditation from an international oversight group in January, affirming that the hospital meets the highest global standards as a teaching institution—and causing Dr. Paul Farmer to reach for a seat.
“There’s a Haitian expression—news that demands a chair,” said Farmer. “Usually it’s bad news, but this is truly exceptional. I have no way to express my gratitude and admiration to the Zanmi Lasante team. They have been tireless.” Read more.
Silver Bullet for Care Delivery? Invest in Nurses and Midwives
Dr. Sheila Davis is the chief executive officer of PIH and has been a nurse for more than 30 years. In February, she reflected on the World Health Organization’s decision to name 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and on how global leaders should take this moment to reach for universal health care around the world.
There was a significant confluence of events this year: The United Nations called for universal health coverage (UHC) as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the World Health Organization (WHO) named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. UHC is not a new concept, as the UN originally made this declaration in 1948, but sadly this goal has not been achieved for the vast majority of people in the world. The year 2020 is significant for nurses and midwives too, as this is the year Florence Nightingale, arguably the world’s most famous nurse, would have celebrated her 200th birthday on May 12. Read more.
10 Mental Health Tips for Coronavirus Social Distancing
In March, Dr. Giuseppe (Bepi) Raviola, director of mental health at PIH, put together a list of key practices to maintain good mental and emotional health for those asked to stay at home in efforts to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
As we entered a new and unprecedented phase of the pandemic, we were inundated with guidelines about how to keep ourselves and our families healthy and virus-free. Yet a key item on the list—social distancing—poses unprecedented challenges to our mental and emotional well-being, and requires consideration. The risk may be especially high for our children, who are suddenly cut off from school and friends. Read more.
PIH Partners with Mass. Governor’s Office on COVID-19 Response
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new initiative in early April to accelerate the state’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, by dramatically scaling up the state’s capacity for contact tracing through a new collaboration with PIH.
The Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) is designed to not just flatten the curve, but bend the curve downward to more rapidly reduce the number of cases in Massachusetts. Read more.
PIH to Support COVID-19 Response Across U.S.
Despite its vast clinical infrastructure, the United States’ struggle to respond to COVID-19 has exposed weaknesses in the public health system, which are proving to be particularly devastating for vulnerable populations. For the past three decades, PIH has been at the forefront of global health interventions in the most resource-poor settings around the world, including widespread response to epidemics such as HIV, tuberculosis, cholera, and Ebola.
PIH launched the U.S. Public Health Accompaniment Unit, which engaged U.S. government agencies, local jurisdictions, and their implementing partners with two interrelated components. Read more.
Contact Tracing: Fact vs. Fiction
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, contact tracing has been in the news as a way to stop the spread. But how does it work? And what does it mean for you?
In June, PIH staff clarified some common misconceptions about contact tracing. Read more.
COVID-19 Contact Tracing Explained
Contact tracing is key to stopping the spread of deadly, infectious diseases around the world. A tried-and-true public health practice recently used to curb Ebola, it's now a critical part of the fight against COVID-19.
PIH put together a short video explaining what contact tracing is. Read more and watch the video.
Florida Migrant Workers Among Hardest Hit by COVID-19
Migrant workers in Immokalee, Fla., not only endure long shifts, intense heat, and low pay—they face increased risk of COVID-19 due to systemic inequities.
Immokalee, a rural community of around 25,000 in Collier County, emerged early this summer as a hotspot in southern Florida’s outbreak, which worsened statewide following its reopening. Migrant workers make up the majority of Immokalee’s population and are especially at-risk for COVID-19 due to systemic inequities, ranging from occupational exposure to overcrowded living conditions. Read more.
Ekip Solid: A Conversation with Dr. Sheila Davis
Dr. Sheila Davis has said she never could have foreseen how her career would twist and turn, eventually leading her to where she sits as the chief executive officer of PIH—a position she assumed just over one year ago.
In the interview , she reflects on the current moment—and much more—in the first in an ongoing series with PIH global leaders that we’re calling Ekip Solid, or “Strong Team,” in Haitian Creole. The participants are all experts in their fields, and each interview will address how they approach leadership, share what drives them to global health work, and provide an inside look at their professional and personal passions. Read more.
PIH Documentary “Bending the Arc” Coming Soon to Netflix
Bending the Arc, the universally acclaimed documentary that tells the story of PIH’s early years and the global movement for health equity and social justice, became available to a broad audience for the first time Oct. 22, when Netflix began offering the film to streaming viewers.
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, PIH co-founder and board member, said the film resonates more than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
Q&A: Dr. Paul Farmer on His New Book: Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds
In November 2014, Partners In Health Co-founder and Chief Strategist Dr. Paul Farmer was in Freetown, Sierra Leone, breaking bread with a group of Ebola survivors as the world’s largest epidemic of the virus raged across the country.
“It was the night I met Ibrahim,” Farmer recalled, referring to one of the survivors. “We started talking and he told me he’d lost 23 members of his family to Ebola. I was shocked into silence. And what he said next was: ‘I’d like you to interview me about my experience.’” Read more.
Community Health Workers Connect Patients to Care in U.S. COVID Response
A fluent Spanish speaker, Plata began going door-to-door in Immokalee, where the majority of residents are Hispanic, answering questions and dispelling rumors about the pandemic. Read more.