The COVID-19 pandemic is touching every aspect of New York's health care system and broader community, and its effects will be long-lasting. This page includes links to various UHF efforts related to COVID-19: resources, analysis, and commentary. UHF staff will be updating this page as new resources become available. 

We encourage everyone to stay safe and heed the advice of health professionals. For immediate and up-to-date information, please visit the coronavirus pages of the CDC, the New York State Department of Health, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Commentary: Responding to Fundamental Challenges Exposed and Exacerbated by COVID-19

This is UHF President Anthony Shih's letter from the 2021 annual report.


Commentary: Closing Gaps in Literacy, Equity, and Access

Denise Arzola, LCSW, UHF's director of Clinical-Community Partnerships, explains how pediatric providers can help bolster children's literacy and describes a new UHF project created to tackle this critical issue.


Commentary: Transforming Primary Pediatric Care: Lessons Learned from PEDS Learning Network Health Equity Projects

UHF Senior Program Manager Susan Olivera, MPH, writes about lessons learned from the inaugural fellowship program of the Pediatrics for an Equitable Developmental Start (PEDS) Learning Network.


Commentary: Language Access Equity: A Roadmap for Improving Care for Language-Minority Patients

Helen Arteaga Landaverde, the CEO of Elmhurst Hospital, and Bill Tan, the CEO of Canopy Innovations, Inc., examine the crucial issue of language access equity in health care.


Commentary: A Vital Opportunity: How Health Care Can Improve Food Security

UHF's Emily Arsen, Denise Arzola, and Gabriela Groenke write that hospitals and other stakeholders in the health care system are uniquely situated to improve food security in their communities.


Commentary: The Pandemic’s Lessons for the Health Care Ecosystem

UHF President Tony Shih, MD, highlights six key lessons from the pandemic for New York’s health care ecosystem. 


Commentary: After the American Rescue Plan: Trick or Treat?

Peter Newell, director of UHF’s Health Insurance Project and Patricia S. Levinson Fellow, looks at health insurance coverage in New York after the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and highlights options for reaching those who still lack coverage as well as the possibility of additional federal help.


Commentary: Not Sick Does Not Mean Well

As we continue to follow the statistics on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, let’s not forget about a parallel mental health crisis that may not be as visible but also demands our attention and compassion, writes UHF President Anthony Shih, MD


A Critical Opportunity to Support Children and Families Affected by the Opioid Crisis

UHF senior fellows Carol Levine and Lee Partridge highlight an important opportunity to help children and families affected by the opioid crisis.


Helping the Asian American Community Recover from the Devastation of COVID-19

Wayne Ho, president and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, spotlights the pandemic’s severe impact on New York’s Asian American community and lays out needed steps for recovery.


When Improving Patient-Provider Communication, Don’t Forget the Family Caregiver

Carol Levine discusses how a tool such as How’s My Health Dashboard can support conversations between patients and their caregivers and, in turn, enhance their interactions with providers about issues of health and well-being.


Commentary: Opportunities in a Time of Crisis: Launching Innovative Long-Term Care Programs During COVID-19

Stuart B. Almer, Gurwin Healthcare System president and CEO, writes about one of the few bright spots amid the devastation of COVID-19—the opportunity to leverage technology and innovation to improve life for seniors.


Commentary: As Vaccines Roll Out, It Is Essential to Accommodate Those With Disabilities

Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York, argues that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines must accommodate those with disabilities.


Commentary: Provider-Payer Collaboration Could Strengthen Vaccine Adoption

Karen Ignagni, President & CEO of EmblemHealth, writes that health plans can and should join other stakeholders to address vaccine hesitancy among underserved and disadvantaged groups.


Commentary: To Advance Health Equity, We Must Bridge Gaps in Health Data and Measurement

UHF's senior medical officer, Anne-Marie J. Audet, MD, MSc, looks at how the pandemic has underscored long-standing data issues that pose significant barriers to both measuring and addressing inequities in health and health care quality.


Commentary: Struggling in the Time of COVID: Viewing the Pandemic Through the Eyes of a Frontline Health Care Worker

Danyelle DiScala, a New York City social worker and member of 1199 SEIU, looks at important day-to-day issues facing many Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Commentary: Emergency Department Visits in the Age of COVID: Some Lessons Learned

Yves Duroseau, MD, MPH, chairman of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, examines how emergency department use may have been affected by the coronavirus.


Commentary: For Health Care, a New Day and a Long Road Ahead

UHF President Anthony Shih, MD, argues that while President-Elect Joseph Biden and his new administration offer a reprieve from the constant assaults on the Affordable Care Act, it would be a mistake to believe that all will now be well in health care. Dr. Shih's post-election commentary outlines the immense challenges still facing America’s health care system.


Commentary: Can You Provide Pre-existing Condition Protections Without the ACA?  It’s Not So Easy

Peter Newell, director of UHF’s Health Insurance Project, highlights the numerous ways that provisions of the Affordable Care Act protect consumers with pre-existing conditions. 


Commentary: Antibiotic Resistance in the Era of COVID-19

UHF senior program manager Pooja Kothari reports that the COVID-19 pandemic may be intensifying antibiotic resistance and recommends steps that can be taken to help address this critical issue. 


Report: Analysis of COVID-19’s Impact on Children in New York State

Between March and July of 2020, 4,200 children in New York State lost a parent to COVID-19—one out of every 1,000—and 325,000 children were pushed into or near poverty by the pandemic-related economic downturn, according to a United Hospital Fund report based on an analysis conducted in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group.


Commentary: To Prepare for the Next Pandemic, Health Care Needs to Tackle Racism

Ram Raju, MD, the former senior vice president and community health investment officer at Northwell Health, writes that there is a need and an opportunity for health care leaders to confront racism. 


Health Insurance: Rethinking Goals Amid Interrupted Progress

United Hospital Fund president Anthony Shih, MD, writes about the need to rethink goals on health insurance coverage amid the disruption of COVID-19. This commentary also appears in the summer 2020 issue of UHF's Blueprint newsletter. 


Commentary: Post-Acute Care and COVID-19: An Already Fraught Decision Becomes Even More Difficult 

Lynn Rogut, UHF director of quality and team lead for quality and efficiency in the Quality Institute, describes the challenges surrounding post-acute care now that CMS has waived its new post-acute care regulations during this public health emergency; this commentary explains the regulations as well as the downside of delaying them.


Commentary: Critical Connections: Coordinating Health and Housing Needs during COVID-19

United Hospital Fund program manager Kristina Ramos-Callan looks at the link between housing and health in the COVID-19 era and highlights community innovations that can help meet urgent needs.


Commentary: Examining the State of Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Robin Gelburd, the President of FAIR Health, shares some of her organization’s recent data on telehealth and offers insights on how this important service is evolving during the pandemic. 


Commentary: A Post-COVID-19 Primary Care Agenda: First Steps

David A. Gould, former Senior Vice President for Program at UHF and Board Chair of the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), and Carol Raphael, a Senior Advisor at Manatt Health Solutions and Vice Chair of PCDC, suggest a number of actions to not only restore primary care capacity but transform it in ways that will meet new demands.


UHF Analysis: Medicaid Enrollment During the Great Recession and COVID-19

This HealthWatch brief from UHF’s Medicaid Institute examines New York’s Medicaid enrollment growth during the “Great Recession” of 2007–2009 and the impact of state and federal actions taken then, in an effort to shed light on what to expect during the current economic downturn.
HealthWatch Brief


Commentary: Community Testing and Contact Tracing in a Time of Distrust

Shoshanah Brown and Rose Gasner of AIRnyc make the case that community testing and contact tracing must be made available to all, particularly those hit hardest by COVID-19.


Commentary: Grandparents and Traumatized Children: Where Two Epidemics Converge

Carol Levine, a senior fellow at United Hospital Fund, and Suzanne C. Brundage, director of UHF's Children’s Health Initiative, on how the convergence of COVID-19 and the opioid epidemic is affecting grandparents and the children in their care. 


News: UHF Testimony Addresses COVID-19's Impact on Minority Communities

UHF President Tony Shih, MD, and Chad Shearer, senior vice president for policy and program, submitted written testimony to a New York State joint legislative hearing that explored solutions to COVID-19's disproportionate impact on minority communities. 


Commentary: How COVID-19 Affects People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Ron Colavito, president & CEO of Access: Supports for Living, and Arthur Y. Webb, executive director of New York Integrated Network for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, look at the pandemic's heavy toll on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Commentary: COVID-19, Cities, and Health

Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, Clinical Professor of Global Health at the NYU School of Global Health, and Anthony Shih, MD, president of UHF, on how cities can learn from the current crisis and become more resilient. 


Commentary: COVID-19 Deepens Existing Health Disparities

Lisa David, the president and CEO of Public Health Solutions, examines how the pandemic is exacerbating existing health disparities.


Commentary: During the Pandemic, Home Health Aides Deserve Respect, Protection, and Fair Pay

Kathryn Haslanger, the CEO of JASA, on the essential role of home health aides during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they can be better supported. 


Report: New York’s “Other” Individual Market Needs an Update

As consumers seek to replace lost job-based health insurance coverage or find new plans during the pandemic, a new UHF report recommends a series of upgrades for New York’s “off-exchange” market for individuals, including the elimination of enrollment barriers for immigrants who are not permitted to get coverage through the NY State of Health marketplace.


Commentary: Payer Actions Can Help Sustain Primary Care During and After COVID-19

Christopher F. Koller, president of the Milbank Memorial Fund, and UHF president Anthony Shih, MD, examine COVID-19's effect on small primary care practices and how payer actions can help sustain them. The piece is being co-published by the Milbank Memorial Fund.   


Commentary: Will COVID-19 Change the Way We Look at Mental Health and Substance Misuse?

Kristin Woodlock, CEO of Woodlock & Associates and a consultant at the National Council for Behavioral Health, looks at how COVID-19 is changing behavioral health.


Commentary: Community health centers on the brink

Robert M. Hayes, president and CEO of Community Healthcare Network, shines a light on the critical situation faced by community health centers during the pandemic.


Consumer Guide: Maintaining health insurance coverage during the pandemic

Practical advice for New Yorkers on how to replace lost health insurance coverage or find a new health plan during these perilous times. The "Grim Times" guide is available in English, Español (Spanish), 中文 (Simplified Chinese), Pусский (Russian), বাংলা (Bengali), and Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole). Links below.
Consumer Guide (English)
Guía para el consumidor (Spanish)
消费者指南 (Simplified Chinese)
Руководство для потребителей (Russian)
সভোিোর্ৈর জিু একটি েোইে (Bengali)
Yon Gid pou Kliyan (Haitian Creole)


Commentary: Tony Shih on questions for the future raised by the COVID-19 pandemic

Tony Shih, president of UHF, considers what we can learn from the pandemic response so far—and how we can be better prepared for such events in the future. This commentary also appears in the spring 2020 issue of UHF's Blueprint newsletter.


Links: Online resources for parents and pediatric providers

To aid parents and pediatric and social service providers as they respond to numerous challenges arising from COVID-19, UHF's Children’s Health Initiative has compiled two lists of resources from trusted sources.
Resources for parents
Resources for pediatric providers


Commentary: After the American Rescue Plan: Trick or Treat?

Peter Newell, director of UHF’s Health Insurance Project and Patricia S. Levinson Fellow, looks at health insurance coverage in New York after the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and highlights options for reaching those who still lack coverage as well as the possibility of additional federal help.


Video: Keeping health care workers safe 

On March 22nd, Eileen Sullivan-Marx—UHF board member, dean of NYU’s nursing school, and president of the American Academy of Nursing—spoke on MSNBC about what it takes to keep our first-line health care workers safe.
MSNBC video (via youtube)

New York and the Coronavirus
Thank you, health care workers.

This is a uniquely challenging time for New York's health care system. United Hospital Fund applauds health care workers across the tristate area who are selflessly working around the clock to address the spread of coronavirus. We encourage everyone to stay safe and heed the advice of health professionals. For up-to-date information, please visit the coronavirus pages of the CDC, the New York State Department of Health, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

NYC Info on COVID-19