SEARCH's Bring Summer Back Group Remains an Effective Collaboration
Even as COVID numbers are falling, a committee formed a year ago to share information and resources continues to meet virtually, and the number of participants is growing. Organized initially by the hospital, it is now administered by SEARCH with Karin Rolett facilitating, Allison Edge managing Zoom logistics, and Ed Seel taking the minutes. Called Bring Back Summer after the state-supplied toolkit of graphics and materials, the committee has collaborated to create messages aimed for different age groups as vaccines have become available for them. The group has used social media, radio, billboards, newspapers, videos, flyers, and tent cards to get the word out that vaccines are safe, effective, free, and now easily and readily available. The same is true for testing. Information about the latest COVID treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills is also shared by the participants.
Members of the Bring Summer Back group recently asked themselves what they’ve accomplished to date and their answers suggest why a dozen or more people are willing to start their day with an 8:00 a.m. Zoom meeting every other week. They say that the information provided to the different health care agencies has been helpful in countering vaccine disinformation. It has been an effective way to coordinate the sharing of scarce resources and redirecting them where they could do the most good. And on a personal level, participants say the meetings make them feel like they’re “not in this fight by ourselves.”
They also noted that Bring Summer Back was very successful in improving collaboration among all healthcare entities, including several non-profits that served children and families. And though the actions of the Bring Summer Back group may not have changed many people’s minds about getting the COVID vaccine, the group agreed that if they were able to save one life, then they were successful.
Our local Bring Summer Back group will continue to follow the evolution of the virus and how it impacts our local communities, hoping to build on what has been learned to help our communities to find ways to deal with such matters as the need for rehab services for people with Long Haul COVID and the effects of the pandemic on young people. We are hopeful.