In December 2018, I was appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the RHC, and the organization went through a period of transition and uncertainty while undergoing the search process for a new leader of the organization. Under my leadership, we were able to meet our 2019 strategic priorities, while also establishing a new Patient Advisory Board and developing a new framework for policy and advocacy.
In February 2020, I was named the CEO of the RHC. One month later, COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) entered our region, and we joined the world in a new phase of transition and uncertainty. I never would have imagined that our lives would be so drastically changed, and we would have to slowly adjust to a new life of virtual meetings (with many “bring your child and dog to work” days), teaching and entertaining our children, preparing multiple meals a day and limited exposure to the outdoors. While many of us are frustrated by the inconveniences of shelter-in-place, there are many of our friends and neighbors who have had to endure job loss or income reduction, depression or grief and limited access to transportation, food and other resources needed to survive the pandemic.
Even through this crisis and period of uncertainty, the RHC remains committed to serving the uninsured and underinsured in our communities.
We have partnered with our providers and community organizations to reach our underserved and under-resourced communities to ensure all residents in St. Louis City and County have access to services needed to survive this pandemic. As we look forward to the future and work to develop our new “normal”, the RHC is committed to:
- Reshaping organizational strategies and priorities to meet the evolving needs of our communities;
- Advocating for policies to increase access to care and promote health equity;
- Elevating the voice of individuals with lived experience to inform changes in policy and systems;
- Ensuring health care services are available regardless of an individual’s ability to pay;
- Collecting and reporting data to inform changes to access to care; and
- Partnering with community organizations to lead and inform health care transformation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the need to center the principles of racial and health equity in the way we provide services and distribute resources. We look forward to the work ahead to ensure all our friends and neighbors have the resources needed to be alive and well!
Angela Fleming Brown
CEO, St. Louis Regional Health Commission