Public Health

The US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) supported the launch of a new initiative in late 2020 – SEE COVID-19 Response: Public Health Working Group (PHWG). This initiative brought together competitively selected professionals representing the nongovernmental public health sector in Russia and the US to support affected groups in both countries. The PHWG initiative aimed to stimulate international collaboration on COVID-19 issues while increasing knowledge-sharing among professionals in the US and Russia. It offered a unique opportunity for applicants to expand their professional networks and gain international perspectives on addressing the impact of the pandemic.

About the Project

Through this bilateral project, the working group helped address the needs of at-risk groups in Russia and the US impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the US, the project reached unsheltered populations in and around New York City, Washington, DC, and Peoria, Illinois, and in Russia, the working group members reached residents in remote communities, including Indigenous peoples in the Far East. The project sought to reach these vulnerable groups with materials and education and offer an avenue to build connections beyond their immediate communities. As part of this effort, the working group members developed and distributed custom toolkits filled with essential supplies and educational resources between May and August 2021. The toolkits included informational pamphlets drawing on resources from reputable healthcare organizations and such must-have items as masks, gloves, sanitizers, as well as oximeters and thermometers for those without access to basic medical supplies. Drawing on shared expertise and each country’s best practices in public health education, the toolkit helps answer the basic healthcare and information needs of over 300 recipients in both countries.

To learn more, visit the project’s information hub on Facebook.