Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.

 

Three in five businesses paying average wages under $20k reduced employment in the pandemic

December 14, 2020 – Families

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collected new data through their Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic, which covers how business have changed their operations and employment during the pandemic (from January – September 2020). In this period, 39 percent of businesses paying an average annual wage greater than $80,000 told at least some employees not to work. A much higher share—60 percent—of businesses with an average wage of less than $20,000 reported the same. Teleworking opportunities also varied considerably by businesses’ average wage. Of establishments with average wages over $80,000, 58 percent reported increased telework available to employees. By contrast, only 13 percent of businesses with average wages under $20,000 increased telework available to employees during the pandemic. #covid-19 #workforce

COVID-19 patients may develop anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder

November 19, 2020 – Families

The Daily Yonder reports on new research published in the Lancet that investigated mental health outcomes of COVID-19. While the uncertain atmosphere created by the pandemic has likely increased the risk of mental health problems generally, the authors also found that one in five COVID-19 patients develop mental health issues within 90 days of their recovery. These mental health issues include depression, anxiety, insomnia, as well as, notably, post-traumatic stress disorder. The mental health implications of the pandemic are even more troubling for rural areas where access to mental health care and providers is often quite limited. #covid-19 #mentalhealth #rural

Recommendations to strengthen equity in vaccine delivery

November 19, 2020 – Families

A newly available analysis in Health Affairs identifies specific actions that federal policy should consider when attempting to ensure equity in vaccine dissemination and uptake. The authors identify especially low existing vaccine uptake rates among rural and Latinx/Hispanic populations. And in a survey on vaccination willingness, Black survey respondents reported an especially low willingness to receive a COVID vaccine when ready (data collected before vaccines were approved and made available). The authors suggest that diverse clinical trials, transparent trial and uptake data, eliminating out-of-pocket costs, and engaging state-level working groups to identify good communication strategies for underserved groups are all important efforts to achieving a more equitable vaccination infrastructure. #covid-19 #racialequity

Only 44 percent of households with children were very confident about affording food

November 18, 2020 – Families

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) published an analysis of fall 2020 data (August 19 – October 26) from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. The author found that, nationally, only 44 percent of households with children reported that they were “very confident” about affording necessary food over the next four weeks. About 10 percent of households with children were “not at all confident.” The author estimated that between 7 and 11 million children live in a household where there was not enough to eat in the past week. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

New COVID-19 cases and deaths in rural areas continue to break records

November 17, 2020 – Families

As the pandemic accelerates, rural areas are seeing rapid growth in new cases. For the eighth week in a row, the number of weekly new COVID-19 cases in rural (nonmetropolitan) counties has broken the previous record. For the most recent week, November 8-14, there were 195,795 new cases in rural counties. The Daily Yonder now estimates that 86 percent of rural counties are in the red zone (having a weekly infection rate of 100+ new cases per 100,000 population). This most recent week also reported a record number of deaths in rural counties at 2,026 deaths. #covid-19 #rural

Local library provides support and social connection to veterans

November 4, 2020 – Families

In the rural town of Randle, Washington, the Mountain View Timberland Regional Library has worked throughout the pandemic to support veterans. Before the pandemic, the library had started a teleservices program for veterans called the Veteran Connection Café, which provided professional assistance with benefits like healthcare and pensions. Although that program could not continue once the pandemic began, the library has been offering contactless services over the phone. Veterans can also borrow Chromebooks and use the library WiFi in the parking lot, since the building is closed. #covid-19 #rural

Hazard pay for low-wage frontline essential workers is needed now more than ever

October 29, 2020 – Families

Brookings researchers follow up on the current state of hazard pay for frontline essential workers as the pandemic wears on. Many of the large retail companies ended their temporary increases to hourly pay months ago and federal relief efforts are stalled. At the same time, the actual hazard of the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased. Almost half of frontline essential workers are lowwage workers and Black and Hispanic/Latinx workers are overrepresented in these positions. Hazard pay is supported by more than three-quarters of the general public and many employers—particularly large retail companies like Amazon and Walmart that have realized massive profits during the pandemic— could bear the costs. Authors recommend that the next federal relief bill ought to focus on low-wage workers and that profitable companies should both restore hazard pay and permanently increase their minimum wages to $15/hour. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

Maternal telehealth expands, but not all have access

October 28, 2020 – Families

With the onset of the pandemic, many states have modified their policies to expand maternal telehealth services. Through a literature review and in-depth interviews with maternal health stakeholders and providers, Urban Institute researchers capture early lessons from the maternal telehealth expansion. For many women and families—particularly those with transportation and child care barriers to attending in-person visits—have benefited from telehealth options. However, authors also find that there are considerable access and equity concerns. Limited access to broadband and digital devices has been a barrier for many rural communities as well as poor urban communities. These challenges contribute to inequitable telehealth access for low-income communities and communities of color. Additionally, language barriers reduce access for women and families whose primary language is not English. Even when interpreter services were available for telehealth visits, health care providers described the process as cumbersome. Authors propose that federal and state governments should at least consider making temporary telehealth policies more permanent. Other possible policy changes include payment parity policies so that telehealth visits are consistently reimbursed at rates matching in-person visits, increased investments in broadband infrastructure, and a broadening of allowable telehealth services by state Medicaid programs. #racialequity #rural #childcare

Food insecurity up after relief measure wane

October 27, 2020 – Families

New research from the Urban Institute using its Coronavirus Tracking Survey finds that food insecurity increased by two percentage points between May and September, landing at 19.6 percent. The authors suggest that emergency SNAP allotments, stimulus payments, and unemployment compensation all served to keep food insecurity down through the spring and summer. Household where the respondent or their spouse or partner lost a job reported the highest rates of food insecurity, at 37 percent in September. Household food insecurity rates also remain much higher for Black adults (28.2 percent) and Hispanic/Latinx adults (30.5 percent) than for white adults (14.7 percent)—a pattern consistent throughout the pandemic. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #racialequity

Recent parenting gains may not withstand the pandemic

October 26, 2020 – Families

Over the last 30 years, income-based differences in parenting have decreased. Low-income parents have been able to increase the amount of time they spend on enrichment activities, like reading, with their young children. Parental values across income groups have also converged. However, the public health and economic crises caused by the pandemic threatens to eliminate these parenting gains. Ongoing Brookings research following low-income families with young children throughout the pandemic reveals that parents are struggling. From February to May 2020 not only were there far more families financially distressed, but there was also a 60 percent increase in the share of parents reporting to lose their temper on a given day. The pandemic and its impacts have also taken a toll on parental mental health and the share of parents who had not read to their young child at all the previous week doubled from 4.7 percent last fall to 8.2 percent (spring 2020). #covid-19 #mentalhealth

Medicaid expansion has reduced racial and ethnic disparities in coverage and access to care

October 21, 2020 – Families

Research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) finds that Medicaid expansion has extended health coverage to more than 12 million people across the 36 states (and D.C.) that have implemented expansion. If the states that have not yet implemented expansion were to do so, an estimated 4 million people would become newly eligible for Medicaid. Importantly, Medicaid expansion was found to reduce disparities both in health coverage and access to care for people of color. While not stratified by race or ethnicity, recent research has also found that Medicaid expansion is leading to improved health outcomes such as a reduction of premature deaths. Authors also note that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), of which the Medicaid expansion is part, would worsen racial disparities and lead to more than 21 million people losing their current health coverage. #racialequity

County priorities include both economic and public health aspects in pandemic recovery

October 20, 2020 – Families

The National Association of Counties (NACo) released a new report summarizing the concerns and priorities of county leaders regarding COVID-19 recovery. While counties face diverse challenges, 64 percent counties reported that the pandemic’s health and economic impacts are of equal concern. Areas of top concern are individual and small business financial relief, disproportionate impacts on communities of color, unemployment, health impacts beyond the virus (like mental health), access to food and housing, and more federal funding programs to assist with recovery. County leaders identified a range of county needs going forward, including gap funding to make up for lost revenues, funding with fewer strings attached, improved broadband, and opportunities to share best practices among counties and to create new partnerships. #covid-19 #mentalhealth #foodsecurity