Dr. Laura Hammitt Calls for Sustained Investment in Indigenous Communities in New Lancet Profile

Theme(s):
COVID-19 Response, Infectious Disease Control

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health is proud to announce that Dr. Laura Hammitt has a featured Profile in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Hammitt has been with the Center as Director of Infectious Disease Prevention Programs since 2013, and has been a key leader within the Center's COVID-19 response efforts. The one-page feature highlights Dr. Hammitt’s service to Indigenous communities. A brief excerpt follows:

In early 2020, Hammitt and the CAIH team were on the ground for a rapid pandemic response, supporting testing and contact tracing and delivering supplies to households in isolation or quarantine. “It was the honour of a lifetime to be part of the COVID-19 response team and work alongside tribal leaders, healthcare providers, and community members to battle this virus,” Hammitt said. 

Dr. Hammitt also comments in the article on how sustained investments in countering health inequities are still needed:

“There are a myriad of socioeconomic factors and long-lasting effects from colonisation that vaccines alone cannot overcome,” she explains. “We need sustained investment in Indigenous communities to allow them to make improvements in the structural, economic, and social conditions that impact health.”

In a reflection on the article, Dr. Hammitt shared her gratitude to colleagues and communities in the following message:

"I’m deeply grateful to have so many colleagues at the Center for American Indian Health and in Indigenous communities around the country who are working with relentless determination to promote community-led well-being for Indigenous peoples. They have taught me how important it is to understand the history and the context. Inequities in social determinants of health are the common denominator for many infectious disease disparities and COVID-19 has made that even more apparent. In the past two years, people have given of themselves in ways no one imagined was possible. I am humbled by these stories of strength and optimistic that conditions are changing for the better."

Read more in The Lancet Infectious Diseases here

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