Sustainability Beyond Relief: Bolstering our First Line of Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up all facets of the U.S. health care system, and has forced us as a nation to rethink our approach to, and investment in, our first line of health care including public health departments, community health workers, community health clinics, and primary care practices. During this final stretch of the pandemic, COVID-19 continues to blur the lines between traditional public health actions and those completed by the primary care system, such as contact tracing, vaccine deployment, and the need to build trust and develop messages specific to target populations.

This briefing reviewed the opportunities and challenges that have arisen for first line providers and current integration efforts to ensure equitable preventative care for the American public. Experts addressed the role of data sharing, payment systems, and workforce provisions. Panelists also explored long-term policy options, such as opportunities in the American Rescue Plan and other federal levers, to ensure COVID relief and recovery resources are consistent with the broader aim of creating a more stable and resilient public health and primary care infrastructure.


  • Ann Greiner, MCP, President and Chief Executive Officer, Primary Care Collaborative
  • Michelle Morse, M.D., MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Rebecca Weintraub, M.D., Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • Dora Hughes, M.D., MPH, Associate Research Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University (moderator)