Stay Ahead: Insights from APCO

For U.S. Organizations, Recovery Plans Begin Within

Linda Barnhart, senior associate director in APCO Worldwide’s crisis and litigation communications practice in Washington, D.C., shares a few areas organizations can focus on to address disparities and systemic issues:
Aerial view of city buildings and blocks
"Some of these disparities exacerbated by the pandemic are evident—rural and low-income communities have less access to the health resources needed to appropriately address COVID-19; unemployment rates for people of color (POC) are incrementally higher than white Americans; and nearly one-third of Black Americans know someone personally who has died of COVID-19, compared to 17 percent of Hispanic Americans and just 9 percent of white Americans.

There are many other disparities, however, that are only coming to light as we stumble towards reopening: with schools closed, many children have lost months of learning opportunities, which some will never regain; family caregivers, mostly women, are being forced to choose between their careers and their children, as the childcare industry is crumbling; and cutbacks in public services, such as transportation, due to lack of demand or funding are disproportionally impacting low-income communities."
Lessons from the Pandemic About How to Scale Up Digital Health in Europe

Daniel Benjamens, a director in APCO Worldwide’s Brussels office, discusses how the pandemic is leading to a surge in digital health and how this can be used to overcome persisting barriers: 

"The stakes for making this work may be higher than we think. Europe has a unique opportunity to create a patient-centric data governance model that can promote and accelerate innovation in the area of digital health. Something that is much needed at a time where internally the value of the EU is openly questioned by its citizens and member states and externally global leaders and international biotech investors increasingly seem to overlook Europe.

With a growing number of informed and engaged individuals and patient communities there are many reasons to be optimistic and excited about the coming years. Let’s just hope their efforts and experiences will reach the center of all future digital health policy discussions. How great would it be if Europe can come back stronger and have a breakthrough in digital health to be the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic?" 

Animated image of stethoscope and smartphone
Webinar: Best Practices: Renewing Rare Disease Trials in the Age of COVID-19

With the shuttering of labs to the disruption of clinical trials, patient access to potentially lifesaving drugs was significantly restricted in the early months of the global pandemic. But resourceful and determined rare disease experts devised creative and innovative solutions to overcome setbacks posed by the worldwide shutdown. Watch the July 15 webinar APCO Worldwide hosted in partnership with AHF and ICORD featuring an insightful panel discussion on the best practices around renewing rare disease trials in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some Positive News

  • Pandemic babysitting: Allie Schnitzer, inspired by the "The Baby-Sitters Club," babysat to help families struggling to find childcare, Business Insider
  • Life without barriers: Brian Travers is making see-through masks to help deaf and hard of hearing communicate, TODAY
  • Lemonade relief: Country Time launched an economic relief program, providing $100 to children whose lemonade stands were affected by the pandemic, CNN

More Tips from Around the Water Cooler

  • How to support your employees' mental health during uncertain times, Forbes
  • How to brainstorm - remotely, Harvard Business Review
  • Many schools aren’t reopening in the fall. Now what? Vox
  • How to identify flawed research before it becomes dangerous, The New York Times


“You know what it takes to beat community spread? Community. We’ll only defeat this virus if we all work together. All of us.”

        - Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York

“As we face the COVID-19 crisis, let’s keep the wisdom of Nelson Mandela in our hearts: “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is inspiring others to move beyond it.” Let’s build a more inclusive and sustainable world through courageous multilateralism."

        - Angel Gurría, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Secretary-
The APCO team is working with clients globally to manage this crisis, and we stand ready to support your needs. For more resources from APCO, including our latest research, information on how we can help or to contact us, visit