Phyllis D. Meadows, MSN, Ph.D., RN and senior fellow, health programming at The Kresge Foundation is serving on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats.
Meadows, a CMF member, has served on the committee since its inception in March. The standing committee includes approximately 25 members with expertise in emerging infectious diseases, public health, public health preparedness and response, biological sciences, clinical care and crisis standards of care, risk communication and regulatory issues.
The committee advises federal government agencies, primarily through consulting and rapidly responding to issues related to COVID prevention, testing, health care, masking, safe school opening criteria and most recently considerations regarding the equitable distribution of emerging vaccines.
“The experience on the committee has been phenomenal,” Meadows told CMF. “It has allowed me to contribute my skills in public health and nursing towards addressing immediate and anticipated COVID related issues and to do so with great and dedicated professionals in the health field. The process has been grueling at times, largely due to the rapid pace the work has demanded, yet every moment has been worth it to have a voice that is heard around issues that are critical to managing the spread of disease in communities - especially those who are most vulnerable such as our front-line essential workers.”
Within our Michigan community, Meadows serves on CMF’s Government Relations Public Policy Committee which has stayed closely connected with CMF’s COVID-19 Working Group, an ad hoc committee of CMF, composed of 25 foundation leaders and partners collaborating to help connect, strengthen and mobilize the Michigan community of philanthropy in advancing a collective responses to the short- and long-term challenges of the pandemic.
Meadows reflected on her work in Michigan and the intersections with her work on the national level.
“I have found the discussions and considerations for current and future investments to be squarely aligned with many of the issues and approaches that are surfacing on the national level. I do believe the primary areas of concern are at the local level and are contextually driven,” Meadows shared. “There is strong agreement that the status of the public health infrastructure and community health system is challenged. I would hope that we could use the events of today to become clearer on how we can best strengthen our local health infrastructure now and into the future. The philanthropic sector needs to build on its collaborative efforts and think creatively about how we can better coordinate and augment the work that is going on nationally - especially that which has implications for our state and its most vulnerable communities.”
Meadows said the standing committee recently discussed how their work will continue with the new administration in 2021.
Read more about the standing committee.
Learn more about CMF’s COVID-19 Working Group.