New York City’s SOMOS Community Care Shares Best Practices for COVID-19 Responses: On-Demand Webinar Series

In this on-demand webinar series, SOMOS Community Care shares insights and lessons learned from the hard-hit immigrant and low-income communities of New York City.  This series features personal experiences from Dr. Ramon Tallaj and Henry Muñoz, co-founders of SOMOS, and shares insights for responding to COVID-19 infections in some of the nation’s most vulnerable communities.


Part 3: SOMOS Community Care on the Journey to Recovery

May 4, 2020

In this video update from SOMOS Community Care, Dr. Ramon Tallaj discusses the move from crisis to recovery and where New York City is on that journey. 

“For the first time, what is good for the patient, is not bad for the doctor,” Dr. Tallaj explains.




Part 2: SOMOS Community Care: COVID-19 Updates From the Front Lines

April 16, 2020

In this second installment of the on-demand webinar series, Dr. Tallaj and Henry Munoz evolve their lessons learned from the nation’s epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At SOMOS we’ve become more than just a health care network, we’re actually a social services agency working with community-based organizations. We are feeding almost 5,000 people a day in the different hardest hit neighborhoods of New York City. That’s a part of the responsibility we see SOMOS bearing during this important crisis in order to move the community from crisis to recovery.” – Henry Munoz, special advisor to SOMOS Community Care

New insights to help move the community from crisis to recovery include:

  • To protect our seniors and multi-generational households, start with the children. It’s important for children to follow the same routines as adults, such as frequent hand washing, because they can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. This is particularly important in multi-generational households where children are living with older family members at higher risk.
  • Isolate the ill. Many in the inner city do not have the option to isolate in their homes. It’s critical, says SOMOS, to find wellness centers for COVID-19 positive patients to safely quarantine.
  • Consider mental and behavioral health implications. Understanding and addressing the mental health impact of the pandemic on the community is a key step on the road from crisis to recovery.


Part 1: SOMOS Coronavirus Outbreak Action Plan: Prevention Is Key 

April 11, 2020

The SOMOS experience has been one of extreme urgency among populations that have been harder-hit than most.

“We’re living in small apartments in New York. Five, six, seven people in a one-bedroom apartment, with one bathroom,” Dr. Tallaj said. This population, he adds, cannot realistically comply with directives to stock up on extra food and not leave the house. “They don’t have enough money in the bank. They live day to day.”

The impetus, then, becomes proactive community-level response. Some of the insights from SOMOS for community physicians and local clinical networks include:

  • Create community partnerships now. Enable health care providers to connect at-risk people with food and other resources that can help them stay at home.
  • Protect the pediatricians and family doctors. COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted family doctors in New York. (E.g., newborns brought in for well-baby checkups following discharge from a hospital where they were unknowingly exposed to the virus carry the virus to the outpatient setting.)
  • Maintain clinical oversight of testing locations and data. SOMOS set up multiple drive-through testing centers. They knew early which areas were going to be hardest hit--data that has become crucial to their community responses.


If you’re interested in connecting with the SOMOS team to learn more about their response efforts, email


The statements and opinions contained in these videos are those of SOMOS, and are not intended to be relied upon for individual medical treatment. Information and knowledge about COVID-19 is rapidly developing and as a result, these statement may be out-of-date, disproven, or contrary to current medical advice. Viewers should consult their physician for individual medical advice, and their physician should rely upon current protocols.

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