Connecting through crisis

The theme of AIDS 2022 – re-engaging and following the science – resonates deeply with me because it reflects our efforts within Chevron. This year is about getting back to our Health & Medical base business. Our workforces are returning; my teams have been staffing our clinics, continuing to advocate for preventive health, advising worldwide travelers and executing fit-for-duty processes. We are energizing around our interest in the communities where we operate as we seek to strengthen health systems and advocate for equitable access to tools, interventions and platforms for capacity building, health surveillance, diagnosis and treatment.

Four decades ago, Chevron began to see the effect HIV and AIDS was having on our employees and community. In 1986, we joined 13 other California Bay Area companies to promote HIV and AIDS education in the workplace. Now globally, we continue monitoring and supporting solutions to public health threats across our operations and in local communities.

Over the past two years, the challenges presented by the pandemic forced us to shift our focus and adapt quickly to dynamic and unpredictable circumstances. We entered the crisis with a robust response infrastructure, from earthquakes in our home state of California to hurricanes and other extreme events impacting our global operations. While the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated circumstances are unprecedented on many fronts, we utilized our experience and preparation to execute an effective emergency response.

Now we must leverage these latest experiences as we re-engage on responding effectively to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. This begins with acknowledging the importance of evidence-based scientific learnings and approaches. Our industry is built on science and engineering, and our approach to the health of our workforce and the communities where we operate is no different.

That’s why we are advocates for a full continuum of care and complementary models that address and incorporate holistic and sustainable evidence-based, data-driven solutions for care, prevention and management.

At Chevron, we have continued to look for opportunities to leverage technology and digital tools for decision making, case management and health surveillance. Our experiences with COVID-19 can inform our HIV and AIDS programs and partnerships. We have had some ideal opportunities to pilot and test technology in an iterative, agile manner within our operations. An example is the development and utilization of data dashboards and apps for situational analysis, health surveillance, reporting, procurement processes and compliance that helped us understand, track and mitigate issues. We also leveraged technology to track community health risks to understand drivers of disparities, morbidity and mortality. And we are using apps and wellness portals to address physical and mental health risks.

Like we do with our HIV and AIDS partnerships, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our industry associations have shared best practices focused on the well-being of workers and communities during the crisis. We saw immediate benefits of public-private partnerships in designing and implementing interventions: benefits like new diagnostic tools, digital tools for community health workers, addressing access issues, and identification of gaps in our response and finding solutions that scale to cross bridges and borders. Some of our learnings from COVID-19 were immediately applied to our ongoing support of HIV and AIDS services and others built on our learnings from our HIV and AIDS work.

The COVID-19 crisis reinforced in Canada and around the world that Indigenous children, young people and their families and communities often continue to live with unacceptable and disproportionate burdens of ill health and social determinants of health. We need to continue to work across organizations and partner with local health services. We must focus on building solutions that are able to contribute to multiple prevention and lifesaving opportunities.

More than ever, we need to stay strong, work together and continue working relentlessly until we get to zero new HIV acquisitions, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero HIV and AIDS stigma.

Huma Abbasi, General Manager, Health & Medical, Chevron

More than ever, we need to stay strong, work together and continue working relentlessly until we get to zero new HIV acquisitions, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero HIV and AIDS stigma.