Arizona CEAL Program

The mission of the National Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities is to provide trustworthy information through active community engagement and outreach to the people hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, including African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and American Indians/Alaska Natives, with the goal of building long-lasting partnerships as well as improving diversity and inclusion in our research response to COVID-19. CEAL Research teams are currently working in counties in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

The Arizona CEAL's overarching goal is to conduct community-engaged research and outreach to increase COVID-19 awareness and education among communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and to reduce misinformation and mistrust.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the severe health disparities and disproportionate burden of prevalence, hospitalizations, and deaths in the lower socioeconomic stratum and among racial/ethnic minorities. Ending the COVID-19 pandemic will require rapid development and implementation of effective strategies to enhance awareness and uptake of preventive measures and improve inclusion of communities disproportionally affected by COVID-19 in research, including intervention studies, and clinical trials of vaccines and therapeutics. To address such disparities, we will form AC3 consortium with an overarching goal to conduct community-engaged research and outreach to increase COVID-19 awareness and education among communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and to reduce misinformation and mistrust. These efforts aim to establish effective, culturally appropriate strategies to enhance participation of communities disproportionally affected by COVID-19 in research designed to advance the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and reduce disease disparities. We propose a multi-modal approach to engage with members of Arizona’s Latino, American Indian, and African American communities to gain a deeper understanding of community members’ experiences, concerns, attitudes, needs, wants, knowledge and misconceptions regarding COVID-19 testing, prevention, clinical trial participation, vaccination uptake, and medical mistrust. Outreach, engagement, recruitment, and data collection efforts will include in-person contact with community health workers (CHWs), focus groups, and online surveys and tailored text messaging as well as surveys. This work will be guided by a community engagement framework, which emphasizes equitable participation between scientists and community members in all phases of the research. The specific aims of the current proposal are: Aim #1: To conduct community-engaged research and outreach to assess awareness, experiences, concerns, attitudes, needs, knowledge and misconceptions regarding COVID-19 testing, prevention, research participation, vaccination uptake, and medical mistrust among members of Arizona’s Latino, American Indian, and African American communities. Aim #2: In partnership with members from Arizona’s Latino, American Indian, and African American communities in Arizona, develop culturally-appropriate dissemination materials and strategies designed to educate about COVID-19 infection, transmission prevention, testing, and vaccination; decrease misinformation; and increase medical trust. Aim #3: In partnership with community members, to implement and evaluate the dissemination of materials and educational strategies on enhancing awareness, trust, willingness, ability, self-efficacy, and participation, of underserved communities in advancing the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Knowledge derived from our assessments and adapted implementation approaches could, in the future, reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 and improve health outcomes and thereby promote health equity.

Researchers at ASU, Mayo Clinic (Scottsdale), NAU, and UArizona are leading this statewide effort.

Arizona State University

Sabrina Oesterle, PhD (MPI)

Mayo Clinic Scottsdale

Chyke Doubeni, MBBS, MPH (MPI)

Northern Arizona University

Samantha Sabo, DrPH, MPH (MPI)

University of Arizona

Sairam Parthasarathy, MD (Contact PI): spartha1@arizona.edu; Ph: 520-626-8309 

Tracy Crane, PhD

Daniel Derksen, MD

Nirav Merchant

Francisco Moreno, MD

Cecilia Rosales, MD

Project Manager

Adam Berryhill, MPH

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