The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on communities throughout the globe, deepening persistent health inequities. In response, CCPH has partnered with the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Health Equity Research to support the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics – Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) project. This project is working to expand access to COVID-19 testing at over 80 community-based sites across the United States.
As a key partner on RADx-UP, CCPH is working to reduce COVID-19 testing disparities in communities most affected by the pandemic through engagement. Engaging all stakeholders (communities, researchers, institutions, etc.) is the first of many needed steps to address barriers that enable disparities. The Engagement Impact Teams (EITs), who serve as the primary points of contact for RADx-UP projects, act as the bridge that facilitates engagement across these diverse RADx-UP stakeholders. A bridge is only as strong as the foundation upon which it is built; thus, CCPH is working to strengthen community engagement efforts of RADx-UP projects through the EIT Liaison Initiative.
With this initiative, CCPH meets EITs and projects where they are via their monthly EIT/Project Meetings to support them in amplifying their community engagement efforts. As a result, CCPH has been able to support a number of RADx-UP projects with all phases of their research, including partnership-building, community engagement planning, participant recruitment, messaging, and community-facing dissemination. While CCPH has seen quite a few gains as a result of this initiative, one major benefit has been an increase in project interactions, specifically Office Hours requests. Office Hours, is a free consultation service led by CCPH to support the community engagement needs of CDCC staff and RADx-UP projects.
Taking all this into account, the CCPH RADx-UP Team is excited about what lies ahead with the EIT Liaison Initiative because we are committed to alleviating the barriers of COVID-19 testing by continuously working to strengthen the community engagement efforts led by RADx-UP Projects.
Author: CCPH Radx-UP Team
Learn more about the RADx-Up Project here.