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Original publish date: October 19, 2020

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced a $12 million award for outreach and engagement efforts in ethnic and racial minority communities that are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anissa Vines, PhD

The award to RTI International, a nonprofit research institution, will support teams in 11 states that are being established as part of the NIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities. These teams have received initial funding to immediately create CEAL programs, and RTI will serve as the Technical and Administrative Support and Coordination center — with Linda Squiers, PhD, serving as the technical lead.

“RTI is honored and committed to supporting all 11 research teams’ work with communities that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Squiers said.

In North Carolina — where RTI has its headquarters — the CEAL principal investigator is Anissa I. Vines, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, adjunct assistant professor of social medicine at UNC’s School of Medicine and faculty associate at CEAL’s administrative home, the UNC Center for Health Equity Research.

Joining Vines as principal investigators of the N.C. CEAL Research Team are Alan Richmond, MSW, executive director of Community-Campus Partnerships for Health at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and Goldie Byrd, PhD, director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Vines has extensive experience developing and leading initiatives that reduce and eliminate health disparities through research engagement with the community; programs to train health disparities scholars; and the development and use of innovative research methods and approaches.

Other members of the N.C. CEAL research team include Giselle Corbie-Smith, MDKrista Perreira, PhDJada Brooks, PhD, RNStephanie Baker, PhDMary Wolfe, PhDGuarav Dave, MD, DrPHLori Carter-Edwards, PhDAllison Mathews, PhD. Representatives from North Carolina’s ethnic minority communities will form another critical part of the research team.”

Read the full article here.