Share, Trust, Organize, Partner: The COVID-19 California Alliance

STOP COVID-19 CA is an National Institutes of Health (NIH) Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) funded project. CEAL is an NIH-wide effort led by NIMHD and NHLBI that works to expand existing community outreach efforts already underway by NIH COVID-19 trial networks.

You can read more about the CEAL on the NIH website.

Project Aims:

The CEAL research teams focuses on COVID-19 awareness and education research, especially among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians — populations that account for over half of all reported cases in the United States. The Specific Aims are to:

  1. Use principles of community based participatory research (CBPR) to engage African American/Black, Latinx, and Native American communities in COVID-19 related research.
  2. Gather information on cultural and structural such as institutionalized racism factors that influence COVID-19 testing and vaccination in vulnerable populations in inland southern California.
  3. Engage grassroots and grasstops community members, academics, and students in project activity to build capacity to partner in COVID-19 related research.

Team Members:
Graphic Medicine Image comic
Image by artist: Leslie Alvarez
  • Ann Cheney, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Evelyn Vázquez, PhD, Investigator
  • Michelle Burroughs, MPH, Investigator
  • Gabriela Ortiz, PhD candidate, Graduate Student Researcher
  • Ashley Moran, Student Researcher
  • Salil Trehan,  Student Researcher
  • Jenna LeComte-Hinley, PhD, Community Partner
  • Shaleta Smith, BA, African American/Black Engagement Team
  • Regina Patton Stell, PhD, African American/Black Engagement Team
  • Maria Pozar, Latino,Hispanic Engagement Team
  • Sherri Salgado, Native American Engagement Team
  • Juliet McMullin, PhD, Co-Investigator- Native American Engagement Team
  • Wyatt Kelly,  BA, Native American Engagement Team
  • Preeti Juturu, BA, Native American Engagement Team
  • Cristina Gonzalez, BA, Project Coordinator
  • David Lo, PhD Contact Principal Investigator
What's Happening Now:

We are building capacity of community members, academics, and students across inland southern California to collect and analyze data on COVID-19 testing and vaccination, as well as engaging key stakeholders in the translation of research findings into a COVID-19 toolkit. 

Information Gathering:

We collected information on cultural and structural factors that shape decisions about COVID-19 testing and vaccination among underserved and vulnerable populations. Our findings from 11 focus groups with 89 members of vulnerable communities in the region indicate social and structural factors contribute to decisions around COVID-19 testing and vaccination (English Report/Spanish Report). Fear and mistrust in institutions such as the government and public health, social instability, misinformation, as well as past trauma and medical abuses influence decisions about COVID-19 testing and vaccination among vulnerable communities in inland southern California. The findings reinforce the need for equity in access to COVID-19 information and resources. Learn more about our recommendations in the California’s Speak: Achieving Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination (Available in Spanish)

Town Halls:

Our STOP COVID-19 CA Town Halls provide a space for experts in COVID-19 vaccines to discuss the process of vaccine development and answer community concerns regarding the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. We held town halls with members of African American/Black communities, Latinx communities, and Native American communities. 

Restorative Circles:

Restorative circles are a way to assist community members with healing from the COVID-19 pandemic experience. A restorative circle is a safe, healing space for community members to discuss their concerns regarding health, healthcare, COVID-19, and other related topics. 

Get Involved/ Stay Involved:

You can find more on our Facebook page @HDR and Instagram @HDR.