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Temple University Approved for a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award Program for a Project on Racial and Sex-Specific Cardiovascular Disease Disparities in COVID-19

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A team at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM), in collaboration with the Office of Community-Engaged Research and Practice at Temple University’s College of Public Health, has been approved for a $150,000 funding award through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards program, an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The funds will support establishment of a research ready community partnership focused on developing a set of priorities and an agenda for research on Racial and Sex-Specific Cardiovascular Disease Disparities in COVID-19.

Deborah L. Crabbe, MD, FACC, FAHA, Professor of Medicine at LKSOM, will lead the engagement project at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. The goal of this award is to incorporate the perspectives of African American and female patients in developing research priorities and a research agenda related to COVID-19. The project will use narrative medicine principles to build a strong, patient-centered narrative. These narratives will be used to identify questions suitable for research using the American Heart Association COVID-19 CVD Quality Improvement Registry. The project will establish a COVID-19 research advisory council at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

The project will build a community of patients and other stakeholders and equip them to participate as meaningful partners in patient centered outcomes research. The funding provided with this award will establish a network of patients and key stakeholders to collaborate on developing a research agenda and to set research priorities to address the racial/sex-specific cardiovascular disease disparities observed in COVID-19. The goal of this project is to incorporate the needs, preferences and perspectives of African American and female patients in developing research priorities and contributing to the future design of research on the cardiovascular complications related to COVID-19. The end-product will be a research ready network, a prioritized research agenda for COVID-19, and a pathway for dissemination of new information into the stakeholder community.

This award enhances both the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute’s and the Office of Community-Engaged Research and Practice’s commitment to support Cardiovascular Equity for the residents of North Philadelphia. “This project will give both African Americans and women residents a voice in solving the complex problems related to COVID-19 in their community,” said Dr. Crabbe.

Heather Gardiner, PhD, Director, Office of Community-Engaged Research and Practice, Associate Professor and Director, Health Disparities Research Lab in the College of Public Health at Temple University, will co-lead the project. Dr. Gardiner also highlighted the importance of the project to health equity, stating that the project “is a critical first step toward understanding and alleviating the disparities in health outcomes that COVID-19 has only made worse for communities of color.”

The Building Capacity for a PCORI Agenda on Racial and Sex-Specific Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease in COVID-19 project is part of a portfolio of projects that PCORI has funded to help develop a community of patients and other stakeholders equipped to participate as partners in comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and disseminate PCORI-funded study results. Through the Engagement Award Program, PCORI is creating an expansive network of individuals, communities and organizations interested in and able to participate in, share, and use patient-centered CER. According to Jean Slutsky, PCORI’s Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer, “This project was selected for Engagement Award funding because it will build a community equipped to participate as partners in CER and develop partnerships and infrastructure to disseminate PCORI-funded research results. We look forward to working with Temple University throughout the course of their 12-month project.”