Collaborating for health equity

August 19, 2020 |
A woman picks yellow flowers in a field.

DEOHS awarded three COVID-19 health equity research grants from the UW Population Health Initiative

New awards from the UW Population Health Initiative will support collaborations with communities of color to develop COVID-19 research projects that address community-identified needs. Photo: Marcy Harrington. 

The University of Washington Population Health Initiative has awarded COVID-19 population health equity research grants to three projects involving partnerships between UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) and community leaders.

The awards will support collaborations with communities of color being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic to develop COVID-19 research projects that address community-identified needs.

In all, 14 different teams of UW faculty researchers and community leaders were awarded COVID-19 population health equity research grants, which were partially matched by additional school, college, departmental and external funds, bringing the total value of these awards to approximately $378,000.

The projects involving DEOHS faculty, staff and students are:

Developing planning and implementation strategies to promote community-based organizations as public health liaisons and critical service providers in the pandemic 

  • Edmund Seto, DEOHS associate professor,
  • Deric Gruen, co-executive director, programs and policy, Front and Centered
  • Aurora Martin, co-executive director, capacity building, Front and Centered
  • Esther Min, DEOHS research consultant

COVID-19 food access among American Indian/Alaska Native tribes in Washington: The value of food sovereignty

  • Jennifer Otten, DEOHS associate professor and food systems director, UW Center for Public Health Nutrition
  • Victoria Warren-Mears, director, Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
  • Nora Frank-Buckner, Food Sovereignty Initiatives director, Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
  • Brinda Sivaramakrishnan, professor, Tacoma Community College
  • Laura Lewis, associate professor, Community and Economic Development, Washington State University
  • Adam Drewnowski, professor, Department of Epidemiology and Director, Center for Public Health Nutrition, UW School of Public Health

Community-driven approaches to identify barriers to food security due to COVID-19 and solutions to improve food security and resilience in agricultural communities

  • June Spector, associate professor, DEOHS and Department of Medicine, and director, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, UW
  • Elizabeth Torres, coordinator, El Proyecto Bienestar and Northwest Communities Education Center and Radio KDNA
  • Jennifer Krenz, DEOHS research coordinator
  • Maria Blancas, graduate student, Environmental and Forest Sciences, UW College of the Environment; outreach and education specialist, Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH)
  • Jennifer Otten, DEOHS associate professor
  • Sarah Collier, DEOHS assistant professor
  • Yona Sipos, DEOHS lecturer
  • Edward Kasner, DEOHS clinical assistant professor and outreach director, PNASH