As the COVID-19 pandemic began, Dr. Brewer and the FAITH! team shifted the focus of their research to address the disparate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented populations such as African-Americans. They completed several outreach initiatives investigating vaccine acceptance among the African-American community and providing accessible testing and vaccination sites in partnership with Open Cities Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center. A FAITH! Facebook page was started to present culturally relevant, credible health information. Dr. Brewer also hosted a webinar series, including a Mayo Clinic sponsored event with the lead scientist on the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett.
Churches participating in the emergency preparedness initiatives were provided with financial assistance to use as needed to improve their health and safety practices. Pastors and a designated FAITH! Champion from the church completed surveys and interviews regarding their existing health ministries and emergency preparedness plans, including COVID-19 safety measures but also potential future public health crises or emergency situations. Based on this feedback, each church received an individualized report with their current emergency preparedness “score” and recommendations for areas of improvement.
Publications related to COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness:
- Establishing a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Drive-Through Collection Site: A Community-Based Participatory Research Partnership with a Federally Qualified Health Center
- Emergency Preparedness and Risk Communication Among African American Churches: Leveraging a Community-Based Participatory Research Partnership COVID-19 Initiative