$1.15M grant given to DSU to research social and behavioral factors related to COVID-19 in minority communities

DELAWARE- COVID-19 has shined a light on the struggles that many undeserved communities face.

Now, with the help of a 1.15 million dollar grant, Delaware State University, will be doing research to better understand those challenges.

“This is the first study that’s longitudinal and is going to be working with with participants across time so we can track changes, behavior, attitudes,” Dr. Dorothy Dillard, Director for Center for Neighborhood Revitalization and Research, said.

The grant money given by the National Institute of Health will help DSU research social and behavioral factors related to COVID-19 in minority communities in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties.

Researchers will work with community partners to collect information on participants medical histories, current health, living conditions, employment and socioeconomic status.

“We believe that understanding whats happening with COVID will also inform us about whats happening and what these communities need in regards to other health indicators,” Dillard said.

The information gathered will hopefully identify strategies to reduce COVID-19 transmission and to help determine how these populations can be better served.

“The hope is that we can use this as a learning opportunity to change public health interventions,” Dillard said.

We’re told before the COVID-19 pandemic minority communities were already seeing higher rates of poor health and with COVID they are seeing the same trend.

That’s why partners in the community and local health leaders are hoping the data collected from this research will help them make a change.

“To get communication out there to know what’s actually needed at a very community level and how do we make improvements going forward,” Director of Community Health Services for DHSS, said.

This project will take place over the course of two years.

We’re told researchers will also be working to develop communication strategies to increase the acceptance of testing and a future vaccine.

Delaware State University students will have the opportunity to get involved with the research.

La Esperanza in Georgetown also spoke with us today and they believe this is a great opportunity to see how we can be more culturally sensitive to these communities.

Categories: Coronavirus, Delaware, Local News