To contact us about getting involved in one of our studies, please contact us at or (614) 292-0268. We will compensate all study participants for their time and assistance in our projects.


Current Projects

The Hardest Hit Communities Project

Defining and Pursuing “Protection” and “Recovery” from the Worst Health, Economic, and Social Impacts of COVID-19 in Ohio

Funded by a generous gift from a private College of Public Health donor and Women and Philanthropy at Ohio State
Prior research – by our team and others – has demonstrated clearly that certain local communities have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These “hardest hit” communities suffer substantial impacts in terms of COVID-19 exposures, cases and deaths, as well as job losses, setbacks in social infrastructure, and other hardships. These burdens have often exacerbated inequities that existed prior to the pandemic, compounding gaps in social and economic opportunity as well as poor social determinants of health. In response, the Hardest Hit Communities Project aims to understand and respond to the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19 in several of the specific Ohio communities that have been most affected. The primary objectives of this research are to understand the shape of these impacts, how to protect such communities from future hardship, and what they need to recover. We are using multiple forms of up-to-date data to identify hardest hit communities, building relationships with key community partners, conducting interviews with community members in each locality, and developing both short- and longer-term strategies to protect selected communities from further harm and support community recovery.

COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Project

Community-Engaged Research to Reduce Hesitance and Alleviate Access Barriers in Vulnerable Communities

Our team is engaged in a mixed methods research and intervention project to address the two key factors that will limit COVID-19 vaccine use in vulnerable communities: vaccine hesitance among some individuals and groups, and access barriers among those who want to be vaccinated. We are investigating these challenges in communities of color (African American, Asian American, Latinx, and Immigrant communities) and other vulnerable groups (domestic violence survivors, homeless individuals, and others). Our central objective is to use a community-engaged approach to generate and disseminate both practical interventions and policy recommendations to drive high COVID-19 vaccine uptake in vulnerable communities, both by reducing vaccine hesitance and by alleviating structural barriers. Because our approach draws on the expertise of community leaders, works in partnership with community-based organizations to build trust in health-related research, and includes structural solutions, it will also set the stage for long-term reductions in health disparities related to and beyond COVID-19.

Storytelling in Latinx Communities

Using a three-phase strategy, this project aims to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among Latino/Hispanics in central Ohio. Collecting stories from Latino/Hispanic individuals is imperative to constructing culturally relevant messages. The narrative extracted from their stories will be used to produce an entertainment-education video, which will be distributed in Latino/Hispanic communities to measure changes in COVID-19 attitudes and behaviors. Increases in CDC recommended COVID-19 preventative individual behaviors, as well as the partnerships and interactions made with community members in the process of making the video narrative may lead to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19 in the targeted Latino/Hispanic communities. This project is led by Ms. Kristina Medero, who is conducting it as a pre-dissertation research project.

American Rescue Plan

While domestic violence has always had an impact on health, COVID-19 has created additional health concerns as well as barriers to accessing health and social determinant of health services that are essential to address after the devastating effects of lockdowns and isolation. Domestic violence victims also have unique barriers to accessing health care, including safety concerns, fear of retaliation, lack of transportation or access to health care, costs, and not receiving adequate services or having their health issues identified and treated in a trauma-informed manner.  This project is designed to increase statewide access to trauma-informed health services for those experiencing domestic violence. In addition to COVID-19 mitigation, this project will emphasize two key interconnected health issues that have always been significant for domestic violence victims but intensified during the pandemic: 1) the creation of trauma-informed assessment and telehealth services (The CARE Health Connection) with statewide access and 2) a mobile advocacy and mobile health connection project (CARE Mobile Health) in local geographic regions. These strategies will be responsive to the evolving needs of survivors as the disease burden of COVID-19 decreases and the aftermath of the pandemic becomes clearer. Finally, to oversee this grant and other work related to brain injury caused by domestic violence, the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, in partnership with OSU, will convene a new statewide partnership focused on increased multidisciplinary collaboration and systems transformation around the issue of brain trauma from interpersonal violence.

Completed Projects

Asian American COVID-19 Vaccine Education Project

This project aimed to develop a COVID-19 vaccination awareness campaign for Asian Americans in Ohio, by working with community leaders and community members. The project involved conducing focus groups and interviews to gather culturally-informed insights about attitudes, beliefs, concerns, and considerations. Based on this information, we worked with communities to help create educational materials (flyers, graphics, videos) and a dissemination plan. This project was led by Ms. Melinda Dang, and served as the Culminating Project for her Master of Public Health program.

COVID-19 Recovery for Domestic Violence Survivors and Service Organizations

An assessment to understand, from the perspective of domestic violence service providers, what is needed to help both service organizations and the survivors they serve recover from COVID-19. The purpose of the project in particular was to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) agencies. The assessment was conducted through the implementation of a survey that seeks to gather information about the current needs of ODVN agencies to provide services for the victims of the domestic violence. More specifically, we were asking the agencies about the state of operations, changes in demand for services, financial constraints, etc. Responses were then analyzed to gauge of level of the impact and immediate needs the agencies had to support the victims moving forward.