The importance of engaging our local community in a discussion about COVID-19 became a priority during the pandemic. Our Community Engagement (CE) Program acted quickly to increase bi-directional communication between researchers and community stakeholders to shine a light on research and practice-based opportunities to prevent, test, and treat the virus. The existing partnership with three other MA CTSA’s (Tufts, Harvard, UMass) CE Programs, was leveraged to collaboratively organize a recurring COVID-19 Community Forum series, which started on April 23. Conducted via Zoom and hosted by one of the four MA CTSA CE programs, each forum covers a timely COVID-19 related health topic.

Past Sessions

  • Thursday, April 30, 4:00-5:00 p.m.: RNA Therapeutics: Informational Drugs as a Pandemic Response Tool by Anastasia Khvorova, Ph.D. of UMass.

  • Monday, May 4, 4:00-5:00 p.m.: Getting to the Post-pandemic era: Herd Immunity, Social Distancing, and Vaccine by Yonatan Grad, MD, Ph.D. of Harvard.

  • Thursday, May 14, 4:00-5:00 p.m.: Building a Research Infrastructure for Equity in COVID-19 Treatment by Benjamin Linas, MD, MPH of Boston University.

  • Thursday, July 2, 4:00-5:00 p.m.: Moving towards a Racially Just and Equitable Health Research Enterprise, a Tufts CTSI panel discussion.

  • Wednesday, October 28, 5:00-6:00 p.m.: Equitable Vaccine Distribution: Community Discussion of the National Academy of Medicine Framework, by Michael Curry of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers; Dr. Ana V. Diez Roux of Drexel University; Lissette Blondet of the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers; Dr. Sara King of Ummah Health; and Dr. Atyia Martin of the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition.

  • Wednesday, November 18, 5:00-6:00 p.m. Community Forum on Building the Public’s Trust in the COVID-19 Vaccine, by Jackie Fantes, MD, FAAFP., Chief Medical Officer at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center; Jennifer José Lo, MD., Medical Director at Boston Public Health Commission; John N. Rocchio PharmD, Rph., Senior Director, Pharmacy Regulatory Affairs at CVS Health, and Cassandra Pierre, MD, MPH.,
    Acting Hospital Epidemiologist and Medical Director of Public Health Programs at Boston Medical Center.