Prof. Sprague Martinez Leads Health Equity Core for Long Covid Project at Harvard Medical School

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Health equity expert Linda Sprague Martinez, PhD, an associate professor at BU School of Social Work, is bringing her expertise to a new working group researching Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 – a now-pervasive condition commonly referred to as “long COVID.”

The working group is part of Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness which brings together 17 institutions, including Boston University, to address the challenges of COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics. The group is made of four “cores”: Administrative; Clinical Epidemiology; Pathology, Virology and Immunology; and Health Equity, which will be led by Sprague Martinez. The group also includes an advisory community.

As director of the Health Equity Core, Sprague Martinez will rally a team of partners around her core’s central aims:

  1. Identifying the impact of long COVID on diverse Black and Latinx communities in Massachusetts and identifying barriers to long COVID treatment;
  2. Increasing awareness and access to long COVID treatment and resources in Black and Latinx communities in Massachusetts, including the primary care providers serving them;
  3. Influencing relevant policies at the organizational, municipal, state and national levels.

The core includes partners from Archipelago Strategies Group, Boston University Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts University. Sprague Martinez will lead the team in broad community engagement, data collection, dissemination, and policy advocacy. A nationally recognized researcher, she brings a wealth of experience in community engagement and health to the project.

The working group is directed by Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MALD, of Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, and Bruce Levy, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University. Bhadelia is the founding director of the Boston University Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research (CEID) which Sprague Martinez was recently invited to join as a member of its Core Faculty.

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