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Defining Experiences in Public Health School of Public Health Magazine, Summer 2021

Coronavirus Research and Response


CONTENTS Page 1 An unfolding crisis Page 2 Racing against the clock Page 5 Responding to community needs Page 7 Gathering critical information for contact tracing Page 8 Conducting and leading research Page 14 Placing public health first Page 16 Keeping our university safe Page 18 Advocating for local communities Page 20 Covid-19 response from Centers at the School of Public Health Page 22 Connecting with us


An unfolding crisis

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n early 2020, millions of Americans were glued to their devices, waiting for news and updates from the World Health Organization and government officials about the novel coronavirus. We hoped for the best— that the disease would be swiftly contained, with minimal loss of life and disruption of our routines.

The threat arrived quickly right at home. As New York City became an epicenter of the disease, many of us were anxious to check in with loved ones just a short train ride away. The coronavirus was no longer a news story from across the globe; it was a pressing public health issue for all of us.

Public health experts, including those at our School of Public Health (SPH), sounded the alarm on the importance of health communication, in-depth data, and rigorous response plans— many of them familiar firsthand with the devastation brought by other infectious diseases like rubella, polio, HIV and diphtheria.

Faculty, staff, and students rose to the challenge— understanding the heightened importance their education, training, and passion would play as the disease spread. Amidst fear, panic, and the unknown, they provided insight and crucial work to better understand, track, and fight the novel coronavirus.

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Racing against the clock RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS FROM NEW YORK STATE BECAME CRITICAL TO INFORM THE REST OF THE COUNTRY BEFORE IT EXPERIENCED THE SAME PROBLEMS.

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N SPH team was quickly embedded into the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to help with response, drawing on the partnership already in place between the University and the health department. “For 36 years, our School has collaborated closely with NYSDOH,” says David Holtgrave (SPH Dean, SUNY Distinguished Professor, SUNY Empire Innovation Professor). “Our rapid SARS-CoV-2 response shows the importance of academia and government coming together to inform life or death decisions for New York.”

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UNDERSTANDING OF THE DISEASE NEEDED TO BE EXPANDED TO HELP WITH TREATMENT, PREVENTION, AND RESPONSE. OUR SCHOOL IMMediATELY BEGAN TO GENERATE KNOWLEDGE THAT WOULD HELP MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS, GOVErNMENT AGENCIES, NON-PROFITS, CoMMUNITIES, AND FAMILIES.

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ith colleagues at NYSDOH, SPH experts analyzed the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to determine whether these drugs made a difference in treatment. The study added critical information to the evidence base, as benefits were not observed for hydroxychloroquine treatment, with or without azithromycin, in the critically ill patients who were studied. This enabled medical practitioners to make more informed decisions for hospitalized patients. Fears were elevated once a connection was established between Covid-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Our experts assisted NYSDOH to better understand MIS-C in relation to Covid-19— a landmark study that helped healthcare professionals across the U.S. diagnose the condition in children. At the same time, SPH began studying the prevalence of Covid-19, providing information on how many people were infected, diagnosed,

hospitalized, and more. This work essentially gave a “snapshot” look at the pandemic, answering questions that were unknown at the time. “We were able to determine where the disparities emerged,” says PhD student Meredith Barranco, who was involved in a study that examined optimal points of intervention to address racial and ethnic disparities in Covid-19 fatality rates in New York. “This provided important signals about which stages on the continuum might be most useful to enhance service delivery and how to focus policy interventions and further research.” SPH’s Center for Global Health also facilitated a series of virtual exchanges between frontline physicians in Shanghai who worked in Wuhan during the initial outbreak and clinicians in New York. Feedback found the sharing of best practices to be extremely beneficial for all involved to improve the efficacy of their response efforts.

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Responding to community needs IT WAS OUR DUTY TO INFORM AND EDUCATE THE PUBLIC. We responded to the needs of communities locally, nationally, and globally, providing information on the virus, behaviorial measures to reduce exposure, our research findings, and more.

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aculty appeared on local and national television, radio interviews, podcasts, organizational Zoom webinars, and news stories, spreading the most up-to-date research and data not only from our School, but from experts worldwide. Our students were nothing short of incredible throughout the pandemic. While completing their studies, they stepped into roles and responsibilities often previously reserved for active professionals. They volunteered as contact tracers and information translators. They helped health departments and non-profits with pandemic response. They adjusted public health programming to help with issues aggravated by the coronavirus, such as food insecurity.

Axelrod Fellow Monroe Marshall (pictured top left) assisted the Albany County Department of Health as a volunteer contact tracer, making phone calls to those who may have been exposed to Covid-19. At the start of the pandemic, CDPHP Scholar Naw Eh Ku (pictured bottom left) was invited to present at a health literacy event for refugees coordinated by the Refugee Community Health Partnership of Trinity Alliance and Northeast NY Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health. She gave a lecture on social distancing within the context of employment. Community Care Physicians Scholar Leanna Komoroske (pictured below) interned at Brightside Up during the pandemic, coordinating socially distant and safe planting activities and opportunities for children to taste new foods.

Many of our online students are already active in the field. They took on sleepless nights, working around the clock to ensure their communities were well-equipped to deal with Covid-19. With rolled up sleeves, they used their education to be the change they want to see in the world and with their dedication, we know the future of public health is in good hands.

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Gathering critical information for contact tracing Chris Joseph began his work as a contact tracer while he was completing his MPH at UALBANY. Over a year later, now as an MPH graduate, he works as an information gatherer for Covid-19 response.

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arly in the pandemic, many people outside the public health field became familiar with the concept of contact tracing for the first time. Hundreds of thousands of people received calls from contact tracers who worked aroundthe-clock in hopes of keeping Covid-19 from spreading to others. Chris Joseph (pictured) works for the New York City Health + Hospitals Test and Trace Corps, a remote program serving all five boroughs of the city. He conducts background investigations through public databases and communicates with healthcare facilities that order Covid tests. His goal is to obtain new contact information to provide to contact tracers so they can more easily contact individuals who might have been exposed. Joseph’s day begins with a large batch of hard-toreach records that are assigned to him. He reviews each record and prior outreach attempts, verifies phone numbers and addresses on file, connects the records with others that may share the same contact information or household intake, and more. “Every now and then I will look back at a record I completed to see how successful my chosen method was for the assigned contact tracer or community engagement specialist,” says Joseph.

“When I see a note stating this individual was successfully contacted and informed of the appropriate isolation protocols as well as available resources, it means the world to me.” At the start of the pandemic, Joseph originally worked as a contact tracer, but soon switched to information gathering because he wanted to help with efforts to improve the program’s chances of successfully contacting cases. “The experience can oftentimes feel surreal,” he says. “Working on each record, it can be hard to remember these are actual people with real-life concerns. Often, I am working on pediatric and adolescent records that trace back to a household of five or more individuals, and the emotional toll on the guardian must be intense.” Joseph was one of several students from SPH who worked with the New York City Health + Hospitals Test and Trace Corps, and says the other students he worked with were indispensable sources of knowledge and encouragement. “I don’t feel like my work is over,” Joseph says, expressing his desire to continue working with Covid-19 data. “Eventually, I’d like to serve the entire State of New York for Covid response.”

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Conducting and leading research coronavirus research from the school spanned all areas of public health. A focus was placed on understanding and tackling health disparities.

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esearchers investigated face mask guidance from around the world, the development of a low-cost assay for Covid-19, policy for behavioral change, mental health of parents and caregivers, mental health in the Black community, the health impact of school closures on vulnerable children, food recovery and redistribution, and more. Of note, SPH researchers assisted UAlbany in analyzing Covid-19’s disproportionate impact on New York’s communities of color. “Covid-19 research is essential to our way forward as the pandemic evolves,” says Mary Gallant, Professor of Health Policy, Management and Behavior. “The knowledge produced here at UAlbany has been critical to decision-making for families, for UAlbany and other organizations, New York State, and our nation, and will continue to inform our journey to a new normal.”

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60+

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research papers published on SARS-CoV-2

journals feature our research on SARS-CoV-2

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700+

news stories produced based on 4 groundbreaking research papers from SPH

You can find our research in: ACS Infectious Diseases Aerosol and Air Quality Research AIDS and Behavior Annals Of Epidemiology Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy Biosensors & Bioelectronics Cell Clinica Chimica Acta Clinical Infectious Diseases Critical Care Diagnostic Microbiology And Infectious Disease Environmental Pollution Health Communication Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health International Journal Of Infectious Diseases JAMA JAMA Health Forum JAMA Network Open JCI Insight Journal of the American College of Nutrition Journal of Biochemical And Molecular Toxicology Journal of Clinical Microbiology Journal of Clinical Virology Journal of Infectious Diseases Journal of Policy Analysis and Management Medical Care Research and Review Medicinal Research Reviews Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report SUNY Scholars Archive The American Journal of Cardiology The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism The New England Journal of Medicine Transfusion Trends in Microbiology Virus Research To view a list of our published Coronavirus-related research, please click here.

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Mental health

EMERGENCY FOOD PROVISIONS

esearchers at SPH are identifying the current and long-term consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the physical and mental health of caregivers, children, and household members.

s schools and workplaces switched to remote technologies in response to Covid-19, many people needed access to food and food programs. The federal government provided funding and relaxed some rules to support emergency food provision, but did not provide guidance on best practices for effectiveness. This led to a diverse patchwork of emergency feeding programs across the U.S.

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Led by Associate Professor Elizabeth Vásquez, the team was aiming to recieve 1,000 responses for their survey. They received more than 6,000 - showcasing that mental health is an area of concern for many. “The massive interest in our survey highlights the need to look more closely at this pressing issue,” says Vásquez. “We did not expect that kind of response.” As the team analyzes results, they will also examine how household composition, social networks, unemployment, working from home, school closings, and loss of health insurance relate to health disparities aggravated by the pandemic.

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Associate Professor Beth Feingold and PhD student Mariana Torres assisted on a research team that examined and recommended improvements to emergency food provisions programs for children and families during the Covid-19 global health crisis. The report provided insight into emergency food provision plans developed in various cities, and found that the effectiveness of local approaches depends on cross-sector collaboration, supply chains, and addressing gaps in service to increased risk populations.


VITAMIN D AND COVID-19

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rofessor Shao Lin collaborated with a research team from Nanning, China, to evaluate the effect of serum vitamin D levels on Covid-19 infection, concluding that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for Covid-19, especially for critical cases.

To view a list of Coronavirus-related research from our School, please click here.

The study compared serum vitamin D levels and rates of vitamin D deficiency in healthy individuals and patients hospitalized with Covid-19 in China, and concluded that vitamin D supplementation may be a useful treatment for those diagnosed with Covid-19.

VACCINATION

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ith SPH, NYSDOH recently released data on the effectiveness of vaccines in the fight against Covid-19 — showing that vaccinations remain the best way for New Yorkers to protect themselves, families and communities from Covid-19 and its most severe outcomes such as hospitalization. The first-in-the-nation vaccine effectiveness study, based on actual data, was published by the CDC and found that unvaccinated New Yorkers were 11 times more likely to be hospitalized and eight times more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19 than those who were fully vaccinated.

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LOOKING BACK at past public health problems

FEWER SEVERE HEART ATTACK PATIENTS SEEKING TREATMENT

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N late 2020, the United States was fighting the coronavirus without a comprehensive national strategy. Global rates and deaths were continuing to increase, with over one million lives lost to the virus. The lack of a national plan was hurting response. Without rigorous planning, response to a pandemic is uneven across jurisdictions and can deepen health and social inequities. Aggressive goals were needed, and experts at SPH knew that we could look back at our past to move forward. With colleagues across the nation, they reviewed the development, structure, implementation, and evaluation of the national HIV/AIDS strategy launched in 2010, showing that lessons learned from HIV/AIDS work could inform a timely and evidence-based national COVID-19 strategy. Other struggles to reduce HIV/AIDS could also be applied to assist pandemic response. Public health practitioners struggled for decades to increase condom use to help reduce the spread of HIV. Mask use can be significantly influenced by attitudes, just like condom use. A reflection on decades of work of condom promotion, therefore, could be drawn upon to help with consistent and proper mask use.

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t-elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI) is a severe heart attack often treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a procedure in which a catheter is threaded through the blood vessels to open the coronary artery and place a stent there, compressing the plaque and increasing blood flow. Professor Edward Hannan and colleagues discovered that the number of patients who pursued PCI dropped by about a quarter during the pandemic. The decrease in STEMI PCIs during the pandemic was primarily limited to counties with a high concentration of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Hannan explained that “the decrease appears to be primarily related to patients not presenting to hospitals in high-density Covid regions, rather than PCI being avoided in STEMI patients or a reduction in the incidence of STEMI.” This information can serve to focus public health efforts on convincing STEMI patients to seek life-saving hospital care as the pandemic continues.


Messaging from the church

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HEN New York shut down in March 2020, Julia Hastings (Associate Professor of Health Policy, Management and Behavior) was teaching Poverty, Behavioral Health, and Health Policy — and quickly had to adapt to the challenges emerging from responses to the pandemic. “At the time, health policy wasn’t given importance by the federal administration,” Hastings explains. “It became very clear that the class I was teaching was increasingly relevant for our students. I felt the weight. Our students were going to graduate without a roadmap for health intervention. There was no textbook I could recommend to help guide them through a pandemic in the 21st century. Local and State responses were swift, rapidly emerging, and— being honest— it was a bit emotionally exhausting.” While preparing her students and transitioning to online teaching, Hastings added an additional research project to her plate: examining Covid-19 and the Black church. “The research was uniquely important to me because I study health care disparities among Black populations and I am a Black woman. Early New York epidemiological data revealed important differences in disease risk and high mortality rates for Blacks. While health disparities by race and ethnicity is not a new avenue for research, the reported Covid-19 fatality data made health disparities impossible to ignore. New York Blacks were dying from Covid-19 at a higher rate (18%, despite comprising only 9% of the population). When thinking about the level of anxiety about the rapid spread of disease, focusing a study on the Black Church made perfect sense. The Black Church is a safe space; one that is trusted, a stable presence, and can provide needed information,” Hastings explains.

“Given the responses to the pandemic, this safe space— the community support freely given— was taken away.” Services were stopped. Weddings were cancelled. Funerals were postponed. Youth groups were no longer meeting. Churches had to find alternate ways to connect their members, and that was if they were able to survive at all. “We witnessed a complete and abrupt stop to many cultural practices that provide social interaction,” Hastings says. “This was an adjustment for all of us, and we wanted to understand how churches would pivot in service to the community.” Hastings and her colleagues looked at what churches in the Capital Region and in Brooklyn, New York were doing to spread public health messaging. They analyzed the churches’ websites and social media pages, then revisited the work in February 2021, and are now in the process of discussing the observations with the pastors to learn how the messaging had changed. The team continues to analyze the data. A preliminary glance shows that churches in the Capital Region and in Brooklyn had similar messaging of hope and life-saving health behaviors, despite the difference in location. The main difference was the death announcements; the lists churches shared of those who had lost their lives were much longer in Brooklyn due to more coronavirus cases. Overall, Hastings says the work focuses on understanding people and their needs. “In times of fear, in times of anxiety, in times of loss—there’s a commonality in all of us. Some sense of spirituality anchors us, and this project really looks at trying to understand how people situate themselves in this new world.”

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Placing public health first no matter the challenges we face, our community always works towards improving public health and eliminating health disparities.

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t SPH, public health is so much more than just a career. It’s a passion that leaves us fulfilled at the end of each day, even when the days are long and hard. And we’re not shy about saying it - there have been many days that have been long and hard throughout this pandemic. The difficulties have only made us want to work harder. To give our students the most rigorous training. To make a difference in any way we can. On top of their responsibilities, faculty are volunteering as vaccinators, participating in tests on genetic susceptibility to Covid-19, volunteering at food distribution sites, sharing reputable information on social media, and advocating for improved mental health services. These activities, individually, may be small. But together, they represent the spirit of our UAlbany School of Public Health. We will continue to do all that we can to address the pandemic and to provide defining experiences in public health.

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rofessor Emeritus Dr. Gus Birkhead (pictured left) has been volunteering as a vaccinator in New York since January 2021. He has given vaccinations at an Albany Medical Center community vaccination site, the Albany County Health Department point of dispensing at the Times Union Center, at Whitney Young Community Health Center, the UAlbany site, and clinics at local high schools.

“It has been very rewarding and generally people getting vaccinated are very grateful and relieved to be getting their vaccine.”

“I've done it so I can contribute to the response,” says Birkhead, who is retired from a long career at NYSDOH, his last position being the Deputy Commissioner and Director of the Office of Public Health, which included responsibility for the AIDS Institute, the Center for Environmental Health and the Wadsworth Center.

As vaccination efforts were rolled out, CCHRPP researchers addressed how policymakers can balance reducing the complexity of vaccine priority lists and improving ease of access - this piece was published in the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice.

Birkhead is also the director of the Center for Collaborative HIV Research in Practice and Policy (CCHRPP) at UAlbany. The Center has played an important role in releasing research, commentaries, and guidance for Covid-19.

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Keeping our University safe

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rganizational pandemic response is not simple or straightforward. For the University at Albany, which is composed of three campuses, over 170 research centers, over 300 organizations, and thousands of students and faculty, it was necessary for response to work in conjunction with complex systems and moving parts. University leadership took this task seriously, pulling on the School of Public Health’s knowledge to determine a framework to keep our University community safe. Tomoko Udo, Associate Professor of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, played a key role in applying public health principles to guide UAlbany’s response. Her experience utilizes a wide range of approaches, from basic laboratory behavioral experiments, survey methods, quasiexperimental studies, and mixed methods to secondary data analysis of epidemiological data. Udo, working alongside the University’s RNA Institute, developed the University’s Weekly Saliva Surveillance Testing Program. She created the “shell” for the initiative and the principles of surveillance, providing invaluable expertise as the RNA Institute developed the methods and procedures for the tests themselves. “It’s important for us not only to track the rate of infection, but also to get ahead of outbreaks to some extent,” says Udo. “Actively detecting infection through the Surveillance Testing Program allowed us to isolate people who have been infected and possibly exposed to mitigate further spread.”

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Udo notes that everyone involved was working around the clock—and RNA Institute staff were sometimes processing over three thousand samples in just one weekend. Udo also was part of the interdisciplinary group that developed a student support team to assist with on-campus contact tracing and support for all UAlbany students. This led to the development of a team composed of undergraduate and graduate students who received rigorous training and have spent hundreds of hours supporting their classmates. “Those who are isolated due to exposure don’t just need tangible support, such as food,” Udo says. “They need mental support as well. It can be overwhelming for anyone when their health may be at risk, and peer-to-peer communication can significantly contribute to the experience for the better.” In Fall 2020, Udo was appointed as a Health Advisor for Covid-19 by University Provost Carol Kim. In this role, she advises University leadership on the latest developments in the pandemic, policies around Covid-19, and programs or considerations UAlbany should take to protect the wellbeing of the community. “What’s safe and what’s feasible can change very quickly,” Udo notes. “This means that I have been closely in touch with the Provost, Incident Management Team, and others in leadership— evenings, weekends, whenever needed. It has been exhausting but very rewarding, especially when we saw the number of cases come down in our community.”


45,765

96,682

saliva samples analyzed by the University’s Pooled Surveillance Testing program during the Fall 2020 and Winter 2020 semesters

saliva samples analyzed by the University’s Pooled Surveillance Testing program during the Spring 2021 semester

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Advocating for local communities

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hroughout the pandemic, Dwight C. Williams (Emeritus Clinical Professor of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, pictured right) served as an advocate for local communities in New York’s Capital Region, helping to ensure that people were receiving accurate messaging and information to make informed decisions about their health. Too often, certain communities can get left behind in trying times, worsening health disparities. “As public health practitioners, we know that whatever the public health emergency, lowincome neighborhoods are at a greater risk than others and data documents such,” Williams says. “Response must bring these communities into the conversation and ensure they have information, access, and resources.” When the vaccine became available in New York, Williams questioned the barriers in place to get communities vaccinated, such as complex online scheduling procedures and appointments only available in cities that required long drives to reach, noting that these obstacles can easily be addressed by returning to the basic principles of public health. “You have to make vaccination a part of the local initiative,” Williams explains. “If decision makers can provide the vaccine, local networks who have earned the trust of their communities can then implement the health campaign effectively. Reaching out to the community is public health 101—and we’ve seen the failures and success of this with many public health epidemics in the past, including HIV/AIDS and natural disasters

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such as Katrina. During Katrina, citizens were asked to get in their vehicles and evacuate, and the nation witnesses the horrible plight of those left without transportation. That was a public health crisis and a national embarrassment.” Working with a network of concerned citizens, Williams advocated to get local Black churches on board to provide vaccinations directly at their sites. Through that network, he has provided support and guidance to individuals and organizations, addressing vaccine hesitancy related to trust, efficacy, and benefits. He continues to make phone calls and conduct Zoom conferences to help various groups in the Capital District, Brooklyn and Prince Georges County, Maryland to focus on eliminating vaccine disparities, better understand the dangers of Covid-19 and the importance of adhering to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “When it comes to people who are marginalized, the big issue is trust,” Williams explains. “Historically, policies are put in place, but it’s to the detriment of people of color. Native Americans—their history is just as difficult. For African Americans, we say, ‘never again—I’ll take the chances with my own resources.’ We must do better for these communities, and a part of this is making sure the message is not contradictory, inconsistent, or political.” In addition to his on-the-ground work with faithbased organizations in the area, Williams has led discussions across the UAlbany community on social justice and Covid-19 research. He has also been invited to present to community boards and


organizations on the leading causes of deaths for Black people, pre and post Covid-19, contrasted by zip codes, positivity rates, hospitalization rates, and death rates. “I have always advocated for zip code level data, not just county data,” Williams explains. “Public health practitioners need to dig deeper, and I always tell my students this. Go down to the zip code—to the neighborhood. Within a county, you can have communities that are well above and significantly below targets. To make real change, you need to consider interventions specifically for those communities.” Williams echoes this message when he speaks with students, emphasizing the need for them to have a better understanding of social determinants of health and how they impact communities. When he was the Undergraduate Program Director at SPH, he conducted bus tours to take students around different zip codes and neighborhoods in New York’s Capital Region so students could gain more in-depth understandings of why some people are healthier than others. The bus tours remain an eye-opening public health exercise at the School. Williams encourages students, colleagues and faculty to become ambassadors to learn why some communities’ health outcomes are better than others and to practice and promote social justice and health equity. “Dare to speak truth to power; show empathy question what you hear and see. Understand that verbs matter, not just words – that is why today, we focus to eliminate health disparities and not just to reduce them,” Williams says. “Quite frankly, I have been doing this (sometimes much to the chagrin of others) since I completed graduate training in 1972 and am thrilled that eliminating disparities has become a national and international priority and goal.”

visit our website to learn more about sph faculty, staff, and students, please visit our website where you will find research updates, publications, internship features, and more.

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Covid-19 Response from School of Public Health Centers

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CENTER FOR PUBLIC HEALTH CONTINUING EDUCATION

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hile the pandemic shifted much of the workforce to telecommuting, the Center for Public Health Continuing Education’s (CPHCE) expertise in providing online professional development and training was a valuable resource to meet the new demands of public health and health care professionals. In 2020, the Center saw a 50% increase in the number of learners accessing its online, self-paced fundamental public health courses. CPHCE launched a new online course series, Community Dimensions of Public Health Practice, which covers principles related to the one of the eight domains in the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals. CPHCE also collaborated with NYSDOH to create an electronic Vaccine Communication Toolkit and online trainings for healthcare providers to better equip them to communicate with patients about childhood vaccinations and address vaccine hesitancy.

CENTER FOR COLLABORATIVE HIV RESEARCH IN PRACTICE AND POLICY

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enter for Collaborative HIV Research in Practice and Policy (CCHRPP) affiliated faculty produced timely research throughout the pandemic, including groundbreaking work with NYSDOH (see pages 2-3). With vast expertise on the HIV epidemic (see page 12), CCHRPP researchers were uniquely positioned to provide critical assistance to better understand aspects of Covid-19 transmission, surveillance, and treatment. CCHRPP also hosted seminars and Zoom events throughout the pandemic related to HIV and Covid-19, and helped train students to be leaders in pandemic response.

CENTER FOR GLOBAL HEALTH

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N addition to facilitating virtual exchanges between frontline responders in Wuhan and New York clinicians (see page 3), the Center for Global Health worked proactivity throughout the pandemic to leverage new technologies to deliver effective remote global training programs, while also developing new global health academic course offerings and remote experiential learning opportunities for students. “These types of initiatives are vital to helping ensure our faculty and students remain globally engaged, and that in particular these new academic offerings will allow students to develop a greater understanding of today’s pressing global health challenges and a truly global perspective,” says John Justino, Center Director.

CENTER FOR HEALTH WORKFORCE STUDIES

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he Covid-19 pandemic has had substantial impacts on the health care delivery system as well as the health workforce. Health care providers employed a variety of strategies to assure adequate health workforce capacity, enabling access to care for needed services. The Center for Health Workforce Studies developed Covid-19 pages on their websites that share resources on efforts to develop, deploy, and replenish the health workforce in response to the pandemic. The Center conducted a number of pandemic-related research studies that include an analysis of state responses to pandemic workforce concerns, an assessment of disruptions to the health professions’ educational pipelines, an exploration of trends in health workforce issues throughout the course of the pandemic, an analysis of clinician burn-out in New York, and the identification of key pandemic-related impacts on the oral health workforce. For studies still in progress, research reports will be released later this year.

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Request experts for media: Eirinn Marotta Communications Manager enorrie@albany.edu Make a gift: Please visit albany.edu/sph/give Learn more about making a gift: Ann Hughes Director of Development ahughes3@albany.edu Enroll at the School: Caitlin Reid Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs sphadmissions@albany.edu Learn about our community-based work: Janine Jurkowski Associate Dean for Public Health Practice jjurkowski@albany.edu

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