UCSF COVID Research Patient and Community Advisory Board in Motion & Receives PCORI Funding

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s (CTSI) Community Engagement and Health Policy program (CEHP) is proud to announce that its UCSF COVID Patient and Community Advisory Board (PCAB) has been funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The COVID PCAB was created to provide an easily accessible and efficient mechanism to help UCSF researchers obtain patient and community stakeholder input for COVID-19 research projects.


The COVID-19 pandemic has stimulated the need for rapid implementation of research for its prevention, and treatment. The public health response has also forced research projects on other topics to change their usual approaches to recruitment, retention, and data collection. Health disparities have been exacerbated in the pandemic; African Americans, Latinx, American Indians, and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders have disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Other disparities, such as participation in research, may be worsened, particularly since one solution, stakeholder-engaged research, takes time and other resources that are not always readily available.

UCSF Infectious Disease researchers with Latino TaskForce for COVID19. Image credit: Barbara Ries 


Institutional stakeholder advisory boards help individual researchers obtain patient and community input rapidly and efficiently. PCORI originally funded ASPIRE (Accelerating Systematic Stakeholder, Patient, and Institution Research Engagement), a program administered by CEHP and UCSF Center for Community Engagement to maximize UCSF’s capacity to conduct stakeholder-engaged research for health equity. The COVID PCAB is supported through a enhancement to ASPIRE.


“Researchers are busy writing COVID-19 proposals and implementing projects with compressed timelines and may not be able to obtain patient and community input, which could lead to trust issues and exacerbate health disparities” said Tung Nguyen, MD, ASPIRE’s Principal Investigator. The COVID PCAB fulfills this important function of linking researchers to diverse patients, community leaders, and other stakeholders.


Stakeholders on this COVID PCAB include diverse patients, clinicians, leaders of community organizations, clinics, civic agencies, and other groups who have critical perspectives and interests in the outcomes of COVID-19 research. In addition to providing review and feedback for COVID-19 clinical and translational research, the PCAB offers stakeholder input on UCSF policies and procedures to adapt recruitment, data collection, implementation, and dissemination strategies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of study participants in all clinical research being conducted at UCSF during the COVID-19 pandemic, including studies not specifically investigating COVID-19. 


“We strongly urge all researchers conducting COVID-19 research to obtain PCAB consultation,” said Kevin Grumbach, MD, Co-Director of CEHP and faculty lead of the COVID PCAB. “Researchers who have done so stated they benefited greatly.”


Request a Community-Engaged COVID Research Consultation here (Click on orange box)


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PCORI COVID enhancement Funding Mechanism