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COVID-19 research initiative reaches out to minorities

Tucson doctor leads research and study for Arizona
covid vaccine
Posted at 6:52 AM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 09:52:08-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Banner University Medical Center and the University of Arizona are joining forces in a research initiative to help connect minority communities with COVID care. Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy has been leading an Arizona team that was formed to investigate the pandemic’s impact on minorities in the U.S. The initiative is part of an alliance that spans across 11 states.

"We study primarily LatinX, African American and Native American communities in the state of Arizona," Dr. Parthasarathy said. "We received 4.2 million dollars which is aimed at addressing improving trust, addressing mistrust and misinformation that’s floating around. We’re providing scientific information from researchers in the area of COVID.”

The project is called the “Community Engagement Alliance against COVID-19 disparities or CEAL. The primary goal is to reach, educate and create trust with communities that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Researchers also give participants up to date details about getting access to supplies, and testing.

“There are over 30 community-based organizations that we’re working with including federally qualified health centers,” Dr. Parthasarathy said.

Teams are also looking for 1,000 volunteers for a new long-COVID treatment and recovery study and they’re hoping to get more minorities to participate, while closing the gap on other systemic healthcare issues at the same time.

“People of color were disproportionately affected by hospitalizations. We know that people who are hospitalized with COVID are more likely to have long COVID,” Dr. Parthasarathy said.

If you want to participate in the study call 844-844-3004 or visit

Shawndrea Thomas is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. Shawndrea is living her dream as a journalist who’s passionate about making a difference. Share your story ideas and important issues with Shawndrea by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.