Disparity Study to Examine Effects of COVID-19 on Under-resourced Communities in Nassau County, New York

August 13th, 2021 | News

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disparate toll on Black, Latino, and other communities of color, with both higher death rates and lower vaccination rates. In partnership with Nassau County, New York, we will conduct a study on the impact of the pandemic on under-resourced communities, focusing on people’s experiences accessing testing, treatment, and vaccination.  We will also examine the factors contributing to lower rates of COVID-19 vaccination and higher rates of infection, illness, and deaths in these communities.  

This disparity study is an opportunity to investigate not only health inequities related to COVID-19, but also Nassau County’s historical health injustices such as the infant mortality rate, which is significantly higher among Black people.

The study consists of two surveys; the first will focus on input from a range of residents; the second on nine communities with large minority populations. Our COVID-19 disparity study made headlines in the local paper as: Eye on COVID impact: $450G Nassau study to examine effect on minorities, and Nassau County launches COVID-19 Disparity Study to examine pandemic conditions for minority communities.

After learning about the stark health disparities in the county, Nassau officials opened COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in communities with high minority populations. County Executive Laura Curran said in a quote for Newsday, “This study will help us continue to serve our most vulnerable residents in the best way possible.”

“This study presents an opportunity to better understand how historical injustices and existing inequities have contributed to disparities in COVID-19 and  related outcomes,” commented Tabeth Jiri, JSI principal investigator. “More importantly, it is a step forward in understanding how the county can begin to overcome health inequities beyond COVID-19,  and ultimately improve the overall health of its citizens. JSI is pleased and honored to be part of that process.”  

JSI develops strategies with communities to reduce disparities through cultural and gender-appropriate services.

Involved Staff:

  • Tabeth Jiri, PhD, Project Director and Principal Investigator
  • Sasha Bianchi, MPH, Project Manager
  • Alejandro Alvarez, MPH, MS, Quantitative Data Lead
  • Leanna Pham, BA, Community Engagement Liaison
  • Courtney Castro, MS, Quantitative Data Coordinator
  • Arman Lorz, BS, Qualitative Data Lead
  • Corina Pinto, MS, Qualitative Data Coordinator

Photo by Joe Raedle

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