National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics – Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC)

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation responded by identifying effective strategies to improve access to COVID-19 testing as a public health priority, especially for vulnerable people. AIR is part of the team supporting the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC) for the National Institutes of Health. The overarching goal of the RADx-UP initiative is to develop community-engaged projects across the United States to assess and expand COVID-19 testing for underserved and/or vulnerable populations, including health disparity populations, particularly African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives; those in nursing homes, jails, rural areas, or underserved urban areas; pregnant women; and people experiencing homelessness.

The CDCC involves experts in clinical trial management, community engagement, data science, and clinical research informatics working together to create a community-focused coordination and data collection center for RADx-UP grantees—more than 100 research partnerships between universities and community-based organizations across the country. AIR’s role in the CDCC is to:

  • Provide Data Science support for the Data Science and Biostatistics workstream, by automating multiple processes via Azure logic app, and performing extract, transform and load of project metadata and national COVID-19 testing and vaccination data;
  • Chair the Building Community Capacity and Impact working group and the Understanding Social Determinants of COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination working group, which involves RADx-UP grantees collaboratively identifying and developing solutions to support reductions in COVID-19 disparities;
  • Facilitate sessions at the biannual Equity Evidence Academy, which uses an engaged conference approach to enable researchers and community and governmental leaders to share experiences, ideas, and recommendations to overcome disparities in COVID-19 testing; and
  • Provide research support for the Community Engagement workstream within the RADx-UP CDCC via the Group Modeling Building/Systems Practice committee and Engagement Impact Teams.

Notable AIR work produced include:

  • Collaborating with the CDCC Group Model Building team to create visual representations and written explanations of the working group's insights into community processes and factors that help or hurt equitable COVID-19 testing.
  • Publishing an American Journal of Public Health article that details how community-engaged research through RADx-UP improved access to COVID19 testing and vaccination in vulnerable populations as a public health priority.
  • Partnering with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ACON Laboratories to develop and release how-to test demonstration videos in English and Spanish to encourage use and trust in COVID-19 tests.
  • Using human-centered design to facilitate optimal data collection from RADx-UP grantees’ COVID-19 interventions and finalize and publish a data visualization user guide to help program data reach a variety of stakeholders, including policymakers and community-based organizations.