COVID-19 Research Resources
A curated list of research resources around guidelines, policies, and procedures related to COVID-19, drawn from Harvard University, affiliated academic healthcare centers, and government funding agencies

Innovation & improvement in public health via community engagement & research. Community Engagement Program

Harvard Catalyst Population Health Research Program Community Advisory Board (CAB)

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Ediss Gandelman, MBA, MEd; CAB Chair

Ediss Gandelman is the former executive director of Trustee and Corporation Relations at Wheelock College in Boston. As chief administrative officer for the Board of Trustees, Gandelman supported the College's exploration of strategic options resulting in the June 2018 merger with Boston University. Prior to her engagement with Wheelock, Gandelman served as the director of community benefits at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) where she spearheaded the hospital's public and community health initiatives and served as the managing director of Community Care Alliance, a network of seven community health centers affiliated with BIDMC. Gandelman practiced as a child/family psychologist before moving into hospital administration where she was the principal of Kennedy Memorial Hospital for Children's Inpatient Educational Program. After completing her MBA, she worked at the Dimock Center, where she developed an array of health and human service programs as the center's senior vice president of development and public affairs. Gandelman currently serves as the chair of the Population Health Research Program Community Advisory Board.

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Lissette Blondet

Lissette Blondet currently serves as the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers where she works to strengthen the association and strategically position the workforce to seize the many opportunities now available through healthcare reform.

Blondet has dedicated most of her professional life to legitimizing community health workers as public health professionals. In 1993, she founded the Community Health Education Center (CHEC), the first training and resource center in the country. CHEC's curricula and professional development programs now serve as national models and have been replicated across the country. After leaving CHEC in 2000, Blondet became the director of community benefits for Cape Cod Healthcare, a healthcare system based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In that role, she focused on making healthcare accessible to the large and underserved Brazilian and Wampanoag communities.

Blondet was born in Venezuela and moved to the US to study music. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a BA in music and psychology, and received an EdM from Harvard's Graduate School of Education.

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Michael Coughlin, MS

Michael Coughlin is the media and outreach coordinator for Greater Fall River Partners for a Healthier Community. He serves as a consultant to the Office of Local and Regional Health for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, an adjunct instructor of Human Services at Bristol Community College, and as a site visitor for the Public Health Accreditation Board. Coughlin is a 35-year health and human service professional who has previously served as the director of Health and Human Services for the City of Fall River and in several managerial positions for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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Elizabeth González Suárez, MA

Elizabeth González Suárez serves as vice president of Community Life (CL) for The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB), in Boston, a position she has held since 2016. González Suárez advances the powerful role that TCB and partner institutions can play in providing stability and social connections for seniors and access to opportunity for families in TCB communities.

Previously she served as the director of Community Health Practice at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and the deputy director of the U54 Partnership Outreach Program. Most of her 20-year tenure with DFCI was dedicated to designing and implementing evidence-based programs that promote public health among high-risk and underserved populations.

Earlier in her career, González Suárez conducted research on community-based approaches to health promotion and cancer prevention. She was an active member of the DFCI's diversity initiative, targeting programs to increase representation of people of color into the health professions.

González Suárez serves on the HRiA (Health Resources in Action) Board of Directors and the advisory board of the Jordan Boys & Girls Club.

She received her bachelor and master's degrees in psychology from Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela. She is married with two sons and is a strong community arts advocate and supporter.

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Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH

Claude-Alix Jacob is the chief public health officer for the city of Cambridge. In this position, he is responsible for managing all aspects of the Cambridge Public Health Department, including public health planning, service delivery, and regulatory activities. Previously, Jacob served as the deputy director of the Office of Health Promotion at the Illinois Department of Public Health. He currently serves on the board of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the Public Health Foundation, and the Boston advisory board of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. He is the past national chair of the Black Caucus of Health Workers of the American Public Health Association. Jacob has completed the National Public Health Leadership Institute's training, as well as the W.K. Kellogg Fellowship for Emerging Leadership in Public Health. He is a certified site visitor for the Council on Education for Public Health. Jacob has a master of public health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

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Vilma Martínez-Dominguez

Vilma Martínez-Dominguez is the director of Lawrence Community Development, and a leader in the Mayor's Health Task Force (MHTF). Under her leadership, the MHTF evolved into a strong grassroots, multi-sector coalition whose vision is to promote health equity for all, through advocacy, education, capacity-building, and networking. She serves on various coalitions and advisory groups to help advance social justice and gender and health equity. As director Martinez-Dominguez provides administrative oversight to a robust Community Development Block Grant funded by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and supports the Office of Planning & Development in the implementation of programs related to economic and community development and housing.

For over a decade, she has served on various advisory groups for CBPR-related projects in partnership with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health through various federally-funded projects, and served as the only community representative at the Harvard Lung Cancer Disparities Center's external advisory committee. Martínez-Dominguez continues to partner with UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School on a variety of CBPR projects related to diabetes and other chronic diseases, most recently serving on the Project Oversight Board for UMass Medical School's Latino Health & Wellbeing CBPR project. She is a former member of UMass Medical School's Community Engagement and Research Section CAAP for UMass Center for Clinical Translation Science.

Martínez-Dominguez continues to approach the work of administering various housing and health equity programs using a social justice lens, and will capitalize on her extensive network of multi-sector partners and established collaboration, to improve the quality of life for the diverse community of Lawrence.

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Elecia Miller

For the last nine years, Elecia Miller works for the City of Lawrence Mayor's Health Task Force (MHTF), a public health coalition whose vision is to make the city and its environs, a "… healthier, safer, and more thriving community." As a full-time employee of the MHTF, she oversees the daily operations of the coalition. Over the years, under the guidance of the coalition's coordinator, and with the help of the members of the Task Force, Miller has helped to bring public health education and awareness in the city and beyond.

Today, Miller is the project officer of the coalition, overseeing health initiatives such as Mass in Motion, a statewide initiative that examines access to physical activity and healthy eating, Lawrence Ciclovia, an open streets activity, and youth development. She participated in community events such as "Por Tu Familia," a Spanish diabetes conference, hosted by the Diabetes Today Coalition in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association and Fiesta de Salud, the largest interactive health fair held in the greater Lawrence area. Miller believes that a community is only as strong as the people within its walls, and that in leadership, one should always strive to bring others along and improve the stock of the community. She is dedicated to reaching as many residents of the greater Lawrence area as she can through the work of the Mayor's Health Task Force.

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Candace Nelson, ScD, MA

Candace Nelson is the deputy director of the Office of Data Management and Outcomes Assessment at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She received her doctorate in social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2011. In her current position at the Department of Public Health, Nelson chairs and manages the IRB and data access review process and works to promote the use of the department data for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

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Shari Nethersole, MD

Shari Nethersole is the medical director for community health at Boston Children's Hospital. For over 25 years, she has served as a pediatrician in Boston who still sees patients in the Children's Hospital Primary Care Center. In her role as medical director, she oversees the hospital's community health mission which addresses the most pressing health issues affecting children in our city, which currently includes asthma, mental health, obesity, and child development. Nethersole works with community organizations, community health centers, and city and state agencies to address health disparities and improve the health of children and families in the community through programming, partnerships, and advocacy. She established the Community Asthma Initiative in 2005 as well as the Fitness in the City Program to address childhood obesity. She's also an active advocate at the city and state level for child health priorities. In addition to external collaborations, Nethersole facilitates the internal hospital connections and collaborations needed to support the community health mission, trying to align the clinical mission and services of the hospital with community health needs. Nethersole received her undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1979 and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1983. She completed her pediatric residency at Children's Hospital Boston in 1986. She currently participates in many committees and workgroups that address child health needs in Boston.

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Huy Nguyen, MD

Huy Nguyen began his work at DotHouse Health as a pediatrician in 2003, leading efforts to promote early childhood literacy, evidence-based primary care for adolescents and the effective delivery of culturally sensitive care. In 2017, he became DotHouse Health's chief medical officer. In this role, he oversees patient care, population health initiatives, and clinician recruitment and retention, in addition to participating in organizational strategic planning and implementation. He continues to care for infants, children, and adolescents part-time.

Prior to this role, Nguyen served in leadership positions at the Boston Public Health Commission, as medical director from 2011 to 2017, and as interim executive director from 2014 to 2016. There he led new interagency and multi-sector collaborations to strengthen community-clinical linkages such as the Boston Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund Partnership, led the local public health response to Ebola, and he developed new policy tools to prevent teen tobacco initiation in the City of Boston. Nguyen received his undergraduate degree in biology at Harvard College, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and his pediatric residency training at the University of Washington, Seattle.

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Leslie Pelton-Cairns, LCSW

Leslie Pelton-Cairns is the director of Public Health Initiatives at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, the primary care association for all fifty health centers in the state. In this role, she manages clinical quality initiatives and provides direct technical assistance to health centers as a leader in the Clinical Health Affairs Team. She currently serves on several advisory committees including Brigham and Women's Community Health Initiative and Simmons College's Behavioral Health Workforce Integration Program. For over 15 years, Pelton-Cairns has worked to develop capacity in nonprofit organizations as well as systems and processes to evaluate the effectiveness of those efforts. Prior to joining the League, Pelton-Cairns launched Beth Israel Deaconess's Patient and Family Engagement Program, institutionalizing the involvement of patients in quality improvement efforts. She has consulted for a number of organizations including Teach For America, the City of Cambridge, Boston Children's Hospital, and Fiscal Management Associates. In New York City, Pelton-Cairns was a senior management consultant at Public Health Solutions where she managed the Infrastructure Technical Assistance Unit, offering one-on-one coaching and designing curriculum for New York City HIV/AIDS organizations. She holds an MS in social work administration from Columbia University and a BS in business management and marketing from Cornell University.

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Benjamin D Perkins, MA, M.Div.

An avid social-justice practitioner, intellectual, and creative thinker, Benjamin Perkins is currently the vice president of Multicultural Initiatives/Health Equity for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. He has worked in the public health field for over 17 years, first specializing in disease prevention and research education to communities vulnerable to HIV infection, where he held numerous leadership roles, from community advisory board chair, to founding director of a CDC-funded HIV-prevention and wellness center, to project director for an NIH-funded HIV-prevention feasibility study. In 2014, he shifted focus to health disparities and inequities in cardiovascular disease and stroke rates among communities of color and other underserved populations.

Perkins received his master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2000, He is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serves a wonderfully multicultural congregation in the Boston area. In addition to his education at Harvard Divinity School, Perkins received his MA in clinical psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles and his BA in geography from the University of California at Los Angeles. His interests include running, reading theology, creative writing, and engaging in health equity/social justice work as spiritual practice.

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Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH

Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH, is a senior fellow at the de Beaumont Foundation. With more than 20 years of experience in public health, Valdes Lupi serves an advisory and leadership role in the foundation's efforts to amplify and accelerate policy initiatives aimed at developing and advancing a health agenda on critical public health issues, such as tobacco control, racial justice, and health equity. She also contributes to the foundation's activities on strengthening the public health workforce at state and local health departments, including playing an advisory role for the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey. She actively supports the foundation's priority programs in city policy, including CityHealth and the Big Cities Health Coalition, and leverages her membership on national committees, like partnering with the Public Health National Center for Innovations to create a task force for guiding "The Futures Initiative: Revisiting the 10 Essential Public Health Services."

Valdes Lupi's previous positions include serving as the executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, and as deputy commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She also has experience working at the national level as the first chief program officer for health systems transformation at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

She received her JD from the Dickinson School of Law, MPH from the Boston University School of Public Health, and BA from Bryn Mawr College.

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Samuel S. Wong, PhD, MS, REHS/RS

Sam Wong is a public health practitioner. He is the director of public health for the City of Framingham and previously served as the director of public and community health services for the Town of Hudson. Wong is a scholar with the Northeast Public Health Leadership Institute and is president of Massachusetts Health Officers Association. He earned his graduate degrees from the University of Rhode Island. Wong is a past chair of the MetroWest Prevention & Wellness Partnership, a collaboration of healthcare and community organizations in the MetroWest area dedicated to integrating clinical and community health sectors to prevent and improve health outcomes of residents suffering from chronic diseases. He is a gubernatorial-appointed council member for both the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Massachusetts Food Policy Council, and serves on the statewide Special Commission on Local & Regional Health, in addition to many other committees.

Wong has received many state and regional awards for his work on public health, including the Deborah Blumer Community Health Leadership Award from the MetroWest Health Foundation and the John D. Crowley Award from the Massachusetts Health Officers Associations. He has also served on the West Boylston Board of Health for a number of years.