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CommuniVax Coalition Launches Second Phase

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security continues CommuniVax, a research coalition funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Center News


January 22, 2022, Baltimore, MD – The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has received a new round of funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to continue support of the CommuniVax coalition. The purpose of the coalition is to strengthen community roles and involvement in equitable COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. The project’s second phase will focus on strengthening the relationships between communities of color and key local public health systems.

CommuniVax is led by Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD, a medical anthropologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a senior scientist in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Emily K. Brunson, MPH, PhD, an associate professor of anthropology at Texas State University. This phase will deepen the work being done by 3 local research teams, with support from an expert working group. The local teams will work in 3 US sites—San Diego, California; Prince George’s County, Maryland; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama—to develop strategic and practical toolkits on local community health systems strengthening and to engage with stakeholders to solidify and sustain the local community health system.

“Crystallizing community health assets into a genuine ‘system’—one that is socially valued and sustainably financed—is key to advancing health equity in the United States,” said Dr. Schoch-Spana. “As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign has shown, when community health workers and community-based organizations are in the lead, then life-saving and life-sustaining resources actually get to people who need them the most.”

The local research teams in this phase are:

  • The University of Maryland, led by Dr. Stephen B. Thomas and Dr. Sandra Crouse Quinn Stephen B. Thomas
  • San Diego State University, led by Dr. Noe Crespo and Dr. Elisa Sobo
  • The University of Alabama, led by Dr. Stephanie M. McClure

The CommuniVax expert working group members include Ray Bonilla, Jr., MBA; Arrietta Chakos, MPA; Ysabel Duron, BA; Tene Hamilton Franklin, MS; Richard Krieg, PhD; Llevelyn Rhone, MBA; Beth Weaver, MS; and Alexandre "Sasha" White, PhD.