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AJPH and RADx-UP share research aimed at ending health inequities

Date: May 22 2024

Contact: APHA Media Relations

In an exciting collaboration, the American Journal of Public Health and the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics–Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) initiative has released a new supplement, RADx-UP: Prioritizing Community-Engaged Research. This supplement offers valuable insights into the pivotal intersection of community engagement, health equity and pandemic response. Departing from conventional approaches to COVID-19 testing and vaccination, RADx-UP prioritizes community-engaged strategies with the goal of achieving health equity.

The RADx-UP initiative, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, is dedicated to expediting the development and implementation of innovative COVID-19 testing technologies. Its primary focus is on underserved and vulnerable populations, ensuring equitable access to testing and research opportunities. RADx-UP: Prioritizing Community-Engaged Research builds on the significant strides made in the November 2022 AJPH supplement, RADx-UP: Community-Based COVID-19 Testing and Research in Underserved Populations. This initial effort delved into the data, insights and research outcomes derived from community-based COVID-19 testing initiatives among underserved populations. In this latest supplement, the focus is on highlighting the successes achieved and challenges faced by RADx-UP community-academic research partnerships, examining the operationalization of effective and authentic partnerships aimed at mitigating health disparities related to COVID-19 and beyond.

“At the heart of successful community-academic relationships lies the recognition that research is conducted with, not for, community members,” guest editor and Duke assistant professor Emily M. D’Agostino, DPH, MS, MEd, MA, emphasized. "These studies illuminate how community-engaged research partnerships leverage existing networks, trust and credibility to enhance risk communication, respect and sustained relationships, thereby improving access to testing and vaccination among vulnerable populations."

This supplement underscores the vital role of mutual trust, explores community strengths and advocates for reciprocal community-academic partnerships as fundamental to the RADx-UP program. The inspiring and innovative results showcased in this supplement are poised to have a long-lasting impact on public health, especially among marginalized populations. Featuring a spectrum of initiatives, from pioneering strategies to expand testing access for children with medical complexities, to forging strategic alliances with faith leaders to uplift historically marginalized communities, this supplement offers a comprehensive view of efforts aimed at tackling urgent public health challenges.

This second supplement in the series delves deeper into strategies for the successful implementation and long-term sustainability of community-engaged research partnerships dedicated to mitigating COVID-19 within underserved populations. Key studies underscore the significant challenges posed by poverty, transportation limitations and language barriers, which RADx-UP researchers confront head-on. Moreover, the supplement underscores the pivotal role of trust in fostering vaccine acceptance. 

RADx-UP: Prioritizing Community-Engaged Research is currently available online. To request a full copy of a study or for information on scheduling interviews, contact APHA Media Relations.



Funding for this supplement was provided by the NIH, which sponsors the RADx-UP Program. The views and opinions herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the NIH.


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