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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jun. 29, 202105:00 AM EST

UNF receives Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant

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The $39,160 award will support research on telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The University of North Florida is among 15 recipients of the first Research Accelerator Grants funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as announced by the COVID-19 Research Consortium, the Health Care Cost Institute and Datavant.

The $39,160 award is for the project “Telehealth Disparity: Investigating the Predictors for Low Utilization among Minority Populations.”

The grant will provide researchers the resources they need to use the consortium’s health care database to study the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19,  according to a UNF news release.

The first round of grants prioritizes research proposals that investigate the roles of gender in the pandemic. The goal is to accelerate evidence for policies that mitigate the effects of the current pandemic and aid future disaster preparedness.

UNF researchers include Cynthia Williams, health administration associate professor in the Brooks College of Health, and Richard Shang, management assistant professor in the Coggin College of Business.

Their research will investigate health status and behavior related to low telehealth use. Williams and Shang will examine cross-cultural data, gender differences and other social factors that contribute to inequities in access and health outcomes. The work will identify interventions to promote equity in technology-enabled health care in minority populations.

The COVID-19 Research Database is a partnership of national health organizations. With more than 250 million patients and 85 billion records, the database is the largest secure repository of data made freely available to public health and policy researchers studying the pandemic.

Research at UNF will begin this summer and will be featured in the COVID-19 Research Database Grand Rounds webinar series later this year. 

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