Research Symposium – A Call to Action: Identifying Next Steps to Address Biomedical, Health Care, and Social Drivers of COVID-19 Disparities

On May 22, 2019, an online Duke University-wide symposium on COVID-19 Disparities and Health Equity sought to identify causes, consequences, and solutions as they related to COVID-19 and its impact on our community.

The symposium speakers and panelists, representing disciplines from lab science to community and population health science and included experts in environmental and social science as well as ethics and policy. Community leaders provided their perspectives and feet-on-the-ground knowledge of our community and its members. Meaningful content and dialogue were highlights from this event.

Recordings and slides from the symposium can be found here:

Symposium Agenda (.pdf document)

Part One

Opening remarks: Mary E. Klotman, Dean, Duke University School of Medicine 
Housekeeping and welcome: Ebony Boulware
Keynote 1: Racial and ethnic disparities in Covid-19 outcomes: Can we turn a moment into a movement?: Kimberly Johnson

Part Two

Keynote 2: Shifting toward a new and more equitable normal amid COVID-19: Joanne Pierce

Special session: What’s happening in our local community? A community perspective
Moderator: Veronica Ray
Discussant: Dane Whicker
Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, El Centro Hispano
Holly Biola, Lincoln Community Health Center
Clarence Birkhead, Durham County Sheriff
Ben Rose, Department of Social Services
Elaine Hart Brothers, Community Health Coalition


COVID-19: Caring for Vulnerable Populations in Durham: Holly Biola, MD, MPH, FAAFP; Lincoln Community Health Center (.pdf document)

Community Perspectives: Clarence Birkhead, Durham County Sheriff (.pdf document)

Part Three

Session 1: Social drivers of COVID-19 disparities
Moderator: Tyson Brown
Discussant: Sherilynn Black
William Darity, Jr., What is to be done?
Keisha Bentley Edwards, COVID-19 as a disruptor
Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, Tomando conciencia, COVID-19 and the Latinx community

Session 2: Health services: Access, quality, and coordination
Moderator: Dane Whicker
Discussant: Julius Wilder
John Ragsdale, Tents, Testing & Tooling up during COVID-19
Lisa Harrison, Rural factors from a health department perspective
Luke Smith, Mental health and COVID-19


COVID-19 as a Disruptor: Keisha Bentley-Edwards, PhD; Duke University (.pdf document)

COVID-19 and the LatinX Community: Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP; Duke Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (.pdf document)

Health Services: A Rural Perspective: Lisa Harrison, MPH; Granville Vance Public Health (.pdf document)

Part Four

Session 3: Biomedical disparities and risk
Moderator: Johnna Frierson
Discussant: Bryan Batch     
Kevin Thomas, Cardiovascular disparities: COVID-19 and beyond 
Opeyemi Olabisi, Impact of COVID-19 on the kidney
Isaretta Riley, COVID-19 and lung disease


Cardiovascular Disparities: COVID-19 and Beyond: Kevin Thomas, MD, FACC; Duke University (.pdf document)

Impact of COVID-19 on the Kidney: Opeyemi Olabisi, MD, PhD; Duke University (.pdf document)

Part Five

Recap / takeaways and next steps
Discussant: Ebony Boulware and Don Taylor
Mina Silberberg
Nadine Barrett
Rosa Gonzalez Guarda
Veronica Ray