Dr. Hoa Appel was invited to be in a panel at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) annual meeting’s Ambassador dinner in October. The panelists of current Ambassadors, shared their experiences with PCORI’s research and activities. PCORI’s main focus is to partner researchers with patients and community members in research. Dr. Appel is the first faculty at UWB to receive the prestigious PCORI award, which uses the same criteria as NIH-funded grants.
Dr. Mabel Ezeonwu is Dr. Appel’s co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) for the project. The current PCORI award totals $250,000. The project focuses on Black and Latinx communities and how their mental health was impacted during COVID-19. In the panel at PCORI’s annual meeting, Dr. Appel and others shared the progress of her project, now in its second year and final year.
Involving patients and community partners is critical to learning about the mental health impact of COVID from the patients’ own voices. It permits understanding of the lasting implications of COVID in the community from the public health perspective. Also, the study provides the next steps for future research evaluating the impact and exploring the strategies, policies, and resources to improve the mental health of underserved populations.