Novel and Emerging Practice Studies (NEPS)

As a part of the CDC-RFA-OT21-2103: National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities, the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) partnered with seven OT21-2013 recipients and their partners in two phases to complete Novel and Emerging Practice Studies (NEPS).

The NEPS evaluation studies aim to understand and build evidence for novel and emerging practices implemented under the four OT21-2103 grant strategies to ultimately address health inequities related to COVID-19.

NNPHI and CDC selected seven practices and partnered with Public Health Institutes to carry out these evaluations in collaboration with OT21-2103 recipient organizations and their partners. The NEPS evaluation studies use the RE-AIM framework, which focuses on the Effectiveness and Implementation RE-AIM dimensions. These dimensions were prioritized because they can ascertain what works for novel and emerging practices.

Please click on the Phase 1 and Phase 2 tabs to learn more about the NEPS studies.

Phase 1 evaluations occurred from July 2023 through September 2024. Please select each of the Phase 1 sites to learn more about their dissemination stories from their evaluations.

Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH)

Maricopa County is executing a practice to build, leverage, and expand infrastructure support for COVID-19 prevention and control among populations that are at higher risk and underserved (Strategy 3). MCDPH is in the process of implementing a new Request for Proposal approach to fund organizations working in communities that have been negatively impacted by or are at risk for COVID-19. The funding structure and award processes are designed to support smaller organizations to participate, establish new partnerships, and reduce the burden on awardees.

Click here to view their case study describing the NEPS practice and key outcomes from the evaluation.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

NCDHHS is mobilizing partners and collaborators to advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to COVID-19 health disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved (Strategy 4). NCDHHS is partnering and mobilizing with community-based organizations (Healthier Together Model) who have lived experience and concentrate their work in areas with high numbers of Black, American Indian and Latinx/Hispanic people that are not vaccinated or boosted, and with other populations that have been historically marginalized (e.g., youth and young adults, rural locations and people needing language, physical and communication access). The purpose of Healthier Together has been to increase demand for and access to the COVID vaccine to populations that have been historically marginalized by conducting communication, outreach and education efforts, coordinating local vaccine events at accessible locations, and helping people schedule and get to vaccine appointments (i.e., assist with connections to transportation) and booster dose appointments.

Click here to view their case study describing the NEPS practice and key outcomes from the evaluation.

Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH)

RIDOH is implementing a practice to improve data collection and reporting for populations experiencing a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 infection, severe, illness and death to guide the response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Strategy 2). RIDOH, in collaboration with Brown University, developed a Data Academy course tailored for and delivered to local community organizations. The practice will support project leaders to use data for program implementation and service delivery to reduce the impact of COVID-19 related disparities in their communities.

Click here to view their case study describing the NEPS practice and key outcomes from the evaluation.

Washington State Department of Health (WA DOH)

WA DOH is mobilizing partners and collaborators to advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to COVID-19 health disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved (Strategy 4).  WA DOH is piloting a practice to equitably fund community organizations that addresses the unequal burden of COVID-19 across racial and ethnic populations while taking an intersectional approach. WA DOH developed a mixed methods approach to make funding decisions transparent, equitable, data informed, and responsive to the communities.

Click here to view their case study describing the NEPS practice and key outcomes from the evaluation.

COVID-19 OT21-2103 Novel and Emerging Practices Evaluation Studies- Phase 1 Partner Dissemination Presentations

This webinar was held in November 2023 and featured the four Phase 1 OT21-2103 recipients who implemented novel and emerging practice studies (NEPS) and the Public Health Institutes (PHIs) that evaluated them. Watch this recording to hear from the four OT21-2103 recipients and PHIs about the NEPS studies and their impact on COVID-19 health equity outcomes in their communities.

The Phase 2 evaluations occurred from January 2023 through June 2024. Please select each of the Phase 2 sites to learn more about their NEPS practices. Stay tuned for evaluation findings and dissemination that will be shared in June 2024.

County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA)

The County of San Diego HHSA is building, leveraging, and expanding infrastructure support for COVID-19 prevention and control among underserved populations at higher risk of experiencing health disparities (Strategy 3). The County of San Diego HHSA created a funding opportunity for Community-Directed Enrichment Projects (C-DEP) to fund community-based organizations to implement projects that address health disparities, prevent transmission of COVID-19, and promote economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This emerging practice supports community-based organizations representing racial and ethnic minorities and rural communities, leverages the momentum of community coalitions to support community organizing, and implements community improvement projects to support communities as they recover from COVID-19.

Click here to view their case study describing the NEPS practice and key outcomes from the evaluation.

New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)

The NYSDOH is implementing the novel practice of an equitable procurement process (Strategy 4). Equitable procurement is the set of processes and policies applied to address barriers that keep community-based organizations from fully participating in state funding opportunities. This study will identify and substantiate best practices for equitable procurement, focusing on engaging new and non-traditional grassroots partners.

Click here to view their case study describing the NEPS practice and key outcomes from the evaluation.

Pennsylvania Department of Health

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is developing new mitigation and prevention resources and services to reduce COVID-19-related disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved (Strategy 1) with their partner Arc of Pennsylvania. The Arc of Pennsylvania is currently working on the grant to bring together disability stakeholders and healthcare provider stakeholders to discuss COVID-19 disparities impacting the disability community, including the intersectionality of racial/ethnic minority groups and rural populations. Through intensive local listening tours, regional community work groups, and individual interviews, The Arc of PA has been able to bring together key groups to discuss regional strengths and barriers that have either made it easy or more challenging to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic for people with disabilities in their communities.

Click here to view their case study describing the NEPS practice and key outcomes from the evaluation.

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