amfAR Study Wins Elsevier Atlas Award

Study was first to rigorously quantify effects of coronavirus pandemic in Black communities nationally.

An amfAR study that showed the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities has been awarded the Elsevier Atlas Award. The study was selected from among thousands of recent publications for its potential to significantly impact lives. Gregorio Millett, amfAR Vice President and Director of Public Policy, accepted the award on behalf of his team of study investigators.

Study lead author Greg Millett
Study lead author Greg Millett

Published in Annals of Epidemiology in July, “Assessing Differential Impacts of COVID-19 on Black Communities” revealed that disproportionately Black counties—representing about one in five U.S. counties—accounted for 52% and 58% of COVID-19 cases and deaths, respectively.

Over 70% of COVID-19 data by race were unknown in May 2020. The amfAR study was significant because It offered the first national glimpse of COVID-19’s impact on the Black community in the US. The study was also important because it countered the narrative that underlying health conditions (e.g., diabetes, cerebrovascular disease) were responsible for disparate rates of SARS-CoV-2 diagnoses among Black Americans. Instead, social factors such as high rates of uninsured and crowded households in Black counties were responsible for greater rates of COVID-19.

As the first study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Black communities nationally, the study generated significant media, including mentions in the Washington Post, Bloomberg, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and other outlets. The study was also mentioned by Governor Andrew Cuomo during a televised daily COVID-19 update; highlighted by the directors of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and has been cited by over 200 scientific publications since its release.

amfAR shares the honor and award with investigators from partner institutions who worked collaboratively with amfAR staff to complete the groundbreaking study, including:

  • The Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
    John D Bower School of Population Health, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
  • Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, PATH, Seattle, WA

Congratulations, all!

Read more about the study, here.

Read the original study, here.

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