Project Summary

Background: New York City was the original US epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, and vulnerable communities have been disproportionately impacted. In the context of the ongoing pandemic, the project team has expanded its previously successful patient and community engagement methods to create a research-to-action network of over 125 community-based organizations (CBOs) from all five NYC boroughs, Mount Sinai faculty, staff and students, and academic partners from around the country. Together, the team will survey more than 10,000 NYC residents to understand the experiences of vulnerable populations, including the physical and psychosocial impacts of the pandemic, and how CBOs can help their communities combat the effects of COVID-19.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The team will bring community leaders and organizations from its research-to-action network together to build research-related capacity through virtual trainings and forums. The team will disseminate findings from its COVID-19 community-based survey by sharing data in real time, and use these data for research idea generation, crowd sourcing, and team building on a web-based portal. Research teams will be able to access virtual consultations to receive technical, statistical, and other support for projects.


  • Utilize the principles of crowdsourcing to virtually engage diverse communities in NYC to develop and share ideas that lead to new research questions and projects in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Build capacity of stakeholders to conduct COVID-19-related research through virtual PCOR/CER trainings
  • Develop a consultation service to provide technical, statistical, and additional assistance to facilitate successful completion of community-driven COVID-19 research projects


  • Virtual research idea generation and team building hub. The team is developing an interactive virtual portal to link patient and community stakeholders to COVID-19 information and resources across NYC. Participants will also be encouraged to review data in real time, through reader-friendly data visualizations, and generate/crowdsource research ideas during a summit.
  • Virtual capacity building. Virtual trainings will allow for further development of identified research questions and build capacity of community and academic partners by adapting existing PCOR/CER trainings for the current COVID-19 pandemic context through Google Classroom.
  • Research concierge service. The team will develop a consultation service to work with academic and community leaders to assist with further development and implementation of projects. Experts can provide assistance with study design, methods, and statistical analyses. The team aims to foster long-term collaborations across departments, institutions, and CBOs.

Outcomes: Evaluating the adaptation of PCOR/CER approaches for a virtual environment to develop a framework for future engaged research. The team will obtain participant feedback for the research summit, virtual course, and research concierge service, and disseminate knowledge and build self-efficacy for participants in the virtual capacity building trainings.

Patient/Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Creation of a stakeholder board with representation from all five NYC boroughs. The board will meet on a regular basis to advise on all project activities and oversee ongoing outreach efforts to extend the team’s reach to additional potential partners.

Project Information

Carol Horowitz, MD, MPH
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Key Dates

15 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: November 10, 2022