LIST: UW awards $2.2 million to groups, scientists fighting the coronavirus in Wisconsin – WMTV

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) is announcing a total of $2.2 million in awards given to researchers and community organizations who are working to lessen the impact of coronavirus in Wisconsin.

SMPH's Wisconsin Partnership Program is awarding the funds to 11 community-led initiatives as well as ten research grants, up to $150,000 each, to support UWMadison experts in scientific, medical and public health approaches.

We are pleased to support such a broad range of innovative projects, including efforts to support the most vulnerable in our communities and studies that have the potential to advance the fight against this pandemic, said Robert N. Golden, MD, dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health, in a statement Friday.

View the list of funded projects below:

Community grants:

Men's Emergency Shelter-Virtual Health Assessments ($62,000) (Dane County): Awarded to Porchlight, Inc. to immediately reduce the spread of COVID-19 by using an innovative technology-enabled solution of virtual volunteers to safely and accurately screen all homeless shelter guests daily and prior to entry of the homeless shelter sites.

- Bilingual (English/Spanish) Short- and Long-term Assistance to Vulnerable Population ($32,290) (Madison): Awarded to the Catholic Multicultural Center to address the impact of COVID-19 among its English and Spanish-speaking clients by addressing immediate needs of food and hygiene and helping to obtain employment or unemployment benefits.

- Immediate COVID-19 Response for 4K-12 Students ($138,160) (Madison): Awarded to the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) to provide immediate, extended, personalized support and resources for the physical and mental health of a group of 2000 MMSD 4K-12th graders with medical conditions associated with poor outcomes from COVID-19.

- Farms to Families/De Granjas a Familias Resilience Boxes ($57,190) (Dane County): Awarded to REAP Food Group in collaboration with Roots4Change, a cooperative of community health workers serving Dane Countys Latino/Indigenous families, to develop a delivery of care system related to the COVID-19 pandemic, informed by the needs of Latino/Indigenous families, local, small, and minority scale farmers, food entrepreneurs of color, and community-based doulas.

- WeRISE: Black Birth Workers Response to COVID-19 Project ($149,600) (Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties): Awarded to the African American Breastfeeding Network for Black Birth Workers (doulas) and the clients they serve to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among Black/African American families across southeastern Wisconsin.

- Health Community Education Strategy for the Latino Community ($150,000) (Milwaukee): Awarded to Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers to develop and disseminate accurate information as quickly and broadly as possible to help Milwaukees Latino community navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

- COVID-19 Response for Milwaukees Uninsured Adults ($129,630) (Milwaukee): Awarded to Bread of Healing Clinic to address and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 through outreach and access to care through telehealth for low-income people of color who are uninsured.

- Services for Hmong and other Refugee Communities ($150,000) (statewide): Awarded to the Hmong Institute to address the immediate COVID-19 related needs of underserved immigrant communities across the state. Specifically, this project will target Southeast Asian (e.g., Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian), Burmese (e.g., Karen, Rohingya), Nepalese and Tibetan elders and parents who lack access to mainstream services due to language and transportation barriers and face significant physical and mental health needs due to preexisting health disparities and post-traumatic stress disorder.

- Markets to Address Food Insecurity of Vulnerable Populations ($54,010) (Green Bay): Awarded to Wello to address food insecurity in Greater Green Bay through an approach that meets the needs of the areas most vulnerable residents as well as local farmers.

- Wood County Community Response to COVID-19 ($143,490) (Wood County): Awarded to Marshfield Child Advocacy Center, Marshfield Clinic Health System, to reduce the risk of child maltreatment in Wood County families as a result of parental stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Barron County Integrated Response to Slow Community Spread of COVID-19 ($60,630) (Barron County): Awarded to Barron County to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through innovative education and outreach efforts to the communitys Spanish and Somali communities, and in coordination with some of the countys largest employers.

Research Grants (up to $150,000 each):

- Novel COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies for patient diagnostics, therapy and research: Awarded to David Andes, MD, SMPH Department of Medicine, to address the immediate need for testing and therapeutic strategies to treat COVID-19.

-Alternative means to diagnose COVID-19 pneumonia: Awarded to Guang-Hong Chen, PhD, SMPH Department of Medical Physics, to improve the accuracy of identification of COVID-19 pneumonia on routine chest radiographs.

- Leveraging social networks and trusted community influencers to disseminate an accurate and up-to-date understanding of COVID-19 in Black, Latinx and American Indian Communities: Awarded to Carey Gleason, PhD, SMPH Department of Medicine, to establish accurate communications about COVID-19 in underserved minority communities, including African American and Latinx communities and the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin by leveraging long-standing collaborative relationships with leaders in these communities.

- A negative pressure isolation head chamber to protect healthcare workers from airborne transmission of aerosolized viruses: Awarded to Hau Le, MD, SMPH Department of Surgery, to address a significant need to protect healthcare workers during initial resuscitation/intubation of critically ill COVID-19 patients. The project will determine the effectiveness of a negative pressure isolation head chamber ("Badger Box") in containing aerosol dispersion under laboratory and standard hospital room conditions.

- Teaching the general public how to test and maintain readily available face masks: Awarded to Scott Sanders, PhD, UWMadison College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, to teach the public how to test a mask after they put it on, using a simple test, also developed by this project, and disseminate this critical information through instructional videos. The project will also teach the public how to maintain and safely reuse masks.

- Creating infrastructure to study, test for and track the COVID-19 virus in Wisconsin: Awarded to Miriam Shelef, MD, PhD, SMPH Department of Medicine, to establish a COVID-19 convalescent tissue biorepository for blood and nasal samples from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. This will be used in research and to track the prevalence of the coronavirus in southcentral Wisconsin by collecting discarded plasma from blood donated by patients with no symptoms of COVID-19.

- Role of naso-oropharyngeal antiseptic deconolonization to reduce COVID-19 viral shedding and disease transmission: SHIELD Study: Awarded to Daniel Shirley, MD, SMPH Department of Medicine, to assess the feasibility and efficacy of self-administered nasal and oropharyngeal disinfectants in reducing the development of COVID-19 illness in healthcare workers.

- COVID-19 and the nasal microbiome: potential marker of disease outcomes and novel antivirals: Awarded to Cameron Currie, PhD, UWMadison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Bacteriology, to study the nasal microbiome to determine potential compositions that are associated with COVID-19 outcomes for predictive biomarkers of disease severity and to discover novel naturally occurring novel antiviral compounds.

- Genetic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 spread in Wisconsin to inform outbreak control: Awarded to Thomas Friedrich, PhD, UWMadison School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, to undertake genetic surveillance of coronavirus spread in Wisconsin and also determine whether an outbreak is due to community spread or an introduction of coronavirus into a community due to travel within or into the state.

- To test the protective efficacy of whole-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in Syrian hamsters: Awarded to Yoshihiro Kawaoka, DVM, PhD, UWMadison School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, to test a novel approach for developing a potential vaccine for COVID-19 in a recently established animal model for coronavirus research.


LIST: UW awards $2.2 million to groups, scientists fighting the coronavirus in Wisconsin - WMTV

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