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CommuniVax has 6 local teams working in
5 distinct research sites across the US.
* CommuniVax 2.0: CommuniHealth Sites

About the Community

Tuscaloosa, the fifth largest city in Alabama, is situated on the northeast edge of the Black Belt, historically the state’s agricultural hub. While named for its rich dark soil, the Black Belt is also majority African American. Most Black Belt communities are impoverished, and many households have limited access to computers and the internet. The project works with English-speaking, medically underserved African American adults who reside in the Alabama Department of Health’s West Central Health District counties.


Principal Investigators:

Noe Crespo, PhD

Elisa Sobo, PhD


Susan M. Kiene, PhD

Corinne McDaniels-Davidson, PhD

Project Manager:

Griselda Cervantes, MA, MPH

CommuniHealth Co-Investigators:

Akacia Brilon

Diego Ceballos

About the Community

San Diego County, a border region in Southern California, is the fifth-most populous county in the United States with most of its population concentrated in the coastal region. It is also a minority-majority county of more than 3.3 million people, 34% of whom are Hispanic/Latino. Additionally, the county's population is 23.5% foreign-born, 37.5% speak a language other than English at home, and 12.4% live in poverty. The project works with English- and Spanish-speaking Hispanic/Latino adults living in areas and neighborhoods with the highest rates of COVID-19.


Research Team Coordinator:

Tamra Bassett, MA

About the Community

Bingham and Power counties are agricultural areas along the Snake River plain, where potatoes and sugar beets are the primary crops. Hispanic/Latino residents began moving to this area in the 1960s. Today, Bingham County is home to more than 8,000 Hispanics/Latinos, and Power County is home to more than 2,523 Hispanics/Latinos. Many Hispanic/Latino households are of mixed-immigration status, and many are multigenerational. Some older individuals in these communities speak primarily in Spanish. The project works in English and Spanish with Hispanic/Latino persons living in rural communities within Bingham and Power counties.

Principal Investigators:

Kathleen Page, MD, MPH

Sarah Polk, MD, ScM, MHS


About the Community

Baltimore is an “emerging settlement” for Hispanic/Latino immigrants. Over the past 15 years, the city has experienced a dramatic growth in the Hispanic/Latino population, primarily from people moving from Mexico and Central America. Compared to the general US Hispanic/Latino population, Baltimore Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to be foreign-born, undocumented, and have low income, low educational attainment, and limited English proficiency. Many Baltimore Hispanic/Latino families also have mixed immigration status. The project works in English and Spanish with Hispanic/Latino adults living in Baltimore.

MARYLAND - Baltimore
Prince George's County

Principal Investigators:

Sandra Quinn, PhD

Stephen B. Thomas, PhD

Project Coordinator:

Meg Jordan, MPH

CommuniHealth Co-Investigators:

Maggie Daly

Elsie Essien

About the Community

Prince George's County's population (909,327) is 63% Black, 16% Hispanic/Latino, and 14% White. However, there is a steep north–south divide in the racial breakdown of different parts of the county. Prince George’s is mostly known for being home to a large, suburban Black population, but the county also has a large immigrant population in the north. The county is the most economically affluent majority Black municipality in the nation, the state of Maryland’s most diverse county, and the state’s second most populous county. The project works with English-speaking, medically underserved African American adults who reside in Prince George’s County.


Principal Investigator:

Andrew Plunk, PhD, MPH


Patti Kiger, MEd

Ethlyn Gibson, DNP

Cynthia Burwell, Ed.D, MCHES

About the Community

The Virginia team conducts research in 2 sites: Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore.

Hampton Roads encompasses 7 major cities in southeast Virginia: Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, and Newport News. The population (1,743,944) is 58% White, 31% Black, and 8% Hispanic/Latino. Hampton Roads has 6 public housing authorities, representing almost 52,000 low-income residents, over 90% of whom are Black. The income of residents living in this public housing is at or below 80% or 50% of the area’s median household income, depending on the housing benefit received. 

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is located on the coastal Delmarva Peninsula, which is separated from the rest of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay. The study team has a longstanding relationship in the Eastern Shore Health District, which includes approximately 45,000 residents in Accomack and Northampton counties. Compared to the rest of Virginia, the Eastern Shore Health District skews older, with lower educational attainment, and is disproportionally Black. The area is highly rural and geographically isolated. 

The projects at both sites work with English-speaking Black adults.

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