South Jersey Longitudinal Data Project to Advance Health Equity

Excerpt

This project responds to the need for community informed, actionable insight to advance health equity through a partnership with the Camden Coalition’s Community Advisory Committee and data team, and research partners at Rutgers-Camden and Rowan university.

Research Project Summary

COVID-19 has sparked renewed attention to persistent racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare access and outcomes. In New Jersey, age-adjusted COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality rates for Black and Hispanic residents are more than twice that of White residents, and national studies show that such disparities remain when clinical comorbidities and social risk factors are considered. The implication of these findings is that systemic racism and other forms of inequity that result in insufficient access to health-supportive resources have left Black and brown communities particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few studies involve direct participation from the communities most impacted by these disparities in the design, interpretation, and dissemination of the research. Our project responds to the need for community informed, actionable insight to advance health equity through a partnership with the Camden Coalition’s Community Advisory Committee and data team, and research partners at Rutgers-Camden and Rowan universities. The Camden Coalition data team will integrate data across three data sources: clinical data from the Camden Coalition Health Information Exchange; social needs data from the Accountable Health Communities screening data set; and community-level data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The data set will facilitate research into associations between socio-economic factors, medical vulnerability, social needs, and COVID-19 exposure and outcomes across Camden, Gloucester, and Burlington counties in New Jersey. Members of the Community Advisory Committee will partner with the academic researchers to shape the research questions, interpret the findings in terms of community relevance and policy implications, and disseminate results.

Research Project Goals

• Produce a data set to share with the SJIPH that integrates census tract-level population, demographic, education, and economic variables from the 2020 American Community Survey; aggregated health measures including prevalence of chronic disease and hospital utilization from the Camden Health Information Exchange covering years 2018-2021; and aggregate measures of housing, food insecurity, transportation, utilities, and personal safety needs from the Accountable Health Communities social needs screening data set covering years 2018-2021.

• Apply appropriate statistical techniques to the data in order to gain insight into the systemic drivers of health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Disseminate learning to academic audiences, policymakers, and community groups.

Research Project Objectives