UC-CDPH Collaborative Awards More Than $6 Million for Pandemic Resiliency Research 

San Francisco, CA 

More than 30 research projects led by teams from all 10 University of California (UC) campuses have been awarded over $6 million in funding from the CPR3 program – the California Collaborative for Pandemic Recovery and Readiness Research. CPR3 is a joint effort between UC San Francisco (UCSF), the California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS), and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), aimed at using real-world evidence from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to help all Californians gain a renewed and improved sense of health and wellbeing.     

“The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need for robust investment in California’s public health infrastructure and we are committed to helping individuals, communities, and organizations recover from the pandemic,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón, who created the vision and mission for the CPR3 initiative. “Pandemic recovery means creating a stronger, healthier, and more resilient public health system at the state and local level. California is leading the transformation and design of a modern public health infrastructure that ensures critical protections and prevention measures are in place – for everyone. This research program will go a long way in ensuring our recovery is responsive to the ever-changing landscape of issues affecting the health of Californians.”     

Funded CPR3 projects are a foundational element of the overall CPR3 initiative, which is focused on implementing a public health research agenda centered on health equity and engaging with communities. CPR3 has created a strong infrastructure through which policy-relevant research can be prioritized and conducted, and learnings can be promoted and shared.  

“CPR3 is a novel approach to accelerating the public health ‘evidence to policy’ process and has established the infrastructure needed to rapidly respond to California’s public health research needs by utilizing the world-renowned UC system,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón. “With this approach, we are changing the face of research and policymaking by including community members, public health practitioners, and policymakers every step of the way.” 

The 31 CPR3 projects have each received grants of $100,000-$300,000 through a highly competitive open application and selection process. Successful proposals were selected based on their potential to address evidence gaps in how the pandemic affected the health and wellbeing of underserved communities, including children and adolescents, rural communities, indigenous populations, and structurally disadvantaged communities, with a focus on racial and ethnic groups that have been historically minoritized.  

All CPR3 efforts are led by Principal Investigator Dr. Priya Shete, a physician at San Francisco General Hospital and UCSF faculty member. Dr. Shete notes that to break the cycle of social and structural health-related inequities, interventions need to be tailored to the needs of those who are underserved and address social and economic issues, like food and housing instability as well. Further, Dr. Shete sees great promise in community-led research that helps public health practitioners understand how to better connect and communicate with communities. 

“We have heard loud and clear from marginalized communities that in order to achieve a ‘better normal’ for everyone, we can no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach to public health and to the research process,” says Dr. Priya Shete. “No one is better positioned than the communities themselves in understanding how to tailor interventions, and how to take this idea of a ‘better normal’ and make it a reality.” 

To address evidence gaps in underserved and under-represented populations, CPR3-funded projects include over 45 community organizations who are critical to the design, execution, interpretation, and dissemination of the projects. Further, funded CPR3 projects represent diverse populations, communities, and geographies throughout the state of California, from those living in densely populated urban settings like Los Angeles and the Bay Area to those living in rural and agricultural lands, like those in Yolo, Placer, and Kern counties.  

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About CPR3 

In alignment with California’s 2022 SMARTER Plan, CPR3 focuses on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact of different public health, economic, financial, and social interventions and policies that comprised the state’s response and recovery measures. CPR3 objectives are centered on: Prioritizing and funding pandemic recovery and readiness research; generating evidence to inform policies and improve the lives of California residents; and establishing an agile research infrastructure to conduct policy-relevant research.