THE UCLA COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE INITIATIVE: PROTECTING AND TESTING FRONTLINE HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN LOS ANGELES

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Led by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in partnership with the David Geffen School of Medicine, the study will provide regular testing, antibody screening, and mental health support for 12,000 health care workers (HCW), including 4,000 at UCLA Health and 8,000 from other Los Angeles organizations, including the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

GOALS & IMPACTS

Protect L.A.'s health care workers with regular testing services

Screen this highly vulnerable population for asymptomatic and presymptomatic infection so that they can quickly isolate and protect those around them (patients, colleagues, and families) from getting infected.

Determine who has already been infected and assess implications for future infection; understand how long that immunity lasts; and assess the prevalence and severity of reinfection.

Assess mental health outcomes, including stress, anxiety, and stigma associated with health care work in pandemic situations and inform policies and programs to address them.

GOALS & IMPACTS

Generate critical data to create evidence-based policies to get L.A. open

Identify HCWs and first responders with strong immune responses to inform the development of vaccines and therapeutics.

Conduct viral surveillance, including genetics, to develop therapies, vaccines and diagnostics.

Develop evidence-based approaches for return-to-work policies in the health care sector and beyond.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

We need to protect our most precious health resource and provide them with the support they need to continue to protect all of us

Health care workers and first responders play a critical role in preserving the well-being of patients everywhere. Around the world, there are significantly higher rates of COVID-19 infection among this highly vulnerable population. The lack of availability of rapid testing allows the virus to spread undetected, leading to economic and health care crises.

This unique initiative combines a critical study of our frontline health and emergency response workforce and an important service to these communities, aimed at providing essential screening and testing that addresses their physical and mental health and preventing further spread of COVID-19. The data we gather will also enable researchers to pursue novel clinical and epidemiological research to answer key questions about antibody development, immunity, and reinfection.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Dr. Anne Rimoin

Dr. Anne Rimoin

Dr. Rimoin is the Director of the Center for Global and Immigrant Health and Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Infectious Disease Division of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is an internationally recognized expert on emerging infections, global health, surveillance systems, and vaccination, and has been engaged in pandemic preparedness and response for more than two decades.

Her pioneering research in emerging diseases includes the identification of new pathogens in humans and studying Ebola, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Rimoin has been a strong advocate for capacity building in low resource settings and conducting disease surveillance in complex emergencies.

Dr. Rimoin has published more than 70 research articles featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Nature and Science. She appears frequently on television and radio discussing major issues surrounding disease emergence and has recently been a leading voice on the COVID-19 pandemic in national news for CNN and MSNBC.  Dr. Rimoin earned her BA at Middlebury College, MPH at UCLA and PhD at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Grace Aldrovandi

Dr. Grace Aldrovandi

Dr. Aldrovandi is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and a Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine of UCLA. Her research interests include pediatric HIV, the effects of breast milk on children and infections in immunocompromised children.

Dr. Aldrovandi is the Laboratory Center Principal Investigator of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT). She has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1997 and has over 200 publications.

SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS