Examples of Penn State CTSA programs to address disruption of COVID-19 pandemic


Objectives: The goal of this study was to examine the attitudes of PA rural residents toward data sharing in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately better understand rural residents’ willingness to provide personal information to public health staff investigating COVID-19 cases, as well as their concerns.
Methods: 4000 surveys were mailed to rural residents identified from the electronic medical record of a healthcare system in central Pennsylvania. Results: Binomial logistic regression showed that both distrust
in healthcare organizations and political values influence respondents’ willingness to share information with contact tracers as well as their concerns about sharing. When a multivariable model was applied, political values remained and were a consistent predictor of willingness to share and concerns about sharing. Conclusion: Identifying the concerns of rural communities is critical to addressing them so as to lessen the impact of COVID-19 and provide insight into managing any future pandemics.


To date, Project ECHO has:
• Launched over 50 different series, covering nearly 40 topics
• Eight ECHO series currently running and 10 future series planned
• Served over 1800 providers in 45 states and six countries and delivered over 1600 CME hours
Recognizing that successful engagement of health systems, providers and communities in CDC guideline-concordant practices during pandemics has the potential to save countless lives, Project ECHO at Penn State pivoted the ECHO model to launch a COVID-19 ECHO series on March 20 with multiple sessions occurring each week. Overall ECHO participant feedback demonstrates that 88% report improved ability to provide care to patients and 93% report increased provider knowledge as a result of their participation. Importantly, 84% of ECHO participants report a decreased sense of professional isolation, critical in a time of overwhelming provider burnout and an unspoken goal of telehealth intervention.

Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Public Health Sciences