Wake Forest Baptist Health has been named lead investigative institution of a nationwide COVID-19 study through a $54 million, two-year contract between Vysnova Partners Inc. and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The goal of the prospective study is to address key epidemiological and clinical questions about the disease by undertaking a multi-site study of COVID-19 in patients and healthcare workers at participating health systems in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country.
The study will provide urgently needed estimates of the population prevalence and incidence of COVID-19 and will examine the geographic, demographic and chronologic distributions, as well as clinical consequences.
As the lead investigative institution for the study responsible for scientific oversight and direction, Wake Forest Baptist will receive $2.6 million over two years with approximately $1.4 million in other support from Vysnova.
“Wake Forest Baptist is honored to be part of this critical effort to study the disease and to make a contribution to what is potentially one of the critical epidemics in the world since the 1918 flu pandemic,” said Thomas Wierzba, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist.
The other institutions participating in the study are: George Washington University’s Biostatistics Center, Atrium Health, MedStar Health, the University of Maryland Medical System, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Oracle Corp., Neoteryx, Scanwell Health, Javara Inc., LabCorp and United Parcel Service.
Over the course of the study, participants will report daily exposures, risk-reduction behaviors and respiratory disease symptoms through a secure app on their smartphone, tablet or computer. In addition, a systematic sample of participants will receive at-home test kits to identify levels of COVID-19 antibodies. Electronic health record data will be accessed to complement participant self-reported data. Additionally, the effectiveness of some personal protective equipment will be analyzed among health care workers.
“Our team hopes to develop a more complete understanding of the disease by determining the frequency of infection, learning how it is transmitted and pinpointing who gets infected to help plan public health interventions,” said Carlos Rivera, CEO and President of Vysnova Partners Inc., a leading program management firm located in Landover, Md.