Skip to main content.

COVID-19 Community Projects

Our projects help educate and prepare communities to prevent and treat COVID-19

Aerial view of the KUMC campusAs COVID-19 took hold in the Kansas City metropolitan area in spring 2020, members of the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health became involved in a number of projects to help protect the population.

Dr. Allen Greiner, longtime chief medical officer for Wyandotte County, and deputy medical officer Dr. Erin Corriveau helped direct the county's response from the early days of the pandemic. Dr. Joseph LeMaster, the local health officer for Johnson County, KS, since 2014, played a similar role. 

In addition, members of the department were involved in several other projects:

RADx-UP Kansas

Drs. Allen Greiner, Joseph LeMaster, Sarah Finocchario Kessler, Crystal Lumpkins and Erin Corriveau were among the interdisciplinary team members working on this National Institutes of Health program designed to help people and populations who have been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and help improve access to testing and mitigation strategies.

COVID Tracking System

Dr. Sarah Finocchario-Kessler’s Covid Tracking System (CTS) project received a University of Kansas School of Medicine Pilot Award.

While initially designed to support case investigation in Wyandotte and Johnson counties, the system found its niche in tracking the range of social needs support (food and cleaning supplies delivery) and referrals for community health worker follow-up (linkage to behavioral health, federal assistance, etc.) that was provided by the Wyandotte County Health Department to residents who tested positive for COVID-19.

Food Aid Deliveries

Drs. Jennifer Woodward and Kristina Bridges used previously collected social determinants of health data of people 65 and older with food insecurity concerns to learn how often they had to leave home to access food and whether they’d welcome deliveries of food aid instead.

The research found that half of the people surveyed had less than a two-day supply of food at home and most would stay home more often if food assistance was brought to them. Food deliveries for many of these people were provided by local organizations.

Faith Leaders

Dr. Crystal Lumpkins co-conducted eleven virtual in-depth interviews with African American faith leaders and pastors in Kansas and Missouri between July and October of 2020 to explore their opinions, perceptions and knowledge about COVID-19 and also COVID-19 health (risk) communication — and how they viewed themselves as communicators of this type of information.

Church-Based Testing

Dr. Sarah Finocchario Kessler worked with the Health Department in Kansas City, Missouri and Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton of the University of Missouri-Kansas City on culturally and religiously tailored programs to promote COVID-19 testing and connections to care intervention at African American churches in Kansas City. 


KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Family Medicine & Community Health
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4010
Kansas City, KS 66160