CUNY SPH will be home to CONVINCE USAsm, coordinating research and communication strategy development for United States audiences. Working at the national, state and local level, across the public, private and NGO sectors, CONVINCE USA will include both independent and collaborative programs to create support for COVID-19 immunization and the science behind it.

CONVINCE USA receives support from The Commonwealth Fund, CDC Foundation, and the Community Health Acceleration Partnership, and the CUNY SPH Foundation.

Executive Director

Scott Ratzan, MD, MPA
Distinguished Lecturer, CUNY SPH

Senior Program Manager

Lauren Rauh, MPH

Program Manager

Hannah Lathan

Research Assistants

Faith Forde
Jennifer Luk
Ousman Laast
Caroline Sheehan
Navkaran Singh

Faculty Fellow

Chris Palmedo, PhD
Clinical Professor, CUNY SPH

Senior Associates

Lyndon Haviland, MPH, DrPH
Chairman of the Board of Directors, CUNY SPH Foundation

Kenneth Rabin, PhD,
Senior Scholar, CUNY SPH

Jonathan Fielding
Distinguished Professor-in-Residence, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Margaret Hamburg
Board Chair, American Association for the Advancement of Science

David Nabarro
WHO Director’s Special Envoy on COVID-19

Lawrence Gostin
Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National & Global Health Law

Bill Novelli
Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Helene Gayle
President & Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Community Trust

Building Trust in Health Services and Vaccinations During the COVID-19 Pandemic:
A multinational study to inform US practice

Levels of trust in health care and government are declining at unprecedented rates. Lack of trust in immunization specifically now threatens community protection across the globe. Along with COVID-19, there is a strong possibility that communities will find themselves fighting multiple vaccine-preventable diseases at once. While research provides some insights into this phenomenon, evidence-based guidance for building trust for COVID-19 vaccination is still largely absent.
The Commonwealth Fund has supported CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy to investigate values, beliefs and concerns to build trust in health services during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Working with partners including the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the project will inform the development of effective communication and engagement tools.
The research will pay particular attention to communities of color, which represent a higher proportion of front-line medical professionals and essential workers and have suffered disproportionally higher rates of COVID-related morbidity and mortality.

The initiative will be conducted in three phases, each with guidance from an expert advisory board:

  1. Scoping review of the determinants of trust in institutions and vaccination
  2. In-depth virtual interviews with vaccine hesitant individuals
  3. Virtual conference to review research findings and build consensus for communication strategies

Partnership with Phreesia to assess patient vaccine sentiments and design interventions to ensure high Covid-19 vaccine uptake. (Press release here)

Phreesia, a patient intake platform with nationwide clientele in some of the largest health systems, has partnered with the CONVINCE USA team to create a patient survey and data-driven education tools to better understand and address patients’ Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy. To date, more than 300,000 hesitancy survey responses have been collected across Phreesia’s network, providing valuable insights that can enable targeted interventions to engage and inform more hesitant groups and shed light on the relationship between access and hesitancy. Phreesia and CUNY SPH collaborated in the development of the survey tools, revisions to the instrument, and have begun discussing tailored interventions to respond to the data analysis compiled thus far. Through iterations of data collection, analysis, and intervention implementation and assessment, this partnership will create tested messages designed to address specific questions, concerns, and motivations presented by individuals hesitant about readily accepting Covid-19 vaccines.

Partnership with RubiconMD to produce Covid-19 Vaccine Resource (Press release here)

In mid-January, RubiconMD polled its provider clients to better understand the challenges they face when speaking with patients about the Covid-19 vaccines and assess how best to meet their needs. The specific information sources and communication strategies identified through the survey were brought to the CONVINCE USA team to aid in the curation of a resource page. The newly launched site will help PCP’s navigate patient interactions and keep up to date with the evolving vaccine information landscape. The database will be updated by CONVINCE USA through regular assessment of PCP feedback as well as monitoring of the information for accuracy and timeliness.

Additionally the CONVINCE USA team has created some materials for the resource page, which include a Know Your Vaccines factsheet, and a quick reference on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Employer Vaccine Communication Resources

After thorough background research of workplace vaccine education and communication strategies, we developed a series of tools for employers to plan and implement a campaign aimed at ensuring high uptake of Covid-19 vaccines among their employees. This include (1) an employee survey for employers to assess levels of willingness to vaccinate among their workforce, as well as better understand the communications and information their employees wish to see from company leadership; (2) a checklist to plan, design, and implement a company-wide communications plan tailored to employee questions and concerns; (3) an evidence-based set of steps and strategies to build vaccine confidence among employees and facilitate access to vaccines. These steps include strategies both with or without the presence of onsite vaccination clinics. These materials will be made available to employers through Business Partners to CONVINCE’s resource website. The survey will be widely fielded in mid-Spring, the participating companies are TBD.