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August 12, 2020

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

Biorepository Request for Proposal

While the effects of the pandemic are still emerging, current data suggests certain populations are more vulnerable than others. In addition to those age 65 and older, recent data suggests the virus is having a disproportionate impact on communities of color. According to a recent study from APM Research Lab, African Americans are dying from the virus at nearly three times the rate of white Americans. Further, in 42 states plus Washington D.C., Hispanics/Latinos make up a greater share of confirmed cases than their share of the population. In eight states, it’s more than four times greater. And in states that categorize Native Americans in demographic results, early data indicates dramatically disproportionate rates of infection and death. In New Mexico, for example, Native Americans make up less than 10% of the population but over one-third of coronavirus cases.

As the U.S. continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted communities of color, Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise, and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), an independent research and educational organization dedicated to ensuring high-risk racial and ethnic populations receive optimal healthcare, announced a research partnership for the Minority and Rural Health Coronavirus Study (MRCS) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on racial minorities and underserved communities across the country. The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) would like to establish a biorepository for serum/plasma, and other types of samples (to be determined) collected from patients undergoing COVID-19 testing. This repository is designed to facilitate research into this emerging disease. This repository will collect, store and distribute research patient blood specimens (samples of whole blood and plasma) for use in future research projects conducted by investigators associated with the MCRS study. The storing and gathering of blood specimens will help MCRS investigators conduct future research and avoid recollecting specimens and data repeatedly. The collection of patient biospecimens in this stored blood specimen, researchers may understand better the clinical and biological dynamic relationship between racial and ethnic minorities and COVID-19, identify and develop new tests for that may identify new ways to treat COVID-19, or develop new products, such as therapeutics. Additionally, these collections will contribute to the development of prognostic biomarkers for COVID-19 among minority groups.

Download the Full Biorepository Request for Proposal

About The Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent research and education organization. The vision of NMQF is a health services research, delivery and financing system that provides quality and effective health services to the biodiverse American general population of the 21st century. NMQF helps assure that national and local quality improvement initiatives are informed by scientific evidence, and place a priority on the quality of care and patient outcomes in all populations.

RFP Contact:

LaTasha H. Lee, PhD, MPH
Vice President, Clinical & Social Research and Development