The medically underserved community of East Harris County has caught the attention of Texas Southern University’s Joan M. Lafleur College and Pharmacy and Health Sciences due to the pandemic. TSU professor and principal investigator, Dr. Bai Li, and her team are focused on research that will lead to educating the public about COVID-19 testing and disparities.

Their work is called the Test-It-All project.

“We are hoping to develop strong community connections through this project,” said Li. “We want to assess barriers of COVID-19 testing and other COVID-19 related resources in East Harris County area.”

According to the research summary, since COVID-19 and the flu are both common diseases, a combined testing strategy detecting both is of high significance to public health. The project will help to engage the community stakeholders to understand their community needs to increase testing uptake and investigate the facilitators, barriers, feasibility, and acceptance of our testing program.

Working alongside Dr. Li are TSU alumna, Alexandria Rashae Harris, who works full-time for the Test-It-All project as the community health worker.  Tolulope Adebusuyi is a current PhD student who serves as the project coordinator for the Test-It-All project.  Jyotsna Devi Godavarthi is a current PharmD student whose fellowship project provides educational outreach to community members. She works alongside Harris in the same community of East Harris County.

The contributions that TSU students are making toward this project will make a major impact on the residents of East Harris years to come.

“I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of community from this project,” said Harris.  “From my experience every community is different and through this project, I am learning what community means to residents of East Harris County.”

The project is funded by RADx® Underserved Populations Project (RADx-UP) of National Institutes of Health.