Keynote: A Conversation on Innovative Research Approaches to Advance Our Understanding and Treatment of COVID-19

July 23, 2020
Virtual Event Type

Event Description

On July 14 2020, Chris P. Austin, M.D., director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) joined us for a conversation about leveraging data analytics to advance our understanding and treatment of COVID-19. Dr. Austin and his team at the NIH recently launched the National COVID Cohort Collaborative—N3C for short—a centralized database to store and study medical record data from patients around the country diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. This innovative national data enclave is designed to allow clinicians and scientists to study large amounts of data to determine the best evidence-based protocols and treatments for COVID-19 patients. During this pre-recorded session, Dr. Austin introduced us to the open science initiatives going on at the NIH and shared how lessons from COVID-19 may transform clinical research in the future. 

Keynote Speaker

Christopher P. Austin, M.D., Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Christopher P. Austin, M.D., has served as director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health since 2012. Prior to this role, he was NCATS’ scientific director, focusing on translating basic science discoveries into new treatments and technologies to improve the efficiency of therapeutic/diagnostic development. He founded several initiatives, including the NIH Chemical Genomics Center, the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, and the Toxicology in the 21st Century program. Before joining NIH in 2002, he led genomic-based target discovery, pharmacogenomic, and neuropsychiatric drug-development programs at Merck. From 2016 to 2018, he served as chair of the International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC); Dr. Austin is also a member of National Academy of Medicine. He earned an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed training in internal medicine and neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.


Sarah J. Dash, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Health Policy

This keynote was part of our Summit, a program of our 2020 Signature Series.

Event Resources

Event Resources

Resources by Event

(Listed chronologically, beginning with the most recent.)

Panel #1: The Invisible Backbone—Strengthening Supply Chain and Public Health Infrastructure | Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Key Resources

“State Actions to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19.” Kaiser Family Foundation. July 14, 2020. Available at

“Policy Options for Building Resilient U.S. Medical Supply Networks.” Adler, D., Breznitz, D., and Helper, S. Washington Center for Equitable Growth. May 29, 2020. Available at

“Can We Contain the COVID-19 Outbreak with the Same Measures as for SARS?” Wilder-Smith, A., Chiew, C., and Lee, V. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. May 2020. Available at

“Critical Supply Shortages — The Need for Ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment During the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Ranney, M., Griffeth, V., and Jha, A. New England Journal of Medicine. April 30, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccine Tracker.” FasterCures, Center of the Milken Institute. April 2020. Available at

“Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator.” Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity. 2020. Available at

“A Coordinated, National Approach to Scaling Public Health Capacity for Contact Tracing and Disease Investigation.” Fraser, M., Lane, J., Ruebush, E., et al.‌ Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. 2020. Available at

Additional Resources

“NIH Launches Clinical Trials Network to Test COVID-19 Vaccines and Other Prevention Tools.” National Institutes of Health. July 8, 2020. Available at

“Distrust, Underfunding Hinders COVID-19 Contact Tracing.” Hlavinka, E. 2020. MedPage Today. July 7, 2020. Available at

“Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. July 2, 2020. Available at

“Contact Tracing Remains Inadequate in Most States.” Capretta, J.. American Enterprise Institute. July 1, 2020. Available at:

“KFF’s Kaiser Health News (KHN), AP Investigate the State of the Nation’s Public Health Infrastructure as It Confronts the Challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” KFF. July 1, 2020. Available at:

“The Biopharmaceutical Industry Is Leading the Way in Developing New Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19.” PhRMA. June 19, 2020. Available at:

“Once a Vaccine Is Ready, Getting People to Take It May Be a Challenge.” Palimaru, A., Dillistone, M., and Ries, C. RAND Corporation. June 9, 2020. Available at:

“COVID-19 Pandemic: Supply Chain Expansion Line of Effort.” FEMA. May 18, 2020. Available at

“A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US.” Watson, C., Cicero, A., Blumenstock, J., et al. Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and ASTHO. April 10, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19: Impact on Medical Product Supply Chain.” He, B., Scalzo, R., and Serafin, G. FTI Consulting. March 31, 2020. Available at:

“Ensuring Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines.” Yamey, G., Schäferhoff, M., Hatchett, R., et al. The Lancet.. March 31, 2020. Available at:

“Representing the Full Influenza Ecosystem.” Coalition to Stop Flu. 2020 Available at:

Keynote #1: Perspectives on Health Equity with Dr. Rashawn Ray and Licy Do Canto | Tuesday, July 21

Key Resources

“Inequality During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” Ray, R and Rojas, F. Contexts. April 16, 2020. Available at

“How to Reduce the Racial Gap in COVID-19 Deaths.” Ray, R. Brookings Institute. April 10, 2020. Available at

“Why are Blacks Dying at Higher Rates from COVID-19.” Ray, R. Brookings Institute. April 9, 2020. Available at

“Reopening America: How to Save Lives and Livelihoods.” Allen, J. and West, D. Brookings Institute. 2020. Available at

“How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections of Race, Gender, and Work.” Jackson, P. and Ray, R. Lexington Books. June 20, 2018. Available at

Additional Resources

“Beyond Lip Service: Taking a Genuine Approach to Tackling COVID-19 (And All) Black-White Health Disparities in the United States.” Glasgow, L. Health Affairs Blog. June 9, 2020. Available at

“Black Americans Face Higher COVID-19 Risks, Are More Hesitant to Trust Medical Scientist, Get Vaccinated.” Gramlich, J. and Funk, C. Pew Research Center. June 4, 2020. Available at

“Trump Administration Sets Demographic Requirements for Coronavirus Reports.” Weiland, N. and Mandavilli, A. The New York Times. June 4, 2020. Available at

“Compliant but Unprotected: Communities of Color Take Greater Action to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 But Remain at Risk.” Hernandez-Vallant, A., Sanchez, G., Roybal, C., et. al. Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. June 3, 2020. Available at

“Doctors Can’t Treat COVID-19 Effectively Without Recognizing the Social Justice Aspects of Health.” Julian, Z., Hardeman, R., and Huerto, R. The Conversation. June 3, 2020. Available at

“Links to Information on COVID-19 & Vulnerable Populations.” National Institute of Health Care Management. June 2020. Available at

“Native American Studies: COVID-19 & Indigenous Communities.” University of California Berkeley. June 2020. Available at

“What Do Coronavirus Racial Disparities Look Like State by State?” Godoy, M. and Wood, D. National Public Radio. May 30, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 and Communities of Color.” Holtz-Eakin, D. American Action Forum. May 28, 2020. Available at

“As COVID-19 Tears Through Navajo Nation, Young People Step Up to Protect Their Elders.” Gable, M. Stat News. May 26, 2020. Available at

“3 Principles for an Anti-Racist, Equitable State Response to COVID-19- and a Stronger Recovery.” Williams, E. and Sanders, C. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. May 21, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 Presents Significant Risks for American Indian and Alaska Native People.” Artiga, S. and Orgera, K. Kaiser Family Foundation. May 14, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 and Racial/Ethnic Disparities.” Webb Hooper, M. Nápoles, A., and Pèrez-Stable, E. JAMA Network. May 11, 2020. Available at

“Race, Comorbidities, and COVID-19.” Epic Health Research Network. May 11, 2020. Available at

“History of Inequality Making COVID-19 Worse for Native Americans.” Deaderick, L. The San Diego Union- Tribune. May 10, 2020. Available at

“The CARES Act Risks Becoming a Caste Act. Here’s How We Can Change That.” Ray, R., Jackson, J., and Yeary, S.T. Newsweek. May 7, 2020. Available at

“Best Practices for American Indian and Alaska Native Data Collection.” Urban Indian Health Institute. May 4, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 Relief for Communities of Color: Fact Sheet.” Black Women’s Health Imperative. May 4, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19’s Class Divide Creates New Political Risks.” Bolton, A. The Hill. May 3, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 More Prevalent, Deadlier in U.S. Counties with Higher Black Populations.” Zephyrin, L., Radley, D., Getachew, Y., et. al. The Commonwealth Fund. To the Point (blog). April 23, 2020. Available at

“How COVID-19 is Exposing Health Care Inequities.” Newman, C. UVA Today. April 16, 2020. Available at

“I’m Shocked that Structural Racism and Capitalism are Going on Here.” Jones, M. The St. Louis American. April 13, 2020. Available at

“Why We Need to Be Talking About Health Equity During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” Powell, W. and Everette, T. Hartford Courant. April 11, 2020. Available at

“The ‘Soft Racism’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response.” Orrell, B. American Enterprise Institute. April 8, 2020. Available at

“Black, Latino Communities Suffering Disproportionately from Coronavirus, Statistics Show.” Moreno, E. The Hill. April 7, 2020. Available at

“The Pandemic’s Missing Data.” Maybank, A. The New York Times. April 7, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 Across the Navajo Nation.” Navajo Times. April 6, 2020. Available at

“In 1918 and 2020, Race Colors America’s Response to Epidemics.” McDonald, S. The Undefeated. April 1, 2020. Available at

“The Racial Time Bomb in the COVID-19 Crisis.” Blow, C. The New York Times. April 1, 2020. Available at

“We Need Equity-Oriented Solutions to COVID-19, Not Stigma, Discrimination, and Fear.” Dettman, L. Public Health Newswire. March 18, 2020. Available at

“It’s Time to Address the Role of Implicit Bias Within Health Care Delivery.” Agrawal, S. and Enekwechi, A. Health Affairs Blog. January 15, 2020. Available at

“Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfalls for Native Americans.” U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. December 2018. Available at

Panel #2: Care Delivery Transformation—Integrating Telehealth and Home-Based Care | Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Key Resources

“Executive Summary: Tracking Telehealth Changes State-by-State in Response to COVID-19.” Augenstein, J., Marks, J., Morgan, V., et al. Manatt. July 14, 2020. Available at

“Telehealth Access, Value & Equity: COVID-19 and Beyond.” IMPAQ International. July 8, 2020. Available at

“Expanding Telehealth and Telementoring During COVID-19: AHRQ’s Expertise Helps Identify Next Steps.” Khanna, G. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. July 1, 2020. Available at

“How the Rapid Shift to Telehealth Leaves Many Community Health Centers Behind During The COVID-19 Pandemic.” Kim, J., Desai, E., and Cole, M. Health Affairs Blog. June 2, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 Resources for Families.” The National Alliance for Caregiving. April 30, 2020. Available at

Additional Resources

“The Promise and Potential for Telehealth in Home Health.” Wicklund, E. mHealth Intelligence. July 10, 2020. Available at

“Home Health Agencies: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19.” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. July 9, 2020. Available at

“Where Telemedicine Falls Short.” Blumenthal, D. The Commonwealth Fund. June 30, 2020. Available at

“CMS Moves to Make COVID-19 Home Health Telehealth Expansion Permanent.” Wicklund, E. mHealth Intelligence. June 26, 2020. Available at

“Overcome the Digital Divide & Achieve Health Equity.” International. June 26, 2020. Available at

“How to Make Telemedicine Permanent in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Axelsen, K. and Jimeson, M. AEIdeas. June 1, 2020. Available at

“Opportunities and Barriers for Telemedicine in the U.S. During the COVID-19 Emergency and Beyond.” Weigel, G., Ramaswamy, A., Sobel, L., et al. Kaiser Family Foundation. May 11, 2020. Available at

“Ensuring the Growth of Telehealth During COVID-19 Does Not Exacerbate Disparities in Care.” Velasquez, D. and Mehrotra, A. Health Affairs Blog. May 8, 2020. Available at

“Removing Regulatory Barriers to Telehealth Before and After COVID-19.” Turner Lee, N., Karsten, J., and Roberts, J. Brookings Institute. May 6, 2020. Available at

“Spotlight on Innovation: The Response to COVID-19.” Better Medicare Alliance. April 24, 2020. Available at

“Telehealth: Delivering Care Safely During COVID-19.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. April 22, 2020. Available at

“Home Healthcare Looks to Step in to Care for COVID-19 Patients.” Johnson, S. Modern Healthcare. March 18, 2020. Available at

Panel #3: Using Data to Disrupt the Spread of COVID-19 and Prevent Future Pandemics | Thursday, July 23, 2020

Key Resources

“Data Interoperability and Exchange to Support COVID-19 Containment.” Mostashari, F. and McClellan, M. Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. May 1, 2020. Available at

“Health Information Sharing Is More Critical Than Ever in the Wake of COVID-19.” McGraw, D. Milbank Memorial Fund. April 29, 2020. Available at

“Accelerating Data Infrastructure for COVID-19 Surveillance and Management.” Miri, A. and O’Neill, P. Health Affairs Blog. April 14, 2020. Available at

“The Fierce Urgency of Now: Closing Glaring Gaps in US Surveillance Data On COVID-19.” Krieger, N., Gonsalves, G., Bassett, M., et al. Health Affairs Blog. April 14, 2020. Available at

“These ‘Disease Hunters’ Developed a Novel Technique for Tracking Pandemics After 9/11, but Lost Funding Right Before COVID-19.” Farr, C. CNBC. April 4, 2020. Available at

Additional Resources

“Using Information Technology to Improve COVID-19 Care At New York City Health + Hospitals.” Salway, R.J., Silvestri, D., Wei, E., et al. Health Affairs Blog. July 16, 2020. Available at

“Telemedicine, Privacy, and Information Security in the Age of COVID-19.” Jalali, M., Landman, A., and Gordon, W. SSRN. July 13, 2020. Available at

“Can Contact Tracing Work at COVID Scale?” Kaushal, A., and Altman, R. Health Affairs Blog. July 8, 2020. Available at

“Building a Real-Time Covid-19 Early-Warning System.” Weingarten, S., Slotkin, J., and Alkire, M. Harvard Business Review. June 16, 2020. Available at

“Contact Tracing: 10 Unique Challenges of COVID-19.” Kuraitis, V., Perakslis, E., and McGraw, D. The Health Care Blog. June 12, 2020. Available at

“Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response: Ethics and Governance Guidance.” Kahn, J. and Johns Hopkins Project on Ethics and Governance of Digital Contact Tracing Technologies. Johns Hopkins University Press. May 25, 2020. Available at

“Protecting Privacy in Digital Contact Tracing for COVID-19: Avoiding A Regulatory Patchwork.” Shachar, C. Health Affairs Blog. May 19, 2020. Available at

“COVID-19 and the Need for a National Health Information Technology Infrastructure.” Sittig, D. and Singh, H. JAMA. May 18, 2020. Available at

“The COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Shortcomings in US Health Care Informatics Infrastructure: A Call to Action.” O’Reilly-Shah, V., Gentry, K., Van Cleve, W., et al. Anesthesia and Analgesia. May 1, 2020. Available at

“Balancing Health Privacy, Health Information Exchange, and Research in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Lenert, L., and McSwain, B. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. April 26, 2020. Available at

“Improving Notifiable Disease Case Reporting Through Electronic Information Exchange–Facilitated Decision Support: A Controlled Before-and-After Trial.” Dixon, B., Zhang, Z., Arno, J. et al. Public Health Reports 135. April 6, 2020. Available at

“Privacy and Data Protection in the Age of COVID-19.” Deloitte Belgium. March 2020. Available at

Keynote #2: A Conversation on Innovative Research Approaches to Advance Our Understanding and Treatment of COVID-19 | Thursday, July 23, 2020

Key Resources

“About the National COVID Cohort Collaborative” (video). National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. May 13, 2020. Available at

Additional Resources

“UK Joins National Data Collaborative for COVID-19 Research.” Powell, M. UKNow. July 8, 2020. Available at

“Industry Voices—How Real-World EHR Data Are Enhancing Our Understanding of COVID-19.” Doyle, M. Fierce Healthcare. June 24, 2020. Available at

“Communicating Science in the Time of a Pandemic.” Saitz, R., and Schwitzer, G. JAMA. July 13, 2020. Available at

“Using Influenza Surveillance Networks to Estimate State-Specific Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States.” Silverman, J., Hupert, N., and Washburne, A. Science Translational Medicine. June 22, 2020. Available at

“As Coronavirus Strikes, Crucial Data in Electronic Health Records Hard to Harvest.” Schulte, F. Kaiser Health News. April 30, 2020. Available at

“4CE: Consortium for Clinical Characterization of COVID-19 by EHR.” 4CE. March 20, 2020. Available at