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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Iowa
  • Mark T Berg
  • (319) 335-2495
  • Nicole L Novak
Award Date:07/08/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 42,261
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 42,261
  • FY 2020=$42,261
Start Date:07/15/2020
End Date:06/30/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RAPID: COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Resiliency and Vulnerability to COVID-19 in Rural Communities: Health and Socioeconomic Well-Being in the Context of Ethnic Diversity
Federal Award ID Number:2033957
DUNS ID:062761671
Parent DUNS ID:062761671
Program Officer:
  • Toby Parcel
  • (703) 292-7318

Awardee Location

County:Iowa City
Awardee Cong. District:02

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Iowa
Street:Public Policy Center, 209 SQ
City:Iowa City
County:Iowa City
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic continue to be a major public health crisis in the U.S. Missing from the academic and policy discussion is the pandemic’s impact on smaller communities. Rural places are still highly susceptible to COVID-19 even in the absence of confirmed cases, as the pandemic may just be taking hold. This makes rural places statistically invisible, creating a false sense of rural immunity. There is an urgent need to understand the health and socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in understudied rural communities, especially in meat packing towns. Near real-time data collection is needed to understand the full impact of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of recovery efforts, especially among vulnerable rural populations, e.g. older, poor, disabled, immigrant, or minority residents. This project will survey residents of midwestern small towns to: (1) document the health, socioeconomic, and emotional impacts of the pandemic; (2) identify local needs and effectiveness of local and state responses; and (3) understand how impacts, responses, and needs vary across diverse small towns. Findings from the project will inform governmental policies and programs at several levels, thus advancing the health and well-being of rural people and places. Rural places are highly susceptible to COVID-19 even in the absence of confirmed cases, making rural places statistically invisible and creating a false sense of rural immunity. And yet social research to date has disproportionately focused upon the urban impact. This project will survey n=11,716 residents across 65 small towns (between 800 and 10,000 people) using an existing longitudinal rural panel from the Iowa Small Towns Project (ISTP). These ISTP communities are uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are home to large meat packing facilities, potentially exacerbating preexisting racial marginalization and stigma. The principal investigators will establish an advisory panel comprised of diverse stakeholders who will guide the project. A comprehensive survey and community engagement strategy will be used to effectively oversample meat packing workers and minority residents. Health impacts will include individual COVID-19 physical health issues, access to and use of healthcare, perceived prevalence in the community, and impact on local healthcare systems. Emotional impacts will include standard depression and anxiety scales (CESD-10 and GAD-7), access to and use of mental health services, and general concern about the pandemic’s impact on family and community. Economic impacts will include household employment and income loss, change in spending patterns, access to and use of economic security programs, and local economic impacts. Social impacts will measure how social capital, social support, and quality of life have been affected by the pandemic. Access and trust of COVID-19 information sources will be measured, as will adherence to social distancing. Residents will be asked to rate pandemic preparedness and responsiveness of governments, healthcare providers, local businesses, and community organizations. Findings from the project will inform sociological theories related to social capital, social stress, and socio-economic inequality, particularly related to health and minority status. All findings will contribute to larger bodies of literature related to rural sociology, which seeks to understand the social dynamics of rural life in the United States. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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