The SMDM COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative Leaders Announce Grant Recipients

The SMDM COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative (CDMI) announces the cohort of grant recipients. Launched in June 2020 to address the global Coronavirus pandemic, the program supports projects catalyzing innovation in COVID-19 response decision models for rapid uptake and impact.

“The CDMI vision recognizes the critical need to connect evidence-based decision models to diverse decisionmakers,” said Lisa Prosser, Ph.D., president of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) and professor at University of Michigan. “The ultimate goal is to provide decision models to inform clinical, health services delivery, and policy decision making related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The CDMI review committee received more than 60 applications, from which 9 recipients were selected based on their responsiveness to the initiative’s vision and rigor of their research methods. The amount committed totaled almost $350,000 towards projects over the next 4-6 months to drive their decision models and related research forward. Additional support includes technical assistance from SMDM followed by a final convening of the decision modelers to share their results.

While their project focus areas are varied, the cohort all share a common goal of using decision modeling techniques to aid policy makers and others in decision making for better outcomes in the face of the pandemic’s devastating effects. This cohort’s focus on areas from public health, treatment and vaccination, diagnosis, testing, and evaluation, build a knowledge base to inform timely and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and other partners, the strategic grant-making was stewarded by the CDMI leaders with longstanding ties to SMDM – Drs. Kathy McDonald (Johns Hopkins), Lisa Prosser (University of Michigan), and Gillian Sanders Schmidler (Duke University), and prioritized projects that will accelerate decision modeling for better decisionmaker response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative Grant Recipients

Fernando Alarid-Escudero, Ph.D., Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
Project title: Establishing a Dynamic Decision-Making System in Real-Time on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mexico City

Jagpreet Chhatwal, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University
Project title: Informing State-level COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing Using the COVID-19 Simulator

Lauren Cipriano, Ph.D., University of Western Ontario and Eva Enns, Ph.D. University of Minnesota
Project title: Community-tailored Adaptive Strategies for Managing the Health and Economic Consequences of COVID-19

Erica Gralla, Ph.D., George Washington University
Project title: Discrete Event Simulation for COVID-19 Testing: Identifying Bottlenecks and Supporting Scale-Up

Myriam Hunink, MD, Ph.D., Erasmus Medical Center
Project title: Emerging Therapies for COVID-19:  The Value of Core Clinical Trials vs. Implementation

Beate Jahn, Ph.D., and Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology – Austria
Project title: Targeted COVID-19 Vaccination Strategies: An Agent-based Modeling Evaluation Considering Limited Vaccination Capacities (TAV-COVID)

Ava John-Baptiste, Ph.D. and Shehzad Ali, Ph.D., MBBS, MPH, University of Western Ontario
Project title: Covid-19 Models and Social Determinants of Health: Evaluating Evidence to Inform Policy Decisions

Shan Liu, Ph.D., University of Washington
Project title: Optimizing Societal Reopening Plans and Vaccine Distribution Strategies under COVID-19 using Simulation Optimization Modelling Tools

Lauren Meyers, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Project title: Coupling COVID-19 Social Distancing with Influenza Vaccination to Manage Healthcare Surges


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