CO-CEAL: Colorado COVID-19 Community Engagement Alliance

Collage of different faces

What is CEAL?

In the United States, COVID-19 has taken its toll on almost every community. But some groups — especially African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, immigrants and Native Americans — have suffered more than others. The Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities is a national network of community-engaged researchers, community-based organizations, government officials and public health experts working to reduce the burden of the disease on those who are hardest hit by it. Funding for CEAL comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

CO-CEAL: Colorado COVID-19 Community Engagement Alliance

The Colorado CEAL Team (CO-CEAL) is a partnership between the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Servicios de la Raza, the Trailhead Institute, Immunize Colorado, Denver Public Health, Salud Famiy Health Center, UCHealth, 2040 Partners for Health, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and many other community based organizations and individuals. Our mission is to provide trustworthy information through active community engagement and outreach to the people hardest-hit by the pandemic while building long-lasting community partnerships to improve diversity and inclusion in COVID-19 research for new treatments, vaccines and other virus prevention practices.


Establish partnerships

within the community

Address misinformation

within communities of color

Grow an understanding

and trust in science

Accelerate the uptake

of beneficial treatments

Through our COVID-19 Community Engagement Alliance, we aim to:

  • Make available the best, most accurate information about the spread of COVID-19, about recruitment and participation in clinical studies, about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and treatments and about any concerns that may come from false rumors
  • Increase the use of preventive practices that can reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially in underserved communities, while offering timely access to proven new treatments
  • Increase the public’s understanding of how science works—specifically, the medical research process and how treatments and vaccines are developed

CO-CEAL Program Aims

  1. Assess current and ongoing levels of misinformation and concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics in disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic communities
  2. Evaluate effectiveness of community-specific messaging and materials delivered through trusted channels to address vaccine barriers for adults and children in disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic communities
  3. Understand CCTSI-CE partner network connections to the most vulnerable populations across the state, including gaps/weaknesses
  4. Create a community Clinical Trials Advisory Board to enhance collaboration between community based organizations and clinical trial study teams and to provide consultation with trial teams on community engagement

CO-CEAL Focus Communities

African AmericanUrban: Denver-Metro
Hispanic/LatinoUrban: Denver-Metro; Rural: Weld Co; Fort Morgan; San Luis Valley
Native AmericanUrban: Denver-Metro
Black/African ImmigrantRural: Weld Co; Fort Morgan

CO-CEAL Project Activities

  • Cohort study with community-level interventions and a repeated cross-sectional survey at the individual level to evaluate the impact of messaging
  • Intervene with proven Boot Camp Translation methods to translate information about COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics into culturally sensitive messaging and materials, using trusted community partners as communication channels for these messages and materials on COVID-19 vaccines, their safety and efficacy
  • Assess the reach of efforts into target communities using Social Network Analysis
  • Create a Community Clinical Trials Advisory Board to establish linkages between those conducting trials and communities, providing ready access to partnerships with community members who can inform recruitment methods and materials
  • Incorporate RADx-UP Common Data Elements (CDEs) and RADx-UP Phase I Findings into the REDCap Survey tool


Donald Nease, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Ricardo Gonzalez-Fisher, MD
Servicios de La Raza
Ronald Sokol, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus