Student-Powered Enrollment for SPARK-C: A Novel Collaboration Between the University of Miami, Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office, and Local Municipal Departments
Surveillance Program Assessing Risk and Knowledge of Coronavirus (SPARK-C) is a unique, multi-stakeholder data collection initiative aimed at understanding the prevalence of COVID-19 in Miami-Dade County, which has a population of 2.8 million people. This community-based project was conceptualized at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in direct collaboration with Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and is led by Dr. Erin Kobetz and Dr. Natasha Solle.
- SPARK-C functions because of vital contributions from several key collaborators:
- Office of the Mayor provides point-of-care COVID-19 antibody tests
- Local municipal departments help plan the sampling areas
- Florida Power and Light (FPL) generates lists of potential participants and dials phone numbers randomly
- Student volunteers work remotely from home to receive calls, explain the study, and enroll participants with language coverage in English, Spanish, and Creole
- Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade Police, resident physicians, nursing students, and medical students perform field testing at 10 community locations throughout the county
- Student volunteers follow up with participants to explain their test results
We are proud to have a diverse volunteer team of over 130 students including MD students, dual-degree MD/MPH students, and MPH students, many of whom are using SPARK-C as their MPH Field Experience. In addition to their shifts, most students are still remotely participating in coursework, research, and/or board exam studying. The SPARK-C student team is led by nine captains that train their peers, provide real-time shift support, delegate important tasks, communicate with different stakeholders, and provide important feedback to leadership. In addition to scientific analyses, the University of Miami SPARK-C team is committed to disseminating the results of the study to the general public in a way that is thoughtful and informative.
SPARK-C Leadership: Erin Kobetz, Natasha Solle, Zinzi Bailey, Alberto Caban-Martinez, and others
Student Captains: Tomas Delgado, Heather Herman, Maya Lubarsky, Maria Lugo, Brianna Mussman, Varsha Prabhakar, Apoorva Rangan, Brandon Rose (Lead), and Nicole Vecin.
This is an open-access publication distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.