Community-Centered Interventions For Improved Vaccine Uptake For COVID (CIVIC) Project Awarded $3.4 Million Over 5 Years

June 7, 2021

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, 06/07/2021 – To support increased COVID-19 vaccine uptake and reduce health disparities, community-based organizations in Wayne, Washtenaw, Genesee, and Kent Counties together with researchers from the University of Michigan have been awarded $3.4 million over five years by the National Institutes of Health. The partnership, titled Community-Centered Interventions for Improved Vaccine Uptake for COVID (CIVIC), was designed to increase vaccine uptake and decrease vaccine hesitancy among populations that have experienced disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 in Michigan. The project will use multi-level, community-based participatory research (CBPR) derived interventions.

CIVIC is led by Principal Investigators Erica E. Marsh, MD, MSCI, FACOG, the S Jan Behrman Professor of Reproductive Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Michigan Medicine, and Director of Community Engagement for the Michigan Institute of Clinical and Health Research, and Ken Resnicow, PhD, the Irwin Rosenstock Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Associate Director for Community Engagement and Health Disparities Research at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center.

“We have always known that the community has the insights, wisdom, and expertise. In partnership with longstanding community partners, we are excited to test interventions generated using a CBPR approach that will help decrease hesitancy and increase uptake amongst our community members, family members, colleagues and friends, who have decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine so far,” shares Marsh.

To achieve the primary goal of increased vaccine uptake among Michiganders, CIVIC will increase our understanding of the barriers and drivers of vaccine uptake and hesitancy, increase vaccine uptake and decrease vaccine hesitancy through the implementation and evaluation of a multilevel intervention, and will determine the effectiveness of the CIVIC partnership to equitably engage all partners.

To achieve these aims, CIVIC will partner with community and faith-based organizations to develop culturally-tailored interventions based on community-centered approaches. Rev. Charles Williams II, Pastor of Historic King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Steering Committee member and Co-Investigator on CIVIC says,

“If we find validity in what I believe to be novel community centered approaches, we could effectively revolutionize how healthcare and social services are delivered in underserved Black and Latinx communities. Therefore, bringing the social safety net closer and closing the gap in health disparities. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King once stated ‘It is in the darkest of the night, that the stars shine their brightest.’ COVID-19 will be recorded as a dark time in world history, but research like CIVIC will represent the bright stars that solve challenging health and social disparities in underserved communities.”

If shown to be effective, these interventions will be easily scalable to other community and faith-based organizations throughout Michigan and across the nation. “We have highly effective vaccines that we know will slow the spread of COVID 19. Yet, too many Michiganders are hesitant to get vaccinated. This project will help us develop culturally tailored interventions that address the psychologic, social, and logistic barriers to obtaining the vaccine, and thereby reduce the disparities seen in our participating communities. We look forward to working with our community partners to develop creative solutions to increase the uptake of these safe and effective vaccines and help us all return to a life free from COVID 19,” says Resnicow.

For more information on CIVIC, please contact Amy Rooker, MPH, at

Federal Award Number: R01MD016867