As all 50 U.S. states ease economic restrictions implemented in response to the coronavirus, health and policy experts are braced for a potential second wave of COVID-19. Based on the first phase of the crisis, the hardest-hit populations are anticipated among communities of color, which have been disproportionally affected. According to a recent report from American Public Media Research Lab, African Americans are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as Latino or Asian Americans, and nearly 2 1/2 times as likely as whites.
Indiana University experts on racial inequality, social inequality in health care and demographics data are available to comment on these topics.
Expert on history, civil rights, social justice, community development.
Darryl Heller was named the director for student and community engagement at Indiana University South Bend in 2015. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the fields of human services, community development and nonprofit management.
Expert on medical sociology, health demography, health disparities/inequalities, health behaviors, social relationships/social networks and health, the effect of the 1918 influenza pandemic on maternal/child health.
Elaine Hernandez is an assistant professor of medical sociology with interdisciplinary training in public health and health demography at Indiana University Bloomington. She teaches courses related to the sociology of health and illness, including courses that help prepare premedical students for the revised medical college admission test.
Expert on community information systems, community assessments, strategic planning, data for community change, data analysis, data integration, applying geospatial technologies to analyze social issues, poverty.
Sharon Kandris is associate director of The Polis Center at IUPUI, an applied research center with a mission to help communities become healthier and more resilient. She plays a key role in developing and promoting the strategic direction, mission and vision of the center. She also directs the center's community informatics area, which designs solutions to meet the data and information needs of nonprofit and community-based organizations.
Expert on racial/ethnic disparities, housing policy (evictions, affordability, homelessness), social policy (social service provision, poverty reduction), community development, state and local policy decisions.
Breanca Merritt is a clinical assistant professor at the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI and is the founding director of the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy at the IU Public Policy Institute. Her research examines how policies and programs facilitate racially inequitable outcomes across areas of social policy such as poverty reduction, housing, public safety, and social service provision, among others.
Expert on health economics and policy, the impact of state and federal regulations attempting to ease the availability of private and public health insurance for vulnerable populations, health and labor market outcomes, Affordable Care Act.
Kosali Simon is a Herman B Wells Endowed Professor in the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and associate vice provost for health sciences at Indiana University Bloomington. She is a nationally known health economist who specializes in applying economic analysis in the context of health insurance and health care policy. Her research focuses on the impact of health insurance reform on health care and labor market outcomes, and on the causes and consequences of the opioid crisis.
COVID-19 resources for journalists
Looking for more Indiana University expertise related to the novel coronavirus? Find the latest list of IU scientists, researchers and clinicians who are available to discuss a wide range of topics, such as COVID-19's impacts on our physical and mental health, the economy, politics, globalization, and more. This resource is updated as we identify more experts to share with the media, so please check back often.