COVID-19: PQHS Responds


PQHS Faculty, Staff, and Students Lead and Contribute

PQHS faculty, staff, and students have played an integral role in the regional response to the COVID-19 epidemic and in local, national, and international research. 
Our team members:

  • Support the city of Cleveland in contact tracing and making decisions about the allocation of resources
  • Develop unique studies to inform best practices in keeping child care centers safely open
  • Work with regional and national media to help the general public understand COVID-19 and how best to respond 

See what we have been doing and come back often as we update the contributions from the many PQHS team members who are playing active roles in the COVID-19 pandemic response.  


Daniel Tisch, PhD, MPH, and Scott Frank, MD, MS – along with staff and students – have been working with the City of Cleveland since the earliest days of the pandemic response. They continue to support the city’s public health department with contact tracing and other response issues. Through a renewed collaboration, Dr. Tisch, Director of the CWRU/MPH program, leads an epidemiology team to advise and collaborate with management, analysis, and display of data essential to strategic decision making. 

Dr. Frank – who created the MPH program 20+ years ago – leads another team using population health data to advise the public health department in the deployment of resources and other community concerns. 

The City of Cleveland values its partnership with Case Western Reserve University,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “Epidemiology is vital to CDPH’s operations and service to Clevelanders.”

Read more about this collaboration here

Daniel Tisch, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, PQHS
Director, Master of Public Health Program
Member, Center for Global Health and Diseases, CWRU School of Medicine
Scott Frank, MD, MS 
Associate Professor, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, School of Medicine
Director, Master of Public Health Program, School of Medicine


Darcy Freedman, PhD, MPH, and her team conducted a rapid-response study that included (A) statewide examination of COVID-19 cases among child care staff and children attending child care and (B) in-depth analysis in 10 counties including data collection using a mixed-methods approach.

The study took place from Aug. 15 to Nov. 20, during a timeframe of relatively low community transmission of COVID-19.  More data collected during a timeframe of higher community transmission will be published shortly. The team found COVID-19 infection rates at child care programs in Ohio have been low as a result of:

•    clear and comprehensive state guidelines for mitigating transmission within child care settings;
•    streamlined reporting of cases to monitor trends;
•    resources to support adherence to state guidelines; and
•    high compliance with these guidelines by child care workers and families.

This study was funded by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and supported by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The study relied on a sample of child care facilities that mirrors a mix of urban, suburban and rural settings found across the country, offering insight into child care experiences nationally.

Read more about the study and recommendations to support keeping child care safe for children, families, and child care staff. 

A data brief is available for download. 

Darcy Freedman, PhD, MPH
Director, Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health
Mary Ann Swetland Professor, PQHS 
Core Faculty, Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
Member, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Mark Cameron, PhD, has become a trusted go-to source for regional and national media looking for informed updates about the pandemic in general, about trends in incidence, and what various changes in the COVID-19 landscape mean for individuals as they navigate safety precautions including masking and social distancing.  Recent highlights include:  

Mark Cameron, PhD
Associate Professor, PQHS
Faculty, Cleveland Institute for Computational Biology 




Problems have surfaced over and over, as the coronavirus wormed itself into every facet of society this last year, revealing broken structures and unprepared organizations, inefficiencies and disparities.

Longstanding healthcare inequities stem from access, affordability and even the stress of systemic racism. People in neighborhoods with larger minority populations are more likely to suffer from lead poisoning, infant mortality and heart disease, said Dr. Erika Trapl, an epidemiologist and associate professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences.

Erika Trapl, PhD, said increasing health equity includes decreasing poverty. That means creating educational and economic opportunities in neighborhoods that have had underinvestment or disinvestment.

Read the full story here. 

Erika Trapl, PhD

Associate Professor, PQHS