Angela Sullivan, PhD

On November 15-16, 2022, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign hosted the K-12 COVID-19 Response Symposium in Chicago, IL to reflect on the ways COVID-19 has shaped K-12 education and discuss future education practices and response plans.

Angela Sullivan, PhD, program director for the COVID Testing and Prevention in Alabama’s K-12 Schools program, was invited to speak in a panel discussion during the event titled “Scaling Testing: Costs and Benefits of Different Models.” Dr. Sullivan was joined by Mark Sullivan, EdD, superintendent of Birmingham City Schools, one of the first school systems to enroll in the UAB testing program. They were joined by individuals from the Illinois Department of Health, Yale School of Public Health, and the Massachusetts Executive Offices of Health and Human Services.

Panelists shared costs and benefits of a variety of funding and implementation models used to scale testing in their communities, as well as the financial, operational, and policy support needed to conduct similar efforts in the future. Specifically, Drs. Sullivan and Sullivan outlined the importance of teamwork and communication at the community level, drawing on their collaboration and experiences working in the Birmingham, AL area. Specifically, Dr. Angela Sullivan discussed the vital pieces needed to keep COVID testing in K-12 schools going in the second year of the COVID Testing and Prevention in Alabama’s K-12 Schools program, including vendor selection and leveraging funding for student incentive cards. Dr. Mark Sullivan also shared his efforts in community discussions around vaccine hesitation, highlighting an opportunity to hear from descendants of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study about why they chose to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I appreciate the opportunity to highlight the unique partnership between the Alabama Department of Public Health, the UAB School of Public Health, and K-12 schools,” says Dr. Angela Sullivan. “While we gathered for this symposium to share lessons learned, the real takeaway from this project has been the opportunity to instill and engage a sense of civic duty and public health mindedness within the K-12 student body.”

Visit to learn more about the efforts of the COVID Testing and Prevention in Alabama’s K-12 Schools program.

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