Collaborative CBPR Partnerships and Healthcare Workforce Task Shifting

An Equity Strategy to Enhance Control of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Homeless Shelters


  • Benjamin Fox University of New Mexico
  • Laura Chanchien Parajón University of New Mexico
  • Jawaher Assed
  • Erika Baca
  • Brenna Banwarth-Kuhn
  • Talmadge Brown
  • Donovan Talawepi Chase The Bear
  • Vanna Cochran
  • Miranda Durham
  • Kathryne Foos
  • Lindsey Hancock
  • Emma Hart
  • Monica Moya Balasch
  • Orrin Myers
  • Jessica Nelson
  • Chris Novak
  • Myra Segal
  • Kaleb Stevens
  • Judy Tucker
  • Carrie Zografos


SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, homeless shelter, congregate shelter, BinaxNOW, antigen testing, quality improvement, public health, community-based participatory research


COVID-19 is can be particularly devastating for people experiencing homelessness (PEH) who suffer disproportionate death and disease and cannot self-isolate due to living in congregate shelters. In response to the pandemic, a multisector partnership in Albuquerque, New Mexico mobilized under the name of “Corona Crushers” to reduce COVID-19 risk for PEH as a health equity initiative. In the context of shared leadership and partnership built on dialogue and trust, the multi-sector collaboration was able to use existing data on COVID-19 to take action to rapidly adapt evidence-based interventions from the literature and innovate to improve COVID-19 patient outcomes including expedited COVID-19 testing, quality improvement to improve adherence of PEH to quarantine and isolation; and a 75% reduction in outbreaks in the largest homeless shelter in Albuquerque, New Mexico. These pandemic interventions, however, placed a significant burden on already under-resourced shelter and healthcare staff and systems. In this paper, we describe the partnership’s ability to decrease COVID-19 outbreaks by task shifting interventions traditionally done by health professionals, such as COVID-19 testing and screening, quality improvement, and triage by supporting healthcare workers with less training including community health workers, medical students, and shelter staff. Task shifting not only enhanced the quality of our equity intervention, but it has the potential to expand the healthcare workforce to be able to address future inequities.

Author Biography

Laura Chanchien Parajón, University of New Mexico

Laura Parjon serves as the Executive Director for the Office for Community Health and Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico as well as continue my work in Nicaragua as the AMOS Strategy Officer and IM Global Servant for the non-profit faith-based public health organization, AMOS Health and Hope in Nicaragua. As a family physician and public health professional, she has always focused on working alongside and learning from communities to not just improve physical health, but also address emotional, social, spiritual and economic causes of poor health. As an advocate for sustainable and equitable partnerships, she strives to 1) contribute solutions to the problem of health disparities 2) continue to seek and develop partnerships with others wanting to transform our world and work towards health for all.




How to Cite

Fox, B., Chanchien Parajón, L. ., Assed , J. ., Baca , E. ., Banwarth-Kuhn, B. ., Brown , T. ., Chase The Bear , D. T. ., Cochran , V. ., Durham , M. ., Foos, K. ., Hancock , L. ., Hart , E. ., Balasch , M. M. ., Myers, O. ., Nelson, J. ., Novak, C. ., Segal , M. ., Stevens, K., Tucker , J. ., & Zografos, C. . (2021). Collaborative CBPR Partnerships and Healthcare Workforce Task Shifting: An Equity Strategy to Enhance Control of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Homeless Shelters . Social Innovations Journal, 9. Retrieved from