Technical Assistance Team Supports COVID-19 Contact Tracing Efforts in Chicago

In March 2020, the Chicago Department of Public Health awarded a two year grant to support the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 contact tracing response and data collection initiatives. As a part of Howard Brown Health’s Center for Education, Research and Advocacy, the Technical Assistance (TA) team provides training, technical assistance, support, and resources to 21 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and seven hospitals in Chicago to support COVID-19 contact tracing efforts.

The Howard Brown TA team has developed trainings for all 28 sites’ staff on platform navigation, data collection, reporting, and troubleshooting. They also created a website that archives all supplemental materials (training guides, videos, and resources) for later reference.

The Howard Brown TA Team supports 28 FQHCs and hospitals by providing:

Comprehensive training that covers platform navigation and report and dashboard creation, as well as other supplemental trainings (motivational interviewing, self-care, etc.)

Email support to provide timely 1-1 support

A dedicated website that houses all trainings and documents, a calendar of all trainings and meetings, and a discussion board to address questions as they arise

Forums for discussion including the Weekly Case Investigation/Contact Tracing (CICT) Forums, Bi-Weekly Manager’s Meetings, Monthly Learning Collaborative Meetings

Ongoing support that addresses individual needs, training, and resources to CICT staff and additional resources as priorities shift

The TA Team created intentional spaces for staff to share best practices and navigate the work.

  • Contact Tracing forum was adapted to be a safe space where only CICT staff can support, collaborate, and share successes and challenges in their work
  • Our Learning Collaborative was developed for program leads to have high-level discussions with content experts that included data analysis, workforce development, and medical racism

Important Data

  • Between November 2020 and July 2021, the TA Team responded to 491 total inquiries.
  • Between December 2020 and July 2021, the TA Team conducted 240 meetings/trainings, totaling 202 hours of facilitation.

The TA Team looks forward to continued workforce development in the second year of the grant and further collaboration with sites.


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