We're #DesignResearch.
Participation to the Public Health effort during COVID
We know COVID has brought challenging circumstances to the forefront for many. More than 36 million positions were lost, and an estimated 25 million Americans are at risk of losing access to health care. With diminished resources, projects that help our communities sometimes have a harder time finding support, while families face increased stress in their efforts for healthy living. #Design Research has launched an Open Project initiative with community partners University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), D7040 Rotary Passport Club and Cochrane Communications, to improve healthcare accessibility.

All of our findings and mentor videos will be made publically available. We hope this may help healthcare and community organizations to augment their current efforts for inclusive medical practices.
The project will explore the following questions with members of the hispanic community in Pittsburgh:
What makes families feel safe when interacting within their community?
What does a process or an environment that engenders trust look like? 
What kind of experiences can help eleviate stigma associated with asking for help? 
How might trauma impact the experience of healthcare access? 
Our Process
With training, pairs of researchers and healthcare industry professionals conduct design research interviews with ten community members selected by the partner organization. The results are then analyzed and insights are presented to the partner, adding new perspectives to the problem set through fieldwork.

Selecting the Challenge

Our team works closely with our community partners to determine the research problem and connect with the community.


Our participants ramp up their community interviewing skills thanks to the support of Community Experts.

Field Work

Our team interviews the 10 community members selected by our community partners, under the guidance of experienced members.


Our team analyzes results using mixed methods and shares the findings with both the partner organization and the broader community.
Why we're excited...
Here are some of our COVID-team members' thoughts on why this project makes a difference in our healthcare ecosystem during COVID.
<span style="font-weight: bold;">Michelle</span>&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: bold;">Cedeño</span>, Pittsburgh, PA
Michelle Cedeño, Pittsburgh, PA
Design Researcher
"Design Research gives us a chance to look at the systemic issues underlying our health care, bringing truly innovative solutions for better health care." 
<span style="font-weight: bold;">May Son, </span>NYC, NY
May Son, NYC, NY
Healthcare Professional
"It's an invaluable opportunity to step back from our singular - and myopic - roles in healthcare, to view and rework the system through a cross-disciplinary lens. It's also a wonderful program to strengthen the workforce while we're catching our collective breath during COVID-19."   
<span style="font-weight: bold;">Chip Perkins, </span>Austin, TX
Chip Perkins, Austin, TX
Educational Anthropologist
"This project is a great example of situated practice, with an opportunity to bring ideas from the bottom-up.  It is a change of paradigm, giving a chance to people affected by a problem to be heard and directly contribute." 
Roles in Project
The following roles will be created as part of the COVID Project.
Interview Engineers
Ethnographers, Anthropologists & Design Researchers
Partnering with interviewees, they guide the interviewing process by coaching healthcare professionals.  These professionals create the interview guide, mentor the interviewers and actively take notes later used for coding by the analysis team.

They are the glue, the common thread amongst all interviews, insuring continuity, consistency and comprehensiveness. 

Healthcare Professionals
Interviewers are professionals from the healthcare industry, chosen espeically for their natural curiosity and empathy.  Following the training and with the guidance of Interview Engineers, they run the interviews with stakeholders.   
Data Communication 
UX Designers
Responsible for the final deliverable, the UX Designers work collaboratively to translate insights from the ground into digestible visuals for decision-makers and the community at large.  
Community Leaders
These experts in their fields assist the project through a one-hour commitment, typically under the form of a recorded discussion.  This contribution is amplified through the sharing of these insights with the community at large, through Open Deisgn and podcast broadcasting.  Together with tools we provide to the community, this extends this project to a resource center available for other communities to replicate. 
Design Researchers
These designers use their qualitative and quantitative skills to analyze the gathered data.  Insights collected will help inform the project's main challenge question.  Findings can include recommendations for more focused, in-depth research using surveys, analytics, or big data.  Alternatively, possible implementation applications can be highlighted.
Design XP
Learner Experience Designer
This role is responsible for designing the learning experience for participants.  As a cross-disciplinary project by nature, members of the team will have the chance to extend their knowledge either in interviewing techniques or in healthcare's social determinants of health.  This experience will be carefully designed for cross-pollination.  

The project will be coordinated by Corina Paraschiv, recent graduate with an MSc. Healthcare Policy & Management, from Carnegie Mellon University, Rotarian and founder of #DesignResearch.