A Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine study on “COVID Orphans” has made it to the Elite 8 of STAT Madness, the farthest a Stony Brook study has advanced in the six-year history of the research competition.
The study, led by Rachel Kidman of the Family, Population and Preventive Medicine Program in Public Health, defeated the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the “Sweet Sixteen.” It is facing off against the University of Chicago Medicine in the Elite 8, with 56 other studies having been eliminated.
Kidman’s research is the first to highlight the large number of children orphaned by COVID-19, using demographic modeling to estimate the number of children who have lost a parent during the pandemic. The researchers concluded that 37,300 children under age 18 had lost at least one parent as of February 2021, and that Black children were disproportionately affected, comprising 14 percent of children in the U.S. but 20 percent of those who had lost a parent to COVID. This finding, highlighted in many press pieces over the past year, makes it clear that parentally bereaved children will need targeted support in the years ahead.
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