2022 Misinformation Grant Program Winners
To help correct the scourge of medical misinformation which experienced a resurgence during the pandemic, especially among Black and Latino populations, the ABIM Foundation awarded $110,000 in grants, in 2022.
Factchequeado seeks to combat Spanish-language misinformation in the United States, with a special focus on health care and public health. It has been formed by two leading organizations that are devoted to fact-checking in the Spanish-speaking world: Maldita.es (Spain, founded 2014) and Chequeado (Argentina, founded 2010). It creates original, verified content in Spanish that responds to false claims that are circulating in Spanish-speaking communities.
Until the launch of Factchequeado, there was no organized effort to address Spanish-language misinformation in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the need, as, for example, rumors spread that vaccination centers were a trap to deport immigrants.
The project has a particular focus on WhatsApp, which Spanish speakers commonly use for news consumption and sharing. With support from the ABIM Foundation, Factchequeado will create the capacity to monitor and respond to misinformation claims that are trending on WhatsApp. This will enable them to push high-quality information into an arena where misinformation is spreading, rather than depending on individuals to seek out correct health information on their own.
Factchequeado will also develop alliances with large and small Spanish-language media organizations and with fact checking organizations that currently produce little content in Spanish. It will provide these entities with content they can use for free, expanding its reach and enhancing the capacity of these organizations to serve their audiences.
As part of this work, the project team hopes to build a network of Spanish-language journalists in the U.S., empowering them to identify and debunk false claims. This will include conducting training sessions for journalists about identifying and addressing misinformation on health issues in Spanish.
Cuidate/Take Care Annapolis
Cuidate/Take Care Annapolis is a health education outreach program launched in August 2020 to provide community health education to the city’s most vulnerable populations. The program includes teams focused on the Hispanic community and on the Black community. Team members go door-to-door, offering culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials (in English and Spanish), addressing health questions and concerns, and connecting families to food and other resources. For outreach to Hispanic communities, Cuidate enlists Annapolis-area residents who studied health professions in Latin America but have been unable to enter their field in the US.
The program staff also creates video and audio content that can be replicated and forwarded, and employs a texting platform to share COVID-19 and other health and resource updates with more than 1,000 community members. (With resources provided by ABIM Foundation, this will expand to 2,000 members.)
The ABIM Foundation grant will support the program as it takes on chronic health issues in addition to COVID-19. The project will add a communications coordinator to enhance its digital presence and create a strategic communications plan to guide the outreach teams. Ciudate will also launch a leadership development program to help empower communities to promote healthy habits and health care—including by addressing misinformation—in a culturally sensitive manner.
- Migrant Clinicians Network
- NYC Health & Hospitals