**Forthcoming in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP). All rights reserved.**
Objective. We sought to examine the experiences of community partners in a community-academic partnership to promote COVID-19 testing in two majority Latino communities.
Methods. We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews in English and Spanish with community-based organization leaders and community health workers/promotoras (n=10) from June-July 2021. Interviews focused on identifying partner roles in planning and testing implementation and evaluating communication among partners. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed in Atlas.ti. Analyses involved deductive and inductive approaches to identify key themes.
Results. Participants described both strengths and challenges to the collaborative approach within each of three core themes: building relationships in the time of COVID-19; uplifting existing community leadership; and commitment of the academic partners and CBOs to conduct partnership activities in Spanish.
Conclusion. Community-academic partnerships that invest in strong relationships, community leadership, and a commitment to the community’s preferred language offer a promising approach to addressing COVID-19 testing barriers. Findings provide direction for future research on how community members and academic partners can come together to inform strategies to continue addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.