|UAB’s Mona Fouad to Appear at National Press Club with NCMHD President|
March 23, 2010
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) physician Mona Fouad, M.D., will appear with John Ruffin, M.D., director of the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), in Washington, D.C., at noon Thursday, March 25 to promote increased minority recruitment and retention in cancer clinical trials.
The EMPaCT initiative is part of a $3.8 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) led by the University of Minnesota in partnership with UAB, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of California-Davis and Johns Hopkins University.
Fouad and other principal investigators in attendance will address the research project's main goals and outcomes.
"Much is known about disease-incidence rates in minority populations, but little research exists to understand barriers and biases that limit participation and access to clinical trials," she said.
Through EMPaCT, a number of initiatives will be used to help increase minority recruitment and retention into clinical trials: develop a regional consortia and network of individual institutions and centers to enhance minority participation in clinical trials; develop community-based participatory research and education programs to combat the underlying mistrust of the medical research community; enable EMPaCT-participating institutions to enhance minority participation in clinical trials by implementing models shown to link investigators more successfully with their target communities; and provide the environment for conducting clinical research for minority-related diseases.
The result will be a step toward increasing minority participation in clinical trials nationally and developing credible models for recruiting minorities to cancer-specific trials.
"We must find ways to increase minority participation in clinical trials," Fouad said. "Failure to do so misses the opportunity to provide effective, detailed and often improved care for all persons via clinical trials. Focusing on recruiting minorities into clinical trials also provides a novel mechanism to engage the part of our nation at the greatest medical risk, those on the fringe of the health-care safety net and for whom data is persistently limited and/or missing in the areas of chronic diseases and cancer."
The UAB Division of Preventive Medicine is dedicated to medicine and the health of the public through research, teaching and dissemination and translation of knowledge for improved health outcomes. Special concern for health disparities and a desire to promote women's health guide many division activities.