This time of year, it’s customary to assess what you’ve accomplished and what you hope to achieve over the next 12 months. At Clinical Research Pathways, we can point to significant progress in 2019 as well as plans to build on these efforts in 2020 and beyond.
Those of you who are familiar with our work know that our goal is to increase access to new treatments for all people. Our primary focus is on increasing diversity in clinical research so that new medicines are effective for all individuals regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity.
That’s a significant challenge—one that’s being tackled in multiple ways by different segments of the research enterprise, including government agencies, drug developers, and the medical community.
Our approach is innovative because Clinical Research Pathways targets minority underrepresentation on two fronts: among those who conduct clinical trials and those who participate in them. Equally important is our emphasis on leveraging our efforts through strategic partnerships.
With Morehouse School of Medicine, in 2018 we launched our signature initiative, Training Minority Clinical Teams: Getting New Quality Medicines to All Americans. This past year, the program trained and mentored its first minority physicians. Next year, they will begin enrolling minority patients, as appropriate, in clinical trials of potential new treatments for heart disease, diabetes, sleep disorders, chronic pediatric conditions, and neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease.
Last week, we announced a second partnership, with WellStar Health System of Georgia, to develop strategies to enroll more minority patients in cancer trials.
In other words, we are collaborating with one of the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians and one of Georgia’s largest health systems. No wonder we’re so excited about the future!
For the most part, we will be building on our success by growing and strengthening our existing initiatives.
Clinical Research Pathways will seek additional partners, including organizations interested in replicating our diversity efforts outside Georgia and, ultimately, nationwide. We also will continue to work closely with the Food and Drug Administration and the Reagan-Udall Foundation on another of our priorities: helping desperately ill patients use the expanded access process to try investigational treatments.
We are fortunate to have an exceptional board of directors, so we will continue to tap and benefit from their expertise and commitment. We also will keep reaching out to our supporters, updating you on our progress and inviting you to join us in advancing this important work.
Thank you for your contributions to our success. Best wishes this holiday season and in the coming year.
Marjorie A. Speers, Ph.D., Executive Director