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Media Coverage

Health Disparities Seminar Series

August 2012 Seminar Series
The National Institutes of Health welcomes Dr. Mona Fouad and Dr. Selwyn Vickers as the speakers for the NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series on August 16, 2012.

Health disparities are particularly significant when it comes to cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black men have the highest cancer incidence rates in the country, and black women are more likely to die from cancer than any other female group. Further, Hispanics, Asians, and Pacific Islanders develop stomach cancer at nearly twice the rate of whites. Recent data from the American Cancer Society also confirm that minority populations experience lower rates of survival after diagnosis.

An important part of reducing these disparities is evidence-based clinical research to help determine why they exist. However, while racial and ethnic minority populations make up one-third of the U.S. population, these groups comprise only 1 out of every 10 adults enrolled in clinical trials. Caused by a combination of historical mistrust, cultural influences, cost, and transportation constraints, these low numbers have a profound impact on whether the research advances and cutting-edge care of clinical trials can benefit everyone equally.

To help increase minority participation in clinical trials, Drs. Fouad and Vickers spearheaded the creation of Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT), a consortium of five cancer centers at the University of Minnesota, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Johns Hopkins University, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the University of California. By coordinating research and sharing both resources and expertise, the consortium is creating Web-based training modules and patient navigation interventions to increase diverse recruitment and retention in cancer clinical trials.

In their presentation, the speakers will discuss results from qualitative and quantitative research conducted at each of the five regional sites, which identified patient-level, institutional, and system barriers, as well as facilitators to recruitment. They will also discuss plans to develop and pilot additional recruitment and retention programs to serve as models across the country, with the primary goal of increasing minority enrollment in therapeutic cancer clinical trials by 5%. (Click here for abstract)

Dr. Mona Fouad is a professor of medicine and director of the Division of Preventive Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is also the founding director of the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center. She earned an M.P.H. from UAB and her M.D. from Alexandria University School of Medicine in Alexandria, Egypt. Among her many accolades are the 2008 UAB President’s Diversity Faculty Award, the 2007 Alabama Power Community Service “Woman of the Year” Award, and the 2006 “Woman of Distinction Award.”

Dr. Selwyn Vickers is the Associate Director of Translational Research and Jay Phillips Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota. A nationally renowned leader in pancreatic cancer research, Dr. Vickers earned both his B.A. and M.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He was named one of the “Best Doctors in America” in 2002 and 2005 by Best Doctors Inc., and received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the UAB School of Medicine.

Presentation Title: Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials: A Region-Based, National Approach to Overcoming Minority Participation Barriers to Clinical Trials

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Mona Fouad (Click here for bio)
Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Preventive Medicine
Founding Director of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama

Dr. Selwyn Vickers (Click here for bio)
Associate Director of Translational Research
Jay Phillips Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Thursday, August 16, 2012
2:00 - 3:30 P.M.

NIH Campus
Natcher Conference Center, Balcony A
Building 45
Bethesda, MD

Additional Information: There is limited parking on the NIH campus. The closest Metro is Medical Center. Please allow adequate time for security check. The seminar will be video cast and made available in the NIH Video archives and on the NIMHD website after the seminar. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to participate should contact Edgar Dews at 301-402-1366 or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.

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