Collaborating with Churches to End Health Disparities in Clinical Trials
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated distrust in medicine, has limited access to healthcare especially for racial minorities, and amplified worse health outcomes among minorities. Yet faith-based organizations remain trusted institutions especially for racial minorities. Still, it remains unclear how church and medical partnerships can best contribute to ending racialized health disparities. Building on the established work of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute Community Outreach Team and its Stop Cancer In Its Tracks (SCIIT) faith-based coalition, we will address: How can churches best contribute to ending racialized health disparities, especially the underrepresentation of minorities in medical research and clinical trials? The project expands community outreach education work from the prevention and screening phase to more advanced understandings of cancer treatment and clinical trials research. Clinical research often offers the most cutting edge treatments especially for those patients who present with late-stage disease or recurrent forms of cancer. Yet minorities often miss these opportunities. Furthermore, due to lack of preventative screenings in medically underserved areas, such as those where SCIIT partners are located, minorities may need clinical trials even more than the general population. For this reason, there is urgency for this education project on clinical trials. The project utilizes focus groups and pre- and post-test surveys to evaluate an educational intervention about health disparities. The research will reveal best practices for health ministry, pilot an educational intervention, evaluate the educational intervention, and generate lay reports for churches, peer-reviewed journal articles, national conference presentations, and stimulate future external funding.
We want to learn about how churches and medical organizations can end racialized health disparities together. This project will build on previous work done to address how to best contribute to ending racialized health disparities, especially the underrepresentation of minorities in medical research and clinical trials. The project expands community outreach education work from the prevention and screening phase to more advanced understandings of cancer treatment and clinical trials research.