DIA 2023: Best Practices for Bringing Together Patients and Medical Staff to Positively Impact Trial Diversity


DIA session highlights strategies for stakeholders to make clinical trials more inclusive for diverse populations.

In this session at DIA, speakers gathered to discuss different ways to make clinical trials more inclusive. To begin, Alana Miller, associate director, clinical trial diversity program lead, Merck highlighted that health disparities are driven by social and economic inequities. Of the solutions she presented to combat these disparities, she emphasized having more conversational interactions with diverse patients rather than transactional. “I welcome you to do more than the status quo,” she said.

In the next part of the presentation, Sara Tylosky, CEO, Farmacon Global focused on the enrollment state of Hispanics/Latinos. Only 4% of the US Latino population have participated in clinical trials. This leads to low quality data since it is not diverse. One strategy to increase Latino clinical trial diversity is to increase the number of Latino doctors to train for clinical research opportunities. There is also great potential in working with KOLs who have access to Latino doctor groups and medical associations like NHMA (National Hispanic Medical Association).

Globally, Latino clinical trial diversity can be increased by choosing Latin American countries for clinical research. Factors that should be considered are an assessment of demographic and epidemiology, regulatory overview of process and timelines, understanding logistical concerns like lab shipments, and identifying the number of KOLs/centers of excellence.

The third and final part of the presentation, led by Valerie Powell, chief patient officer, and EVP, patient experience, CorEvitas began with an audience poll. The question posed was, “What do you believe to be the biggest barrier to trial participation for people living with mental health conditions?” While a range of answers were provided, one of the most popular was a lack of awareness around clinical trials.

When approaching patients with mental health conditions for clinical trials, it is important to engage a mental health professional as a moderator for sessions with the patient. Powell emphasized, “Meet (the patients) where they are.” Active engagement and active listening are important practices to keep in mind as well.


Disrupting the Status Quo: Best Practices for Bringing Together Patients and Medical Staff to Positively Impact Trial Diversity. June 27, 2023. DIA 2023, Boston.

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