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In an effort to reach and serve Hispanics more effectively, staff members at Wake Research Associates recently completed training and testing through Blaire Borthayre, CEO of Hispanic Marketing Resources
(www.hispanicmarketingresources.com). According to Borthayre, all participants from Wake Research, a clinical research site located in Raleigh, North Carolina, passed the final exam with no errors. The course focuses on improving Hispanic participation in clinical trials through a culturally sensitive approach to the special needs of the foreign born Hispanic. Topics include building trusting relationships in the Hispanic community, avoiding cultural behaviors that offend, working effectively with interpreters, and overcoming common barriers.
Blaire is a Hispanic advocate and cultura lexpert who works with businesses seeking to increase Hispanic clientele. “I do not work with businesses who seek only to have their materials translated into Spanish.” Says Borthayre “ I work only with those who demonstrate a willingness to implement a holistic, culturally appropriate program and the first step is staff training.”
Hispanics make up only 1% of clinical trial participants in trials where ethnic background is identified. While this is often attributed to the language barrier, Borthayre explains the true cause is a lack of understanding about the foreign born Hispanics who experience life in different cultural context than that of the traditional mainstream American. “Motivations and concerns regarding clinical trials are very different for the Hispanic immigrant and those issues are simply not addressed by most clinical sites.” Borthayre is a graduate of the Hispanic Marketing and Communications Program at Florida State University and has been researching Hispanic attitudes and beliefs regarding clinical trials for the past three years. The results of focus groups and surveys were combined to create a training for clinical sites that focuses on an overall change in the traditional recruitment approach.
Borthayre states that Wake Research Associates has impressed her with their commitment to this project. “Dr. Ella Grach, Medical Director at Wake Research made the time to be personally involved in this certification process. Too often clinical research sites delegate the issue of Hispanic recruitment to a staff member and then hope for the best. The most effective programs are those who have support and participation from the top. Leaders have to set the example.” Wake Research Associates is an independent multi-center clinical research site designed to work closely with and meet the needs of the pharmaceutical industry and clinical research organizations (www.wakeresearchassociates.com).