In Pursuit of Equity: Diversity in Clinical Research Participation

In order to ensure equal access to quality cancer care for all, clinical trials must be made more accessible to underserved patient populations. Join Nadine J. Barrett, PhD, MA, MS, Director, Office of Health Equity and Disparities, Duke Cancer Institute, and Director, Duke Community Connections Core, Duke CTSA, as she details strategies to improve clinical trial accrual for racial and ethnic minorities, as well as other at-risk groups. Dr. Barrett will also explore successful solutions for working with community organizations to enhance interest and enrollment in clinical research. 

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Nadine Barrett, PhD, MA, MS

Director, Office of Health Equity and Disparities, Duke Cancer Institute Director, Duke Community Connections Core, Duke CTSA

Dr. Nadine J. Barrett is a medical sociologist and an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, within Duke University’s School of Medicine. She is the inaugural director of the Office of Health Equity and Disparities at the Duke Cancer Institute and serves as the director of the Duke Community Engagement Core, within the Center for Community and Population Health Improvement. A health equity and stakeholder engagement strategist, Dr. Barrett applies her expertise across three interrelated areas: 1) linking vulnerable communities to health services and research, 2) leveraging community and health system assets and services to align priorities and improve community and population health, and 3) convening diverse stakeholders to develop community and patient-centered programs, services, and research.

In 2017, she accepted an ACCC Innovator Award on behalf of Duke Cancer Institute for its initiative, Come Together: A Health Disparities & Equity Cancer Program Built on Community Collaboration. She is the recipient of several awards, including the American Sociology Association’s Minority Fellowship Award, an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research, and the MLK Southern Christian Leadership Conference Drum Major for Justice Award. Her national appointments include the PCORI Health Disparities Advisory Panel Board and the ACCC Board of Trustees. Dr. Barrett is both passionate about and committed to achieving health equity.

Dr. Barrett has several funded projects including Project PLACE (Population Level Approaches to Cancer Elimination), funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is a three-pronged research project designed to implement three robust mechanisms to inform the health equity strategic direction of the Duke Cancer Institute over the next five to eight years. Project PLACE is a highly intensive community engagement model and platform designed to shape robust scholarly productivity, partnered research and community programs to improve population health. She is also the Duke PI (subcontract) of a national Susan G. Komen pipeline training grant on translational research in inflammatory breast cancer and community-engaged research. Dr. Barrett also co-directs the NCI-funded Cancer Research and Education Program Core of the NCCU/DCI Translational Health Disparities Research Program which incorporates specified training in minority accrual in clinical research—a program she developed within the Duke Cancer Institute titled, “Just Ask.”

Randall A. Oyer, MD (Moderator)

Medical Director, Oncology Program, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and ACCC President

Randall A. Oyer, MD, is a practicing medical oncologist at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute at Penn Medicine Lancaster General in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He serves as the Medical Director of the Cancer Institute, Medical Director of Oncology, Chairman of Cancer Committee, Chair of the Oncology Physicians Advisory Council, and Medical Director of the Cancer Risk Evaluation (Cancer Genetics) Program at Penn Medicine Lancaster General. Dr. Oyer is a member of the Cancer Service Line Executive Committee and the Cancer Service Line Quality Committee at the Abramson Cancer Center─University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Dr. Oyer divides his time among patient care, program administration, program development, and community outreach. He works closely with a multidisciplinary team that comprises nursing, social work, pharmacy, chaplaincy, and medical specialties focused on strategy, implementation, and patient care. A long-standing active member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), Dr. Oyer is currently serving on the Board of Trustees. He is also an ex-officio Commissioner of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, representing the ACCC.

Dr. Oyer is serving co-chair of the Advisory Committee for the ACCC Optimal Care Coordination Model for Lung Cancer Patients on Medicaid education project. He is an active member of the ACCC Governmental Affairs Committee, participating in Capitol Hill visits and advocating on behalf of community cancer care. Previously, Dr. Oyer served as an Advisory Committee member for the ACCC Molecular Testing education project, and he has presented a several ACCC meetings.

In addition to his participation in ACCC, he has served as a member of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Ambulatory Payment Classification Panel and of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Clinical Practice Committee.

Dr. Oyer is a graduate of Georgetown University and Georgetown University School of Medicine.

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Diversity in Clinical Research Participation: The Promise of Patient and Community Engagement
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