ICTS Diversity Plan in Clinical Trials in Collaboration with Iowa Coalition for Clinical Research
Even though clinical trials are a critical component of developing new treatments for illnesses and diseases, it is often difficult to complete them due to a lack of patient volunteers. Many people simply don’t know that clinical trials could be an option for them, and even worse, many minority groups are not aware of how important it is to ensure they are represented in clinical trials.
Just a generation ago, almost all research was done on white males in the US. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in 2020, there still aren’t enough black, indigenous, and peoples of color (BIPOC) patients participating in clinical trials.?The FDA website notes that currently, 75% of trial participants are white, 11% are Hispanic, 8% are black?and 6% are Asian.
To ensure that new treatments and cures work for the intended patient community, everyone must be represented in clinical trials. It is incumbent upon researchers to actively seek out diverse participants. As an industry we need to break down the myths and barriers to participating in clinical research.
Iowa researchers are working together as part of the Iowa Coalition of Clinical Researchers to raise awareness about trials happening here in the state and to educate residents about why we need them to volunteer. More information on how trials work, open trials in the state and how to get involved can be found at www.iaclinicaltrials.com.
Participating in a clinical trial doesn’t just benefit a single patient, it benefits future generations of patients by revealing new treatments.
ICTS Diversity Plan Phase 1
Diversity and the Importance for Clinical Trials Research
Mission Statement for Diversity: Integrated Clinical Trial Services, Inc. (ICTS) strives to include all people from diverse backgrounds to participate in clinical trials research.
The staff and physicians at ICTS understand that various people may experience the same disease processes differently and have dissimilar reactions to the same treatments based on their gender, age, race, ethnicity, as well as many other factors. However, history has shown a great amount of inequity with inclusion of diverse populations within the clinical trials arena. It is essential that people of race, color, ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic status, gender and LGBTQI+ populations have been used against them which has created an inequity of trust with patients of diverse backgrounds within the medical community.
ICTS can’t change that history, However, ICTS has made a commitment to implement community outreach opportunities to develop trusting relationships with people of all colors and backgrounds etc. representing all patients. By doing so ICTS hopes to help lessen those health disparities in clinical trials by enrolling a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds to assist in representing people that will be generalizable to all populations so they too can benefit from scientific advantages.
Phase One Mission: Creating Pillars of Trust
The state of Iowa values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in creating a welcoming community for all. Des Moines' immigrant population was among the fastest growing in the country over the past decade. According to the Des Moines Register, “The number of foreign-born residents living in the metro increased from about 40,000 in 2010 to about 60,000 in 2019, one of the highest rates of growth in the United States during that period, according to a report released on May 26, 2021 by think tank Heartland Forward. That's more than a fifth of the metro's total estimated population growth from 2010-2019. The study ranked the Des Moines metro's immigrant population growth as the second-fastest of any metro area in the country during the last decade. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Des Moines minority population grew by 93% from 2010 to 2020.
To reestablish trust with diverse populations in the greater central Iowa area within the health care environment and clinical trial settings, ICTS has partnered with the Iowa Coalition for Clinical Research (ICCR) to seek out opportunities to educate, advocate and connect with populations of color, different ethnicities, gender, socioeconomic status and the LGBTQI+ communities.
Plan of Action:
Reach out to physicians of color and different ethnicities to determine their interest in participating in clinical trials. Onboard and educate those physicians and provide Sub-Investigator opportunities to those physicians without any clinical trial experience.
Execute involvement in diverse medical community outreach programs to educate those populations with different backgrounds.
Conduct focus groups of patients with diverse experiences to understand the various adversities to participating in clinical trials.
Identify, encourage, and include diverse clinical staff to join ICTS and deliver care to patients as staffing opportunities allow.
Identify, educate, and support Des Moines area advocacy groups such as:
Christ Apostolic Temple Community Outreach Services offers resources and services to residents in the Des Moines Iowa area for the purpose of alleviating the adverse effects of poverty.
Iowa Asian Alliance unites diverse Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities with the purpose of fostering economic growth and broader community development within the state of Iowa. The Alliance works to promote business and economic growth, community and cultural vitality, leadership, and educational advancement, with civic responsibility and engagement.
Latino Center of Iowa is a place where the Latino community can unite, develop leadership, and share its culture and heritage. It promotes culture and develops leadership and connections for the future of the Latino community in Central Iowa.
Lady Like inspires and empowers Black and African women in DSM and uses various facets to connect with women in efforts to fuel their desired commitment to the community while elevating local Black women talent and addressing the racial wealth gap through training, mentoring and entrepreneur support.
Lutheran Services in Iowa serves many ways in the community, including within the immigrant and refugee community.
One Iowa advances, empowers, and improves the lives of LGBTQ Iowans statewide. Their work includes education, training for healthcare professionals, law enforcement, leaders and others, advocacy for policies that protect the civil rights, health, and safety of LGBTQ Iowans, and cultivating LGBTQ leaders.
United League is a network of motivated donors who identify as Black or as allies, who are eager to address disparities in economic opportunity through volunteerism and advocacy. It is part of the United Way of Central Iowa.
Urban Dreams advocates for all members of the community, breaking down barriers to success and collaborating with key stakeholders to overcome obstacles and uplift underserved and underrepresented people. The organization provides numerous services and supports, job training and outpatient substance abuse treatment, among other vital supports.
Research in Your Backyard – The Iowa Coalition of Clinical Researchers/ICTS is teaming up with UnityPoint Health- Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines to host a brunch and dual perspective clinical research roundtable discussion. This event will allow researchers, physicians, health care providers, politicians, and clinical trial participants to discuss two perspectives of clinical trials. The first segment will include a group of people that represent a diverse population that have participated in clinical trials and the viewpoint of their experiences. This discussion is to provide an honest perspective of a clinical trial experience and to dismiss any myths or stigmas about clinical research. The second segment will include a group of researchers, community physicians, politicians and other health care professionals discussing the importance of clinical trials with an emphasis on diversity. The goal is to educate the greater DSM area about clinical trials and show them that this research is being performed within their community, “in your backyard.”