This Program Aims to Boost Hispanic Participation in Clinical Trials

“Our visits and our clinics in Brownsville, Harlingen, Laredo, and Eagle Pass have more than doubled.”

By Joy DiazAugust 8, 2016 11:25 am

Texas A&M University and Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi have announced they’ll be partnering to bring a new clinical research program to South Texas. The Global Institute for Hispanic Health aims to bring clinical trials more in line with the state’s changing demographics.

Eric Hamon, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Driscoll Children’s Hospital, says that it’s important for trials to more closely reflect the state’s population so that researchers can study the effectiveness of drugs and treatments for different groups of people.

“For different populations, different geographies, how you approach the delivery of care is different,” Hamon says. “Long-term, that will improve and prevent disease for that particular group.”

Clinical trials are a key step in developing medical strategies, he says.

“Sometimes these studies can show which medical approaches work best for certain illnesses or groups,” Hamon says. “What’s interesting is that every single cancer treatment once started with a clinical trial.”

Outreach and awareness have boosted Hispanic and Latino participation in these clinical trials, Hamon says.

“Our visits and our clinics in Brownsville, Harlingen, Laredo, and Eagle Pass have more than doubled,” he says. “Basically, it’s boots on the ground, going out, outreach and getting those patients through the front door.”

Eventually, Hamon says, the project will have an impact on health care throughout the world, not just Hispanics in South Texas.

“As this evolves, there’s no telling the impact once we go through the clinical trials and find new ways of providing preventive care to this population,” Hamon says. “It could impact not only south Texas, (but) Texas, the U.S., and worldwide at some point in the future.”

Listen to the full interview in the player above. 

Post by Alexandra Hart.