The Maryland Center for Health Equity in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland in College Park has launched a new online educational program that seeks to help close the racial health gap by providing culturally tailored information to Blacks and other minorities on health research. The program, entitled Building Trust Between Minorities and Researchers, offers information targeted at minorities about participation in research and clinical trials.
Medical research is hampered by distrust of the medical establishment in many minority households. “We need to overcome this legacy by rebuilding trust between the minority community and researchers,” says Stephen B. Thomas, director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity. “Community participation in research is key in contributing to the health of future generations.”
Sandra C. Quinn, the senior associate director of the center, adds, “The decision about whether or not to participate in research is complex and personal. Rather than telling people they should run out and join the next research study they find, we provide the resources and information they need to make that decision themselves. The other key is to make sure that they have the opportunity to be asked to join a study.”