Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Center for Community Health

Diverse Participation in Clinical Trials

Lack of participation of minorities in clinical trials is a key factor in continuing health inequities. Currently, few models exist of collaboration among multiple institutions and community partners to develop solutions that increase minority participation in clinical trials.

Northwestern’s Center for Community Health is currently collaborating with three other academic institutions in Chicago, on the “Diverse Participation in Clinical Trials” (DPCT) pilot project. Initially connected through their participation in C3 (a multi-institutional partnership among the universities in the Chicago area with Clinical and Translational Science Awards from the National Institutes of Health), the participating institutions include:

Through a call for proposals process, these collaborators provided funding and brought on Project Brotherhood* as the community partner to complete the DPCT project team. Consistent with Center for Community Health principles, our approach aims to address this public health concern via equitable engagement of community and academic partners.

The DPCT project continues transforming relationships among institutions engaged in health science research and the Chicago communities. Through this collaboration, we aim to:

* Project Brotherhood began in November of 1999 at Woodlawn Health Center, one of the Cook County Health and Hospital’s System, on the south side of Chicago. Project Brotherhood seeks to create a safe, respectful, male-friendly place where a wide range of health and social issues confronting black men can be addressed. The success of Project Brotherhood’s program depends on providing culturally competent and respectful services under the leadership of black men. Using a holistic definition of health, they aim to set a standard for design and implementation of community based programs that address the social determinants of health. Project Brotherhood defines health as the “complete physical, mental, social, economic and spiritual well-being, not merely the absence of disease.”