OAKLAND, Calif., January 22, 2018 (Newswire) –Bridge Clinical Research and Stanford Precision Health for Ethnic and Racial Equity Center (SPHERE) held their Precision Health Town Hall meeting for the East Bay Area community on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.
“The leadership and expertise of community partners such as Bridge Clinical Research have helped us understand the community’s perception and concerns regarding Precision Health. For African-American communities, we were able to confirm the importance of trust and also that many community members are willing to participate in research addressing health disparities,” said Rhonda McClinton-Brown, executive director for Office of Community Engagement Center for Population Health Sciences.
In 2016, Stanford University launched SPHERE, one of the first national centers funded by National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, to focus on using precision-medicine tools to improve the health of underserved ethnic and racial groups. SPHERE’s transdisciplinary approach to precision health calls for innovative engagement models that can be adapted to the complexities of the research projects and to the various stakeholder groups.
At the town hall meeting, Dr. Owen Garrick discussed the demographic characteristics for all five ethnic groups and the five emerging themes from those groups: the understanding of precision health; knowledge of genetic testing; willingness to participate in precision health research; fears and concerns, and strategies for increasing awareness about precision health. We also received ample feedback from the community on our drafted Precision Health ethical guidelines, which will eventually serve as a set of standards directing researchers in their work to address cultural factors and concerns about participation in precision health research.
“I think the Precision Health Town Hall meeting for the community was a great start to fostering trust between health professionals and the community. At the town hall meeting, I was able to share my need for more clarity on how Precision Health will benefit me, my family and my community. Most importantly, I felt that I was truly being heard,” Asha Vitatoe, director, Mentoring in Medicine and Science.