FDA awards Yale medical school $3M for health equity work using EHRs

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The FDA's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity awarded a $3 million contract to the New Haven, Conn.-based Yale School of Medicine to study and enhance health equity in clinical trials using ambassadors and EHR data.

Four things to know:

  1. The study will focus on understanding contributing factors to mortality in minority populations, according to an Oct. 27 news release. It will use real-time COVID-19 data and EHRs to promote clinical trial data, integrate social determinants of health information at the community level, and understand how to communicate culturally appropriate COVID-19 research and awareness.

  2. Yale patients who may benefit from enrolling in a clinical trial, based on health data in their EHR, will be informed by their healthcare providers.

  3. The project is part of a memorandum of understanding the two organizations signed in April 2018 that helped advance the Yale Cultural Ambassadors Program. The medical school will continue to use ambassadors from the community to engage with the community, enhance trust and increase participation in clinical trials. For example, the medical school utilizes ambassadors from AME Zion Church, among the nation's oldest African American churches, to serve as expert resources and advise Yale researchers on how to best engage the community and raise awareness.

  4. "Participation by diverse communities is vital to ensuring that people who will ultimately use the medical products are included in the clinical trial to better understand how they will respond to the medical product," said Richardae Araojo, associate commissioner for minority health at the FDA. "Funding this study is another step toward achieving these goals by deepening our stakeholder engagement to help meet the needs of our communities."

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