Jobani Negron discusses barriers to research and potential solutions to expand participation from the local Hispanic Community. Jobani Negron is a patient recruiter at ActivMed.
- In general, what interest do you see in clinical research from local Hispanic communities? Is it more or less than other demographic groups?
I feel there is less interest among Hispanic communities because these communities have many barriers, such as English-speaking skills, less knowledge about the specific language of clinical research, and the benefits of clinical research. In addition, there are fears of side effects, being uninsured or underinsured, and general mistrust. In many cases, there also can be a lack of transportation. The combined effects of these dynamics are significant.
- How important is it to have a Spanish speaker on the recruitment team?
It is very important to have a Spanish speaker on the recruitment team because of the comfort a potential research participant needs to feel when they are informed of the types of services the Alcanza team provides. People must feel the understanding to be able to engage.
- Have you witnessed specific concerns from Hispanic populations about clinical research participation? If so, what are they, and how does Alcanza address these concerns?
While engaging with the Hispanic population, I have encountered people’s interest in knowing more about clinical research participation. Alcanza can reach out and educate the Hispanic community, mainly by attending community events and employing Spanish-speaking employees in each department to be able to address the questions and concerns of Hispanic patients. Alcanza’s educational efforts emphasize the importance of health research. Like privacy, health research has high value to society. It can provide important information about disease trends and risk factors, outcomes of treatment or public health interventions, functional abilities, and patterns of care.
- What do you see as the barriers to research for Hispanic patient populations, and how can Alcanza help reduce those barriers?
The lack of knowledge, resources, information, and trust. Alcanza can help reduce the barriers by educating Hispanic patients and providing material and information in the Spanish language. Alcanza can hire more employees from the local Hispanic population, so this community will feel comfortable engaging in clinical research. The practice of hiring Spanish speakers across the organization is not only beneficial for the local community; it also provides Alcanza with a competitive edge as national demographic patterns shift.
Jobani Negron, Patient Recruiter
ActivMed Practices & Research, LLC