Clinical trials are pathways to the discovery of effective new methods of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for many diseases, including cancer. In addition, the collection of biospecimens is a critical element in emerging genetic and biologic studies. However, evidence has shown that despite the increasing advances in newly developed novel and targeted biologic therapies and the compelling scientific and social justice arguments for participation by all populations, ethnic and racial minorities continue to be under-represented. One key reason noted is the lack of awareness minority populations have regarding research options. Through our Community Ambassador Training program, we established a connection with African American audiences by educating trusted community stakeholders and representatives about the importance of research participation and how the research process works. Working through community partners and building on prior research efforts, Community Health Educators (CHE) funded by NCI's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities recruited 21 African American lay educators (cancer and noncancer survivors) to participate in the study. Results from the training include changes in knowledge, attitudes, and intent to participate in research; dissemination reach; lessons learned; and next steps in our efforts to enhance and expand the program to address this gap in research participation.
Citation Format: Evelyn T. Gonzalez, Armenta Washington, Nestor F. Esnaola. Improving the community's understanding of research through lay ambassadors [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Tenth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2017 Sep 25-28; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2018;27(7 Suppl):Abstract nr A22.