“You can talk about promoting diversity in the patient population, but you will get stuck if you don’t promote diversity in the clinical trial workforce,” said Sergio Armani, vice president and head of Large Pharma & CRO Business Development for Advarra. adding his voice to the growing chorus of thought leaders advocating the same idea.
There is a difference when Armani speaks, however, because when it comes to promoting diversity in the clinical trial workforce, he’s about to go the way … or more specifically, ride the bike.
Armani and co-pilot Rick Fisher, global director of Site Activation Managers at IQVIA, are preparing to travel 334 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia starting June 5 to ride until 11. The goal of the ACRP Ride for Diversity is to raise awareness and the means to promote clinical trials as a great career for underserved populations that are often excluded from current recruitment interviews, says Armani.
Armani is a member and treasurer of the ACRP Association Board of Trustees and is active in the ACRP’s Partners in Workforce Advancement initiative. He hopes the bike ride will help move both groups to greater heights to further diversity in the clinical trial workforce.
“I’m personally and professionally grateful for all of the recent conversations about diversifying patient and workforce populations in clinical trials,” says Armani, although he is quick to add that words without action are unlikely to get the job done. “My career in the clinical research industry has been extremely rewarding and enjoyable. It’s the least I can do if I pay it forward through this equestrian event. “
The time to act is now, says Armani. “It is important that we all come together to have this good, important fight,” he says. Diversifying the patient population and workforce in clinical trials is not only morally correct, it also improves the scientific integrity and impact of clinical trials through better reflection from all populations. “It is so clear that it is the right thing to do,” he adds.
Support the ACRP Ride for Diversity!
Would you like to make clinical research more diverse, more inclusive and fairer? You can help by making a donation to ACRP’s Ride for Diversity.
Armani notes that many African Americans in particular are understandably reluctant to conduct clinical trials, in part due to past patient abuse. “Minorities would feel a lot more comfortable taking part in a clinical trial if more minorities were taking part in the studies,” he says.
Armani and Fisher camp under the stars on their way southeast on the Great Allegheny Passage railroad from Pittsburgh to the junction with the C&O Canal towpath in Cumberland, Md., And then continue southeast along the Historic Canal and Potomac River to Washington, DC and another route across the river to Alexandria and the waterfront ACRP headquarters.
“The effort not to end this journey in any way is, of course, akin to the struggle that many minorities have had to compete for jobs in the US. However, if this helps to improve this situation a bit, it will be a success for everyone. Armani notices.
Author: Michael Causey