Erica Campbell of the Get Up Morning Show got involved with the All of Us Research Program campaign to help spread the word about why it’s important for more African American people to get involved in research studies. According to statistics, 40% of people in the United States identify as people of color yet the data from medical research is mostly 80%-90% white.
In an interview with Conchita Burpee, Campbell gets to the root of why it’s important for more African Americans to participate in research studies.
“Disparities have been in the community a very long time. The All of Us Research Program is working to bridge that gap by building the largest and most diverse resource ever that includes all those groups who have been left out in the past,” says Burpee.
Burpee, who serves as the marketing and community engagement consultant at the Cobb Institute for the All of Us Research Program acknowledges that historically Black people have not had a good track record with medical research studies in the United States. However, it’s time for a change.
Black people are dying of coronavirus at higher rates, Black people die of heart disease at higher rates, Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than their white counterparts, and so on. With more knowledge of why certain groups of people are more likely to get a particular disease and react to that disease or treatment differently, health professionals could potentially save more lives.
“What we ask is let us prove the trust, not belabor it, and we feel that African Americans right now, we’re not at the table when it comes to research when it comes to understanding and knowing the importance of research study and what it can bring to families,” says Burpee. “And if people of color are not at the table for research studies then, unfortunately, there can be serious consequences…the value of participating in this study is huge. We can learn more about personalized risk structures and factors. This is an opportunity for us to understand the disease and improve the health of families and generations to come.”