Cancer impacts all of us, but clinical trials to improve cancer care do not currently serve all of us Equitably

SWOG and The Hope Foundation, in collaboration with Genentech, have launched a multi-phased, multi-year initiative to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) among SWOG leadership, membership, and throughout its cancer clinical trials. The projects detailed below are ongoing efforts.

Realizing DEI In Leadership

Charles D. Blanke, MD“Efforts to ensure widespread SWOG engagement with diversity, equity, and inclusion—DEI—must start at the top.” – SWOG Group Chair, Dr. Charles Blanke

In the SWOG strategic plan 2019-2024, one aspect of the Group’s vision is to remain a national and international leader in practice-changing clinical research through diversity and inclusion in leadership. In pursuit of that goal, SWOG has engaged a firm, Pope Consulting, to assess where leadership currently stand with DEI attitudes, practices, policies, and resources; and to help the Group plot its path forward.

In phase 1 of the work, Pope has been performing a maturity analysis to assess the current state of and vision for DEI within SWOG leadership. This phase included 15 hour-long interviews with a select set of SWOG executive officers, committee leaders, and senior staff to gather information as part of an analysis of DEI structures and systems in the group. An online focus group, visioning, and training have been underway.

[email protected], Module 6: Improving Diversity and Representativeness of SWOG Cancer Research Network Clinical Trial Participants

In spring of 2021, we funded our first career grant specific to furthering DEI efforts across our network trials. Awarded to Patricia Robinson, MD, the DEI Career Development Award provides the opportunity to lead a network-wide project designed to increase the diversity of SWOG trials. Robinson’s efforts will include assisting with the rollout of a member training program called [email protected], Module 6: Improving Diversity and Representativeness of Clinical Trial Participants.

Team [email protected] Module 6 Field Guide

Team [email protected] Module 6 Methodology

The implementation of Module 6 – along with related efforts to network with advocacy groups to engage diverse patient communities – is a partnership between the SWOG patient advocate and recruitment and retention committees, chaired by Rick Bangs, MBA, and Allison Caban-Holt, PhD, respectively. These efforts are centered around increasing diversity in cancer trial participants, and leading significant organizational change to ensure members are equipped to do so. To build additional capacity for these efforts, a team of DEI Research Champions were brought on board for 2022. Learn more about their role via the links below.

About SWOG DEI Research Champions Inaugural DEI Champions Announced

Minority/Underserved Recruitment Initiative: A Pilot Grant Program for Improved Outreach & Accrual

In spring 2021, we kicked off this NCORP-focused initiative with a 2-hour virtual symposium for information gathering and shared learning, serving as a springboard for research ideas to test promising accrual strategies across network sites. Funding for five initial pilot studies will be announced in 2022. 

View Pilot Grant Opportunity

The symposium featured 2 rounds of site presentations, each followed by a brief panel discussion. Participating sites included: (session 1) Hawaii Minority Underserved NCORP, Upstate Carolina NCORP, Columbia University MU NCORP, Montefiore Medical Center MU NCORP, and (session 2) New Mexico MU NCORP, Stroger Hospital of Cook County MU NCORP, Puerto Rico MU NCORP, Baptist Memorial Healthcare/Mid South MU NCORP.

Compiled Symposium Slide Presentations

NCORP Special Symposium: Improving Representation in Cancer Clinical Trials from The Hope Foundation on Vimeo.

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