New Haven, CT and Los Angeles, CA – March 1, 2023 – Jumo Health, the global provider of age appropriate, culturally sensitive medical education, announced today that, together with the I Choose Life Foundation (ICLF), it has expanded its health equity service line to include the recruitment and retention of people of color in clinical trials.
To guide their pharmaceutical and biotech customers as they endeavor to develop culturally responsible medications, Jumo Health and ICLF have amassed a national network of more than 2,000 churches that primarily serve Black congregations. Those 2,000 churches, which are located across the United States, have more than 500,000 members.
This group of a half million people offers rare access to a community that is historically underrepresented in clinical trials. While approximately 14% of the United States population is Black, the community only makes up approximately 5% of clinical trial participants. There has been a long history of medical and research-related abuse of African Americans in the US, including the USPHS Syphilis Study at Tuskegee and treatment of Henrietta Lacks. This mistreatment has led to decades of mistrust of the health care system by the Black community, which when combined with limited access to health care and difficulty reaching clinical research sites, has resulted in a severe lack of participation in clinical trials.
“Jumo Health explains difficult medical concepts in ways people can understand and act upon,” stated Kevin Aniskovich, President and CEO of Jumo Health. “With a keen understanding of health literacy, how various communities consume information, and the importance of storytelling, we ensure that people can ‘see themselves’ in the information provided; critically important when serving communities that have been historically overlooked by government and industry,” continued Aniskovich.
On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged these disparities and recently issued draft guidance that will soon require pharmaceutical companies to create a “Race and Ethnicity Diversity Plan” for each new drug in development to “enroll representative numbers of participants from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the United States, such as Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color, in clinical trials.”
“There’s no reason that my community accounts for 14% of the United States’ population yet we are only 5% or less of those participating in clinical trials,” shared Tony Wafford, President and CEO of ICLF. “Over 70 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane’. The Black community can no longer be left behind when it comes to culturally competent education, recruitment and Black retention in clinical trials and research. Through this partnership, I Choose Life Foundation and Jumo Health—we’re going to turn that narrative around! My goal is to make the Black community self-conscious agents of their own health and wellness,” concluded Wafford.
“Having met during our work on a COVID-19 clinical trial, Tony and I quickly realized that by working together we could have a positive impact on the standard social determinants of health,” said Aniskovich. “COVID-19 was infecting Black and Hispanic people at 3.5 times the rate of the general public yet participatory representation within those communities was embarrassingly low; we knew our energy and effort in developing best in class solutions in concert with community partners was to be our top priority,” said Aniskovich.
To support its education and newly formed community recruitment and outreach efforts, Jumo Health has formed a Community Advisory Recruitment and Engagement Solutions Council (the CARES Council) comprised of Black leaders across the country including its founding Council members:
- Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley – Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC), Alexandria,VA
- Rev. Dr. Marcus D. Cosby – Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston, TX
- Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes III – Friendship-West Baptist Church, Dallas, TX
- Rev. Dr. John E. Jackson, Sr. – Trinity United Church of Christ, Gary, IN
- Rev. Oliver Buie – Warren Chapel, Los Angeles, CA
Working together, Jumo Health, ICLF, and the CARES Council seek to ensure that Black participants are appropriately represented in future clinical trials.
About I Choose Life Foundation
The mission of I Choose Life Foundation is to improve the health and well-being of the African American community through addressing health disparities in five interrelated areas: Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure (hypertension), Mental Health, Obesity Cancers and STI’s. Drawing on its life-affirming culture, values, and internal resources; the community will become effectively informed, organized and will engaged in cooperative health care and prevention projects focused on choosing life and rejecting ideas and actions which lead to health deterioration and death. Learn more at www.ichoose-life.com.
About Jumo Health
Jumo Health develops age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, and relatable educational resources for patients and caregivers. We have experience serving diverse populations, covering more than 160 health topics across 75+ countries and 90+ languages – and we’re always expanding! Our multicultural offerings are designed to explain the latest in evidence-based literature using highly visual elements so that everyone can understand complex medical topics. We use familiar mediums to ensure this – from comic books and animation to virtual reality experiences and authentic documentary-style patient stories – all tailored based on age and audience. Jumo Health collaborates globally with more than 180 advocacy groups and community organizations to ensure an authentic patient experience is accurately represented. For further information, visit www.jumohealth.com.