Exploring Health Equity: Speakers share thoughts ahead of DEI Conference

Jun 26, 2023

MassBio’s 2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference (Thursday, July 20 | MassBioHub & Virtual, 700 Technology Sq Fl 5, Cambridge, MA 02139) will shine a light on the topic of health equity and how clinical trial diversity is a meaningful and achievable step toward the equitable delivery of health care. Keynote speakers and panelists will examine aspects of health equity including attaining trial diversity, selecting diverse suppliers, and earning patient and community trust.

We asked our speakers what role does community engagement play in building trust and achieving health equity? Here’s what they had to say:

AB Square Placeholder

“Health inequities in the U.S. have deep roots that have existed for centuries. While there has been progress within the last few decades, we must come to the sober realization that if we are to be successful in achieving equitable access to healthcare, engaging with community leaders is essential. We have to be willing to go beyond the traditional passive partnerships and engage in active listening, while working alongside community organizations, to build trust and transform lives. This is one effective way to help ensure all people feel represented, respected and valued in the pursuit of better health.”

Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | US Region | Takeda
Keynote Speaker: Countering Reluctance and Inspiring Trust to Deliver Care and Save Lives

“Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) is something we all start with. Divisiveness is taught & learned. Through intentional efforts to embrace other, we will be able to realize that we all want to be heard, listened to and respected.  In the life sciences space, we can seek out opportunities for improvements on a continuous basis.  We can fail forward. There is no goal line to cross in DEIB as we will continue to advance and evolve to identify and lessen (or eliminate) inequities in marginalized communities because of race, gender, abilities, geography, or religion and improve the lives of all creating a more equitable world for us and future generations.”

Senior Program Manager, Supplier Diversity | Thermo Fisher Scientific
Possible Talk: Supplier Diversity Nuts & Bolts

“Social determinants of health (SDOH) have major impacts on health and quality of life and are key contributors to health disparities and inequities. They are usually grouped into 5 domains: economic stability; education access and quality; health care access and quality; neighborhood and built environment; and social and community context.1 In the Life Sciences, to improve health care access and quality, our efforts to consistently create innovative products and/or devices that address unmet medical needs must be steeped in the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) from start to finish. Our advocacy, development strategies, clinical trials/sites and data generation must be focused, intentional, and guided by the principles of DE&I, and our products must not only provide value to our patients, but also, be readily and equally accessible to all. This can only be achieved by developing transparent and trusting relationships with our patients and the communities from whence they come. These are critical prerequisites for all of us.”

Chief Medial Officer | Ardelyx
Panel Speaker: From Design to Recruitment: Achieving Clinical Trial Diversity to Deliver Equity in Drug Development

AB Square Placeholder

“Boston Medical Center is committed to creating equitable access to care and health equity in the communities we serve. Creating health equity and changing the trajectory of people’s lives, is not something that one organization can do on its own. What we have done at BMC with real success, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, is find those trusted voices in the community—from churches to community health centers to community based organizations—and collaborate with them. We understand that those who are closest to the issues should be closest to the solution. We can’t think that we can work harder and care more than diverse communities care about themselves, but we absolutely recognize the power we have to work with communities and their people to deliver health, economic mobility, and generational progress.“

Vice President of Community Engagement and External Affairs | Boston Medical Center
Keynote Speaker: From Charity to Equity: The BMC Model for Advancing Health Equity and Economic Mobility

To hear from these speakers (and others), participate in the workshop, expand your network, share personal experiences, and build relationships, register to attend the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference: Exploring Health Equity on July 20, 2023 in the MassBioHub.

See all MassBio News