EMPACT timeline

About Us

For the first time ever, a consortia system national in scope has come together to develop and implement a coordinated approach to address minority accrual into cancer clinical trials on multiple levels.

EMPaCT (Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials) offers a new, integrated approach to address these important issues through a collaborative of five academic institutions:

We are funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and partnered with the American Cancer Society.

This consortium is developing and implementing a comprehensive effort with national scope to enhance clinical trial recruitment and retention in the United States by

  • utilizing a number of innovative  methods to reach racial and ethnic minority populations to promote their trust in the health care system
  • improving  health literacy, cultural competency and linguistic proficiency through aids to navigation of the health care system
  • empirically testing recruitment strategies
  • fostering collaborations of cancer centers, the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)-funded health disparities program, and the American Cancer Society.

Our goals are fully aligned with the strategic priorities of the NIMHD strategic plan as well as the TransNIH Summit on the science of eliminating health disparities.

Each of the five consortium institutions represents a distinct U.S. region and has both a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded cancer center and a National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)-funded health disparities program. Each cancer center serves a patient population with ethnic and racial composition reflective of its geographic region, therefore providing the ability to develop and evaluate recruitment and retention efforts for each major US ethnic/racial population group.

Our efforts will provide the infrastructure that will pay dividends for years to come and potentially be one of the few trans-NIH initiatives to actively transform the clinical trial recruitment and outcomes landscape and reduce health disparities.

The consortium for (EMPaCT) was established in 2009. Over two years, the consortium implemented qualitative assessments of barriers and facilitators of minority recruitment and retention into cancer clinical trials and quantitative assessments of minority accrual across all five EMPaCT sites. Our work was guided by a conceptual framework that highlights the multiple levels upon which barriers and facilitators to minority recruitment and retention occur.

Our Leadership

EMPaCT includes five regional Cancer Centers: 1) University of Minnesota (Midwest); 2) University of Alabama at Birmingham (Southeast); 3) Johns Hopkins University (East); 4) University of Texas MD Anderson (South); 5) University of California, Davis (West).
Two of these institutions, UMN and UAB, serve as the lead institutions, coordinating all EMPaCT objectives, initiatives, and evaluation.

Region I (East) is led by Johns Hopkins University with participation by the Kimmel Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, and the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, an NIMHD-funded center of excellence. This region has a distinctive focus on African American accrual. Local lead is Dr. Jean G. Ford.

Region II (Southeast) is led by UAB, an institution that has been a mainstay and a leader in cancer care and health disparities, with participation by the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center. This region has a focus on African American accrual. This region is led by EMPaCT PI Dr. Mona N. Fouad, and by Co-PIs, Dr. Raegen Durant and Dr. Michelle Martin.

Region III (Midwest) is led by UMN, which has an extensive history of community engagement of Native Americans and African Americans within the upper Midwest. The University of Minnesota’s efforts are led by EMPaCT PI Dr. Selwyn Vickers and Dr. Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, Director of the Center for Health Equity.

Region IV (Southwest) is led by Dr. Lovell A. Jones, Director of the Center for Research on Minority Health (an NCMHD-funded center of excellence), at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. This region has a focus on accrual of Latinos/Hispanics.

Region V (West) is led by the University of California-Davis with participation by the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, and a disparities research program project co-funded by the NIMHD. Local lead is Dr. Moon S. Chen, Jr., Associate Director for Cancer Control at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.  This region has a focus on Asian American accrual.