National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine: Preparing the Future Workforce in Drug Research and Development

Last fall, Blayne Cutler, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Heluna Health, participated in a workshop called “Preparing the Future Workforce in Drug Research and Development,” with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Cutler featured in panel discussions and is quoted extensively in the workshop proceedings, which were recently published.

One of the panels centered on the current state of the clinical trials workforce. During this discussion, Cutler stressed the importance of a community-based workforce and of hiring people from within the communities they serve to provide culturally relevant and community-centered care.

“With training on science and clinical trials, these individuals can serve as translators and communicators between the scientific world and the community at large,” the proceedings note.

Cutler also commented on the importance of understanding how the history and lived experiences of a community can influence or change people’s interest in participating in clinical trials, studies and other public health programs.

“Communities have long historical memories,” Cutler said during the discussion.

She cites the Tuskegee syphilis study and how that experience underscores that scientists understand how history has affected communities and how that may in turn affect efforts to be trustworthy and build trust.

In order for scientists to communicate effectively with people, they need to understand the perspective of the other party, Cutler said.

Click here to read the proceedings.