Abbott (NYSE:ABT) announced that it is working with Women as One to launch a new physician training program.
The partnership aims to train more female and underrepresented physicians to pursue clinical trial research and to help recruit clinical trial participants from historically underrepresented groups.
Women as One is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote talent in medicine by providing women physicians with unique professional opportunities. According to a news release, Abbott provided funding to the organization to develop the new CLIMB Research program to provide skills training for underrepresented cardiologists.
Abbott said the new program builds upon the initiative it established last year for developing and creating a more inclusive clinical trial ecosystem in the U.S.
The CLIMB Research program, operated across six monthly sessions, includes a mix of instruction, case reviews and group discussions.
“Clinical trials are the basis of modern medicine and have the power to drive innovative therapies to fight diseases. Today, women and populations from under-resourced communities are vastly underrepresented in clinical trials,” Abbott EVP of Medical Devices Lisa Earnhardt, co-executive sponsor for the company’s Diversity in Research steering committee, said in the release. “Through our new partnership with the Women as One CLIMB Research skills training program, we are actively changing the trajectory of how underrepresented physicians address clinical trial care for underrepresented groups.”
Abbott said a key focus is increasing the number of diverse investigators leading trial sites, something that compounds the challenges of increasing enrollment in clinical studies. The training program is open to underrepresented groups such as women, Black, Native American, Asian, South Asian, Hispanic and non-binary cardiologists.
The funding provided by Abbott totals $150,000 for the CLIMB Research program, adding to the more than $5 million the company has committed since last year, which includes nearly 300 scholarships to medical schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and minority nursing associations.
Abbott also said it established a Diversity in Clinical Trials Medical Advisory Board and dedicated funding to increase diversity enrollment within its trials.
“Women and underrepresented groups are too often absent from industry-driven activities. Enhancing the representation of these groups leading clinical trials will have a direct impact on the number of diverse trial participants,” Women as One Founding Director Dr. Roxana Mehran said. “By advancing our training program with Abbott, we are actively increasing the number of diverse researchers in clinical trials to create a safe haven of trust to ultimately support underrepresented patients.”