Supporter Spotlight: Educational Video Series

Written by Ellyn Getz  
egetz@ciscrp.org

The general public and patient communities have been receiving a lot of information about how government agencies, private companies, and others are responding to COVID-19. However, there has been limited reliable information about why clinical trials are critical in developing new and promising treatments, and why participation in clinical trials is so important. And, most of the general public do not understand why these new treatments may take such a long time to bring to market, even as industry and other agencies try to speed up this process. Meanwhile, advocacy groups and sites are working hard to address general questions and concerns from patients and caregivers about the clinical research process. 

To help fill these knowledge gaps, CISCRP  in collaboration with 5 leading pharmaceutical companies  has developed short, objective, and engaging videos that cover the following themes:  

  • how new therapies are developed 
  • how clinical trials are changing to meet the current environment 
  • safeguards in place to protect study participants 
  • principles of participation that never change 

We are grateful to the passionate team of sponsors who have collaborated with us on developing and promoting this new series: Eli Lilly, Janssen, Takeda, Biogen, BMS, and Merck. These videos are widely available across digital and social media, and CISCRP has shared these videos with patient advocacy groups, sponsors, and sites around the country. The videos have also been translated into Spanish and Mandarin. We thank the many subject matter experts who recorded segments: Dr. Christina Brennan (Northwell Health)Sharie Douglas (iResearch Atlanta), Taylor Fipps Bayless (PMG Research/AccellaCare), Dr. Jonathan Jackson (Massachusetts General Hospital)Monica Mahatre  (iResearch Atlanta), Dr. Purvi Parikh (Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill), Dr. Belinda Tan (People Science)and Katherine Trejo (Emerson Clinical Research Institute). 

Since kicking off these animated videos in 2020, CISCRP has developed new clips aimed to assist patients and the public in understanding themes related to clinical research participation. We are currently developing more in Q2 of 2021. Our dedicated and talented Health Communication Services and Research Services teams are passionate about developing credible, neutral content to explain diverse and complex topicsWe have established a streamlined process to quickly turn around animated and live-action videos.

If you are interested in learning about our video capabilities and opportunities to collaborate, drop us a line at 617-725-2750 x320 or via email at egetz@ciscrp.org. 

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From the Editor

Dear Readers, 

As we share with you our first newsletter of 2021, we must acknowledge the harsh challenges that defined 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of life. It has disrupted the routines that we took for grantedand for some of us, it has brought deep and lasting loss. It has also highlighted the harsh racial inequalities that continue to existWe find as a society that there is healing needed on many levels. As we welcome the hope that comes from several promising vaccines, we are also reminded of the importance of clinical research. Further, we are reminded of the importance of clinical research education, and of ensuring equal access to information and to treatment across all communities. 

Like so many of our readers, the CISCRP staff has become used to a new way of working, of interacting. With our Boston office closed during the pandemic, we have explored different ways of communicating with each other, and importantly, of furthering our mission. We remain dedicated to helping people better understand clinical research and make informed decisions. As vaccines have taken center stage in the mediawe have recognized a need for more information about vaccine development and drug development in general.  

We are pleased to share some of the ways in which we have begun to address this need: 

  • Together with several leading pharmaceutical companies, developed a series of animated educational videos and clips about clinical research, including vaccine development
  • Supported “Operation Warp Speed” sponsors by volunteering our plain language expertise in the development of trial results summaries, medical journal articles, and other media 
  • Launched diversity and inclusion projects across our company to make sure that we engage under-served communities, listen to their voices, and develop our educational materials with their input 
  • Changed our AWARE for All program to a fully virtual model, including targeted educational content to address concerns about COVID-19 vaccines 

We continue to expand our service offerings and educational content to shine a light on the realities of clinical research. Especially during the pandemic, clear communication about clinical trials is critical. In this issue of our newsletter, we share a conversation with Medical Hero Jackie Zimmerman. Jackie knows well the roles of patient, trial participant, and patient advocate. Here, she shares how communicating with others about her MS diagnosis led her to become a patient advocate. 

In celebration of Medical Heroes like Jackie, CISCRP has kicked off this year’s Appreci-a-thon. We invited people to join this virtual fitness challenge starting March 1st of this year. The event runs through March 31st, so it is not too late to sign up!  

Coming up this Springwe will be offering 2 virtual AWARE for All events: a Northeast program on April 15, 2021, and a Northwest program on May 20, 2021.  

It is free to sign up for the Appreci-a-thon and the AWARE for All events. We hope you will join us as we continue to honor Medical Heroes and participate in important discussions about clinical research. Please visit our Events page for more information on these and other upcoming events. 

Thank you for your continued support as we build upon our existing resources and explore new ways to carry out our mission.  We look forward to connecting with you again in our Summer edition. 

Warm Regards, 

Brandis Pickard
Senior Manager, Editorial