Focusing on broad-based, sustainable outcomes that influence health policy in underserved populations MACHE utilizes the resources of the faculty and staff of the Wake Forest School of Medicine and collaborative partners to continually work to improve health equity outcomes.

The Integrating Special Populations (ISP) Program of the MACHE and the Clinical and Translation Science Institute (CTSI) aims to assist WFBMC investigators by increasing involvement of special populations in clinical studies. The program especially encourages research opportunities for:

  • Older adults (65 years of age and older)
  • Children and adolescents (17 years of age and younger)
  • Underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities

The goal of the ISP program is to offer services to support clinical studies in the inclusion of special populations to:

  • Meet the health needs of patients across diverse populations.
  • Increase knowledge about the extent to which different subgroups might respond to prevention.
  • Diagnose and treat diseases and assure the safety and effectiveness of prevention.

Program Services

Over the last decade, the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (WFBMC) has developed and implemented large-scale outreach programs targeting racial and ethnic minorities and older adults. These efforts, using well-established strategies and expertise, have supported numerous clinical trials to improve health care in these under-studied groups. Our well-established strategies include research-focused services:

  • Research Participant Navigation services supports non-English speaking participants in studies. The research participant navigator plays a key role as a liaison between the research team and the subject, guides study teams in the correct process of consenting non-English speakers, and provides extra sets of hands to support the study team with screening, recruitment and consenting of participants, patient management and other types of assistance involving special populations. The research participant navigator also helps guide non-English speaking participants throughout the research process by offering moral support and continuous interpreting, establishing trust, providing emotional support, and connecting participants to additional hospital and community resources.
  • The Voucher Program provides financial support for the recruitment of special populations by making funds available for participant transportation, child care, elder care and study advertisement. These resources aim to help studies increase the participation and retention of special population participants.
  • Consultation Services provides feedback on recruitment strategies for including special populations and reviews and advises on advertisement materials and media outlets. The MACHE team also provides feedback related to diversity sensitivity and offers strategies to increase the interest of special populations to participate in research.
  • Language Services supports studies through document translation, on-site interpretation and the use of the Video Remote Interpreting system, which connects participants (and their family members) with live, on-demand interpreters for 20 spoken languages, including American Sign Language.
  • Community Outreach and Education was established to create a presence in the community by participating in community events to educate the general public about the importance of participating in research, and to network with other community organizations to promote research participation.
  • The Be Involved en Español project advertises in Spanish for studies that are specifically trying to recruit Hispanics. Studies that are part of the Be Involved en Español project have access to all MACHE services and have access to bilingual research staff to seamlessly include Spanish-speaking participants.