Kansas City,
08:00 AM

Children’s Mercy Research Institute Announces Sponsorship from Johnson & Johnson and Noah’s Bandage Project to Increase Diversity in Pediatric Cancer Clinical Trials at Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Children’s Mercy Research Institute (CMRI) announced a combined sponsorship from Johnson & Johnson* and Noah’s Bandage Project of nearly $640,000 to increase education and awareness of racial disparities in pediatric clinical trials.  

“Diversity in pediatric research means ensuring all children and families regardless of race, ethnicity, language, economic status, education level, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation have an opportunity to participate in research,” Andrea Bradley Ewing, Director of Community Engaged Research at Children’s Mercy, said. “This funding will allow us to start to eliminate barriers to trial recruitment and participation, ensuring effective interventions and treatments that benefit all children.”

This three-year project will start with the development of a Pediatric Cancer Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Research Toolkit and pilot study with aim to:

·       Broaden the scope of pediatric cancer research to include a focus on coping, social determinants of health, cancer survivorship, and quality of life to enhance the opportunities for more children and families with diverse backgrounds to participate in research regardless of cancer diagnosis, or available treatment clinical trials.

·       Create new protocols to ensure all families are invited to participate in research.

·       Provide ongoing DEI training for cancer researchers and staff, including information on pediatric cancer disparities, implicit bias, microaggressions, and culturally sensitive communication and recruitment strategies.

·       Establish partnerships with existing community engaged research and advocacy groups, including the CMRI Community Advisory Board to provide ongoing support for research teams to engage communities in their research processes (e.g., intervention design, recruitment approaches, study dissemination).

“We are so excited to be a part of this initiative and felt this was the perfect way to honor Noah’s legacy of spreading kindness to all children,” Deb Wilson, Noah’s mother and Noah’s Bandage Project Co-Founder said. “Noah was well beyond his time at age six and began collecting fun bandages for his new friends on the cancer floor because he felt they were a way to express their unique identity and self-expression though colorful badges of honor.” 

The project aligns with Johnson & Johnson’s “Our Race to Health Equity” (ORTHE) initiative to address underrepresentation in healthcare.