KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Perla Nunes, a project leader with Duke University’s MURDOCK Study, recently detailed the study’s success in enrolling Latinos during a presentation at the nation’s top public health conference.
Nunes, who oversees community outreach and recruitment efforts for the MURDOCK Study, presented at the American Public Health Association’s 142nd Annual Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans. More than 13,000 people attended the four-day conference in November.
The MURDOCK Study, which is based at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, has enrolled 1,374 Latinos, or 12.5 percent of all participants. That’s up from 2 percent, thanks to grassroots efforts like translating all materials into Spanish, hiring more bilingual staff and offering flexible appointment times.
Nationally, Hispanics represent only about 1 percent of people enrolled in clinical trials, said Nunes, who presented “Engaging the Latino Community for Recruitment into a Large Population Registry and Biorepository” during the Latino Caucus of the APHA Annual Meeting.
“The feedback was very positive and people were very impressed,” she said. “The percentage of Hispanics that we have in our registry is considered quite a large number.”
The American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting & Exposition serves as the home for public health professionals to convene, learn, network and engage with peers. They share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research.
Duke now has 35 full-time employees, including 26 in Kannapolis, working on the MURDOCK Study and related population health research projects.
MURDOCK stands for the Measurement to Understand the Reclassification Of Disease in Cabarrus/Kannapolis. Duke launched the study in 2007 with a $35 million gift from David H. Murdock, founder and developer of the North Carolina Research Campus and chairman of Dole Foods.