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Letitia Murray says young people need to be included in health discussions

As the director of CVS Health Clinical Trial Services, she helped to organize an interactive forum alongside their partners

Letitia Murray is the director, patient recruitment diversity and equity, CVS Health Clinical Trial Services where she is always finding new ways to increase recruitment. One of the most recent events she helped to orchestrate was the CVS Health Cultural Exhibition and Celebration where she invited medical professionals and the creative community to come together and brainstorm ideas to deliver better health care to communities.

Atlanta is known as a creative hub for actors, artists, media professionals, and content creators, so she recruited them to participate in an interactive conversation to help better educate Black and Brown communities on heath options.

Murray shared how the event impacted her personally and why the younger generation and creative professionals should be included in health discussions.

How did the CVS Health Cultural Exhibition and Celebration impact you personally?

Part of my work over the last 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry has really been centered around the needs of the community. I see myself as a facilitator and a connector. So, my life’s work really has been focused on what can I use in terms of the skills and talents that I’ve been given, to really help connect my community with opportunities to participate in clinical trials. Oftentimes, there are gatekeepers who can impact our ability to know more about clinical research. In terms of advancing healthcare and science, it’s critically important that we have a seat at the table as we are advancing medicine so that we can ensure that we will use those drugs to go to market and that we are also on the side of being the beneficiaries of that. So, this work is really actually quite close and near and dear to my heart.

Why should we involve the younger generations and creatives in health discussions? 

One [it] is very important. As you can see showcased here tonight, our young generation is our future. We also know as it relates to cultural awareness and being able to engage in our community, that art, songs, dance, and jokes are all things that bring us together as a community. It’s also a place where we can also have deep meaningful conversations, but it doesn’t always have to be boring or serious. So, I think the creative and performing arts community really brings in that bit of a balance, which allows people to just ingest some of this information in a way that they can identify and connect with and the experience, right? Our deepest memories are all about experiences and so that was very important to bring that to life,

What do you want people to take away from this experience?

I would say the first thing is, you saw individual research professionals connecting with everyday ordinary people. So, we want the community to know that you have Black and Brown members of the community that are engaged in research. The second thing I hope that people take away is that they are empowered to be proactive in engaging their doctors and family members in discussions about clinical research. Then last but not least, what I really hope is that, as a community, we continue the conversation. We continue to support each other, and we keep an open mind about clinical research. It’s not for everyone. However, in those moments when you have an opportunity, I would say consider it.

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