With the participation of distinguished global speakers and strong attendance from Puerto Rico and International participants, the Puerto Rico Consortium for Clinical Investigation (PRCCI) hosted on October 28th and 29th its 2021 Summit, 3rd edition, titled: “Aligning Global Partnerships and Community Engagement with Clinical Research: Opportunities Beyond the Pandemic.”
The two-day virtual continued education event for healthcare professionals was led by Dr. Amarilys Silva Boschetti, PharmD, BSPharm, RPh; PRCCI Executive Director and 2021 Summit Chair. Keynote speaker Dr. Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, and 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002 to 2006) discussed- “COVID-19: The Great Divider, Uniter, and Accelerator”; also moderated the panel “Aligning Expectations with Global Realities.”
Dr. Carmona highlighted the pandemic’s impact on exposing, among others, the vulnerabilities of disadvantaged communities worldwide, the urgency to reflect on the experiences learned from the pandemic to promote a healthier, safer and more secure world and, the importance of clinical investigation for all sectors, specially the academia. His presentation further addressed the Puerto Rico perspective related to COVID-19, earthquakes and hurricanes and other socioeconomic factors influencing disparities.
Summit 2021’s agenda provided a diverse program format addressing core topics such as securing community engagement and community stakeholders for clinical services and research. Additional topics covered: refining and re-defining telemedicine and telehealth, globally partnered health clinics and training, sharing expertise remotely, on-going clinical intervention and, public health challenges.
Silva-Boschetti voiced PRCCI’s satisfaction on the insightful exchanges originated during the summit and the new partnerships that have emerged to continue promoting the importance of representative health and building collaborations between communities and the clinical investigation/healthcare ecosystem. She additionally emphasized the importance of communities’ participation in clinical studies to achieve scientific results with proper population representation.
As a clinical research expert, Dr. Silva-Boschetti commented on the criticality of expanding and updating educational efforts within the clinical research fields to facilitate access for patients to new treatments and therapies, with a potential to improve patients’ well-being.
PRCCI recognizes the support provided by many internal and external partners who contributed to the coordination and execution of this Summit including Dr. Lester Martínez López, MD, MPH, Chairman, PRCCI Board of Directors; Dr. Kenneth S. Ramos, MD, PHD, PRCCI Board Secretary, Executive Director, Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Alkek Chair of Medical Genetics, Professor of Medicine for his presentation and participation at panel discussion; Dr. Eric Cioe Peña, MD, MPH, Director, Center for Global Health, Northwell Health; Dr. Frances Santiago-Schwarz, PhD, Summit 2021 Scientific Committee Director, Center for Global Health, Northwell Health; event production and communications partners, PRCCI 2021 Summit organizing committee team under the leadership of Dr. Silva-Boschetti and the PR Science and Technology and Research Trust. Our appreciation for Ing. Lux E. Crespo, Chief Executive Officer, PR Science and Technology and Research Trust and Dr. Félix Daniel Rodríguez Schmidt, Deputy Secretary, PR Department of Health for joining us for the welcome remarks session along Dr. Kenneth S. Ramos.
Summit 2021 “Aligning Global Partnerships and Community Engagement with Clinical Research: Opportunities Beyond the Pandemic,” was co-sponsored by Northwell Health, Gold sponsors Merck USA, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI), University of Yale, FDI Clinical Research, PharmaLex miR Scientific LLC, AppLivio and Silver sponsors: Plan de Salud Menonita, RSM Puerto Rico and Advarra.