Third Annual Diversity Summit at the 2011 BIO Convention Convenes to Discuss Disparities in Clinical Trials and Healthcare

For the third year in a row, the annual BIO International Convention kicks off with a Diversity Summit focused on healthcare issues facing underserved populations.</p>

  • WASHINGTON, D.C. (Tuesday, June 14, 2011) - For the third year in a row, the annual BIO International Convention kicks off with a Diversity Summit focused on healthcare issues facing underserved populations. This year’s theme is the lack of diversity in clinical trials, and how policy makers, medical professionals and the biotechnology industry can address these challenges. The Diversity Summit will feature a luncheon panel discussion at 12:00pm followed by a keynote from Dr. Augustus White, III, the first African- American graduate of Stanford Medical School and first African-American department head at Harvard Medical School. A networking reception at 2:00pm and book signing of Dr. White’s new book, “Seeing Patients,” will conclude the Diversity Summit.
  • “This year’s Diversity Summit focus on clinical trials is a crucial issue for the biotechnology community and the broader healthcare sector,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of BIO. “In order to develop the most effective treatments and cures in this age of increasingly personalized medicine, it is critical to see how different cutting edge therapies affect different populations. This Summit will further our aim to make our research as inclusive as our promise.”
  • Despite outreach and efforts to engage broad groups in clinical trials, people of color are often underrepresented in trials for new medicines, many of them cutting edge biotech therapies that are the next generation of treatments for devastating diseases and disabilities.  Dr. Augustus White, III will speak about these issues and other healthcare disparities during his keynote and discuss the steps that public and private thought leaders can take to reverse these biases.
  • “The bias in healthcare on both sides of the stethoscope has had a severe affect on medical care for decades,” said Dr. Augustus White III, author of Seeing Patients and keynote speaker at the Diversity Summit. “Throughout my career I have worked to break barriers within the medical profession, and now it is time for patients to break these same barriers and receive equitable treatment and care.”
  • Prior to Dr. White’s keynote at the Diversity Summit there will be a luncheon panel discussion, Clinical Trial Diversity: The Key to Innovative Medical Treatments moderated by Freda C. Lewis-Hall, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Pfizer. Panelists participating in the discussion include:
  •   Vivian W. Pinn, Ph.D., Director, Office of Research on Women’s Health, NIH
  • Gary A. Puckrein, Ph.D., President & CEO, National Minority Health Month Foundation  Inc.
  • Elena V. Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H., President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association and President, National Hispanic Health Foundation

The Diversity Summit is free but you must RSVP here to attend and there are no exceptions. Members of the media can register in advance here.  For more information on the 2011 Diversity Summit, please visit