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Clinical Trials Day 2024

“Can you please raise your hand if you’ve ever participated in a research study?” asked a man to a crowd of roughly 200 people. Several hands shot up, while others looked around with curiosity. Conversations throughout the group buzzed with questions—Are these studies really safe? What did you learn from your study? Why should I trust you? Baltimore community members and Johns Hopkins researchers discussed the answers to those questions while children enjoyed a moon bounce and mingled with the Baltimore Orioles mascot.

It was May 11, a sunny Saturday afternoon at Eager Park—a park in the shadows of the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore campus. The occasion? Clinical Trials Day, a day designated to raise the awareness about clinical trials. Colorful tents dotted the park, each manned by Johns Hopkins researchers and community organizations, with posters and other materials about clinical research. Leaders of the CONNECT study enthusiastically shared their goals and their commitment to transparency in disclosing study results. At the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) Community Research Advisory Council table, a diverse collective of community members, patients and Johns Hopkins employees, readily explained to a visitor how they help study teams interpret and disseminate research findings back to the community.

As a drummer played in the background, guests received eye exams and blood pressure screenings. A marching band and DJ offered additional entertainment. At the end of the afternoon, guests dispersed with tote bags containing items from the various tables and pictures taken in the photobooth. While exiting the park, a gentleman remarked that he gained some good information and that it felt nice to speak to everyone in-person.

Less than 2 weeks later on May 20, Clinical Trials Day celebrations were held throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine stretching from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, to Green Spring Station in Timonium, Maryland. The ICTR and the Johns Hopkins Office of Clinical Trials sponsored these events to allow even more patients and staff an opportunity to learn more about clinical research.

A patient stopped by the Johns Hopkins Hospital table after leaving an appointment with her provider. She happily described her experience as a research participant and recalled signing plenty of forms. Another patient wanted to know how to search for a trial to join and a volunteer walked him through the process.

Clinical research professionals on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus table showed an interest in the resources and services that can aid in their work. Representatives from the ICTR Clinical Research Units provided an overview of the units and safety measures in place to protect all participants. After grabbing a few pieces of candy and talking to others at the table, a pair of research coordinators commented that these types of events are important.

We agree, these types of events are VERY important.

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Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research ICTR  | [email protected]

Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Clinical Trials  |  [email protected]

Article by Crystal Williams & Emma Smith

Images courtesy of JHU Staff