Dr. Lora-Ellen McKinney knows that world-class cancer treatments require world-class research. As a volunteer member of Fred Hutch's Institutional Review Board (IRB), she evaluates the design and conduct of our clinical trials to make sure Fred Hutch research meets the highest standards.
In clinical trials, researchers must first glean information about how treatments work from small groups of patients, so it's imperative that patients in these trials reflect the diversity of the wider population as much as possible. Lora-Ellen believes in sharing medical breakthroughs with all, and her IRB role enables her to support clinical trials designed to include ethnically diverse participants.
Lora-Ellen's role in the IRB is an outgrowth of her lifelong work as a community-oriented trailblazer. Her wide-ranging career as a researcher, child clinical psychologist, policy analyst and hospital administrator working with at-risk children and minority patients taught her how diversity in research benefits health care. She even served as the first African American page in the Washington State Legislature.
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To devise brilliant methods to treat and prevent cancer, "you absolutely must have researchers willing to imagine and investigate crazy ideas, and Fred Hutch scientists do this incredibly well," Lora-Ellen says. "Fred Hutch gives hope," she says.
Lora-Ellen knows that innovation leads to hope and requires philanthropic support, which is why she is providing for Fred Hutch through a bequest in her will. Her gift will provide Fred Hutch with resources to engage African American participation in clinical trials for cancer and infectious diseases.
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