The Office of Health Communications and Health Disparities

Research: The Key to Improved Results for Everyone

When most people think of research, they think about scientists in white lab coats huddled over a little dish of cells.  But that is only one kind of research…usually called basic science.  There are many other kinds of research too.  The OHCHD is involved in program-oriented research that is more focused on people and their relationship to health information and health care.   And Fox Chase is also a leader in clinical trials research, which involves people to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medical devices, drugs or treatments.

OHCHD's Program-Oriented Research

We are particularly interested in how best to reach people with health care information and help them become strong partners in their own health care.  We know that the answers might not be the same for all groups of people.  That is why many of our research projects take place in the community with the different populations that live in our area.  A few examples of current or recently completed research projects are:

  • Project SOURCE (Strengthening Our Understanding of Research through Community Engagement): Community dialogues with African-American and Hispanic/Latino groups to learn what people think about biomedical research and what their concerns about participating in such research are.
  • Text for Health:  A project to test whether receiving text messages encourages women to keep their scheduled appointments for mammograms on the mobile screening unit.
  • Clinical Trials Communication Tool Testing:  A project to get feedback from English-speaking Hispanics on a new way to talk to patients about participating in clinical trials.   

Clinical Trials Research

Did you know that just about every single drug on the market today is there because of clinical trials? Did you know that clinical trials taught us what doses of those drugs to take, and how often, to be most effective? Without clinical trials, we wouldn't even have aspirin.

When it comes to cancer, clinical trials are critical to the discovery of effective new methods to prevent, diagnose and treat it. Clinical trials can involve both sick and healthy individuals. But evidence shows that only a small percentage of eligible people participate in clinical trials, and that an even smaller percentage of ethnic and racial minority groups do. But for clinical trial results to be effective for everyone, everyone must participate!

To increase enrollment in clinical trials, Fox Chase has launched its "Be the Breakthrough Campaign". OHCHD is supporting this campaign by designing and testing new ways to reach out to and educate diverse populations about clinical trials participation.

To learn more about clinical trials in general, call (215) 214-1618.
See what clinical trials we offer at Fox Chase.

If you want to learn more about our department or how you can partner with us, please contact us at 215-728-3110 or e-mail us at