Meet Sandy. She is responsible for managing diversity in Pfizer’s clinical trials, striving for statistically diverse participant pools.
For those who are unfamiliar with what clinical trials are, Sandy explains that a clinical trial is a “research study where we are recruiting participants to evaluate the safety or efficacy of a medicine or vaccine before it’s readily available.”
As part of these research studies, it’s incredibly important to include people who are affected by the diseases we are aiming to treat. This is where Sandy comes in. In her role, she is focused on equity and inclusion, supporting Pfizer’s clinical teams to have the right representation of participants.
THE POWER OF DIVERSITY IN CLINICAL TRIALS
The goal of diversifying clinical trials is to better understand how a therapy or vaccine affects people of different ages, races, ethnicities and genders, in order to detect any safety or efficacy differences in particular populations.
In Sandy’s own words, “we have to let the science drive us,” and this is a philosophy we at Pfizer have built into the fiber of how we operate.
In addition to following the data, Sandy and her team also recognize the importance of community engagement, working with multicultural advocacy partners, medical institutions, and legislative organizations to educate and encourage people, who are highest risk or are historically underrepresented in clinical trials, to participate.
THE PERSONAL IMPACT OF HER WORK
For Sandy, having married into a “very large and loving Dominican family” and raising two Dominican children, her work hits particularly close to home.
“I want to make sure my family is represented in clinical trials, in healthcare systems and show our kids that hard work can change the world.”
Now working remotely, Sandy says it’s been comforting to be able to spend more time with her children and talk to them about her work. Just before Thanksgiving, she got a glimpse of exactly how her kids feel. They were both assigned gratitude projects for school, and each child shared, independently, that they were grateful for the work their parents do for Pfizer.
She, too, feels grateful for so many things this year, as hectic and challenging as it’s been. For her, after all, her work is personal.