Candrice Heath, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and one of two inaugural Faculty Scholars in the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OHEDI) at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, has been selected to join a distinguished group of physicians to receive a Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Award (Winn CDA). The announcement was made today by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, together with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. Dr. Heath was selected as a Winn Scholar in recognition of her outstanding professional achievements and promise as a community-oriented clinical researcher.
The Winn CDA is one of two awards offered by the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Awards Program, which aims to train, develop and mentor more than 580 diverse and community-oriented clinical trialists and medical students by 2027. Dr. Heath is one of 64 physicians selected as a Winn Scholar in the program’s second cohort, bringing the total to 116 participants in the program’s second year. She is one of only two dermatologists to be selected as a Winn Scholar.
“I’m honored to be a recipient of this award,” said Dr. Heath. “This multi-million dollar, transformative investment in giving physicians, like me, the tools needed for excellence in clinical research and increasing diversity in clinical trials by partnering with the communities we serve will be career-changing and will truly positively impact marginalized patients across the nation.”
The goal of the Winn CDA is to increase the diversity of patients enrolled in clinical trials, and ultimately to enhance the development of therapeutics for all populations. The program collaborates with communities to facilitate an approach to clinical and translational research that is community-informed, designed and conducted. The Winn CDA program offers a comprehensive and integrated approach to increasing diversity in clinical trials through workforce development by supporting the training and development of diverse clinical investigators who will engage with underserved communities where underrepresented patients receive care.
“As one of our OHEDI Faculty Scholars, Dr. Heath is a champion of DEI initiatives at the Katz School of Medicine and at Temple Health, providing not only leadership but mentorship for our black and brown students,” states Amy J. Goldberg, MD, FACS, Dean, Lewis Katz School of Medicine. “She is so very deserving of this honor, and I am proud to have her as a member of our faculty.”
The Winn CDA is a 2-year program designed to support the career development of early-stage investigator physicians underrepresented in medicine, and physicians who have a demonstrated commitment to increasing diversity in clinical research, to become independent clinical trial investigators who are engaged in advancing health equity through their research and mentoring.
The program provides Winn Scholars with sponsorship, training, mentoring, resources and a network to support their development as a clinical investigator. Recipients receive training in investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored clinical trials and in community outreach and engagement.
Winn Scholars will also mentor medical students from groups underrepresented in medicine who join the Robert A. Winn Clinical Investigator Pathway Program, a six-week community site-based immersion program. Each Winn Scholar will be matched with a student who shares their interests and who will learn from their experience.