Yale Center for Clinical Investigation: Reverends Perry & Clayton

Here is Renee's interview with Reverend Leroy Perry, Pastor at St. Stephens AME Zion Church in Branford, and Reverend Elvin Clayton, Pastor at Walter's Memorial Church in Bridgeport.

They chat about how they encourage members of their congregation to participate in Yale's clinical trials, in order to benefit their families and their community. They also discuss how they promote being proactive with health and taking a holistic approach to better the lives of everyone in the community.

Listen to the complete interview here:

Reverend Leroy Perry, Pastor at St. Stephens AME Zion Church, Branford, CT

The Reverend Dr. Leroy O. Perry is the Pastor of St. Stephens AME Zion Church. He earned his BA from Livingstone College, his MDiv from Yale Divinity, STM and doctoral degree from New York Theological Seminary in New York City.

He served on Mayor O'Leary's commission for diversity study for the City of Waterbury, and as chairman of the Clergy Support committee for Waterbury Opportunities Industrialization Center, where he worked to foster Black economic development in the area. Presently he serves as the director of the Fatherhood Program at New Opportunities in Waterbury, CT.

Although he was aware of health care disparities before becoming a Cultural Ambassador, he was not aware of the clinical research conducted at Yale. Like many African Americans of his generation, there was a historical stigma dating back to the Tuskegee Study that stymied his interest in clinical research.

He was pleased to discover that YCCI wanted to establish a partnership with the community that is built on an informed and clear definition of policies, procedures, and practices regarding clinical research. He is now an ambassador for YCCI and serves as an advocate within the African American community in particular and the larger minority communities in general. He feels the partnership with Yale is a valuable learning exchange

Reverend Elvin Clayton, Pastor at Walter's Memorial Church, Bridgeport, CT

Reverend Clayton is a native of Waterbury Connecticut, where he attended the local schools and graduated from W. F. Kaynor Regional Technical Vocational School. Reverend Clayton worked in the automotive refinishing business for 25 years. He began his pastoral vocation in 1983, after years of a passionate pursuit of music that included playing in church. He matriculated at Slidell and Hartford Seminaries and completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Hartford Hospital. He was the Pastor of Redeemers Church in Plainville for 18 years and is now the Pastor of Walter's Memorial Church, Bridgeport, CT.

Reverend Clayton became a Cultural Ambassador so that he could help raise awareness of the importance of clinical trials for his community. The program has taught him the importance of diversity among clinical trial participants to include people of different ethnic backgrounds, as well as women and children. He said that YCCI brochures and pamphlets on clinical research have been helpful in generating discussions about different diseases and have led to talk about cancer, diabetes, and research in general. “The program has helped to dispel the myths that clinical research means being a guinea pig,” he said. “It is also helping to inform my community that everyone needs to participate in research.”

There are currently over 2,000 clinical trials in process at Yale in virtually every therapeutic category. We need volunteers of all ages and backgrounds in order to help researchers develop new and better treatments.

There are many reasons why people volunteer to take part in a clinical trial:

  • Some volunteers have a condition that is being treated effectively, but they want to help doctors find out more about it in order to develop new treatments.
  • Sometimes volunteers have a friend or loved one with an illness or injury, and they want to participate in a research study as a way to help those who suffer from the same condition.
  • Participating in a clinical trial may offer potential experimental options that might be unavailable otherwise.
  • Many people choose to participate in a study even though it might not help them directly. Knowing that others may benefit from their efforts is a rewarding experience.

For more information:

Visit YaleClinicalTrials.com or call 1-877-978-8343

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