Cultural Ambassadors: A Unique Community Partnership

YCCI recognizes that broadening community participation in clinical research involves linking investigators directly to resources in the community. To facilitate this, YCCI has partnered with Junta for Progressive Action and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) Church to ensure that clinical trial participation reflects the diversity of New Haven’s population and will benefit patients in the community and beyond. Junta is the oldest Latino community based non-profit organization in New Haven and the AME Zion Church is New Haven’s oldest African American congregations.

YCCI’s goal in developing both partnerships is to help increase the participation of the Hispanic and African American populations in clinical trials. Representatives of Junta and AME Zion Church serve as Cultural Ambassadors to Yale's research programs. They act as expert resources, advising Yale investigators how best to raise awareness of clinical research and engage the community.

Cultural ambassadors are available to:

  • Participate in projects, community engagement activities and community events designed to promote and increase participation in clinical trials.
  • Assist in the development of recruitment plans for specific trials.
  • Assist in the development of protocols for specific trials.
  • Provide translation services for informed consents and other materials into Spanish.

YCCI initially provided intensive training on topics such as the importance of clinical research, how it is conducted, and protections for human subjects. Continuing education is provided on an ongoing basis through monthly faculty presentations.

For more information or to request services provided by this program, please contact Sandra Trevino-Ranalli at 203.737.1920 or sandra.trevino-ranalli@yale.edu.

Rev. Dr. Leroy O. Perry, Jr.,

Rev. Dr. Leroy O. Perry, Jr., Pastor, St. Stephens AME Zion Church and Cultural Ambassador to the Yale Clinical Research Program

The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church, the nation’s oldest denomination, is a major faith-based organization servicing more than 1,000,000 members. Throughout its history, AME Zion has made the salvation of the whole person--mind, body and spirit--its top priority, with an emphasis on religious, educational and social causes.

The AME Zion Church and its members have been instrumental in many of the freedom struggles of this nation, including the first wave of Black social activism and the Civil Rights Movement of the '60s. Along with its emphasis on ministry and social change in the United States, the denomination has focused much of its attention and energies on outreach abroad. As the Church continues to expand and diversify its ministry, it is also preparing to lead an ever increasing youthful church body into the next century.

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Sundae M. Black

District Youth Director of Christian Education

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Lillian Reason

Member and Missionary

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Cheila Serrano Program Director, Family Management, Junta for Progressive Action and Cultural Ambassador to the Yale Clinical Research Program

Cheila Serrano, Program Director, Family Management, Junta for Progressive Action and Cultural Ambassador to the Yale Clinical Research Program

Junta for Progressive Action, Inc. is partnering with Yale to raise awareness in the Latino community regarding clinical research and its role in addressing health disparities. Founded in 1969, Junta is the oldest Latino, community based non-profit organization in New Haven, Connecticut. Its mission is to provide services, programs and advocacy that improve the social, political and economic conditions of the Latino community in Greater New Haven, while nurturing and promoting its cultural traditions as it builds bridges with other communities.

Junta empowers members of the Latino and low-income community to take control of their economic and social well being, while civically engaging in the community. It promotes a culture of community involvement and advocacy through its programs and initiatives, which include adult education, children's programs, cultural appreciation, economic development, family management, and immigrant rights. Community outreach activities include health workshops, health screenings and family literacy events.

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Alicia Caraballo

Interim Executive Director

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Natalia Xiomara

Director of Development

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Cheila Serrano

Program Director, Family Management

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Fernando Faneyte

Executive Assistant and Economic Development Program Manager

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Agueda Ocasio

The Neighborhood Place, Onsite Coordinator

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