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May 26, 2023

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD


Media Contact
Adjoa Kyerematen

Washington, D.C (May 26, 2023) — The National Minority Quality Forum and Biogen announced a partnership for National Lupus Awareness Month (May) and Clinical Trials Day (May 20), to increase health equity in the treatment of lupus and in clinical trial diversity. The partnership will include efforts to improve quality standards for healthcare providers and direct education to patients and community members.

Alarmingly, racial and ethnic disparities in lupus have led to inequitable treatment and outcomes particularly for Black and Hispanic/Latina women who are often diagnosed later and less likely to receive the recommended treatment. Similarly, there are inequities seen in clinical research, with people of color, older people and people with lower incomes continually being underrepresented in clinical trials. 

As part of the partnership, NMQF’s Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC) and Biogen have released two new educational toolkits for SHC’s successful quality improvement program Demonstrating Real Improvement Value in Equity (DRIVE): The Lupus DRIVE Toolkit and the DRIVing Equity in Clinical Research Toolkit. These DRIVE toolkits offer education and actionable steps to help primary care teams, health care systems and community organizations improve health outcomes for diverse populations through enhanced quality performance.

“Our DRIVE toolkits for clinicians offer the benefit of quality improvement to help us bring forth a more equitable health care system,” said Dr. Laura Lee Hall, President of National Minority Quality Forum’s Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality & Equity. “We are encouraged that the DRIVE toolkits and our community engagement work will help to improve outcomes in lupus care and clinical trials diversity.”

SHC and Biogen are also supporting community efforts to raise awareness about equity in lupus and clinical trials through the SHC’s Health Champions program, which provides community outreach through the HAIR Wellness Warriors program that engages a network of, hair stylists/barbers to share health information to their communities, the Faith Health Alliance program that engages communities through pastors and church leaders and the Community Pharmacist Ambassadors program. These activities include the following:

“There is an immense need to increase equity for lupus patients and improve clinical trial diversity to address inequities in health outcomes for minoritized populations,” said Siân Ratcliffe, PhD  Head of Global Clinical Operations and Interim Head of Analytics & Data Sciences at Biogen. “This work is paramount for us at Biogen as we continue toward our goal of advancing the care of patients with lupus. Our team is proud to partner with the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality & Equity on such important and meaningful work.”

For more information on how you can participate in DRIVE, please email

About National Minority Quality Forum
The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. The mission of NMQF is to reduce patient risk by assuring optimal care for all. NMQF’s vision is an American health services research, delivery and financing system whose operating principle is to reduce patient risk for amenable morbidity and mortality while improving quality of life. For more information, please visit

About Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity
The Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity promotes sustainable healthy communities, especially those with diverse and underserved populations, through the provision of actionable data, research, and engagement of clinicians and community leaders. For more information, please visit

About Biogen
Founded in 1978, Biogen is a leading global biotechnology company that has pioneered multiple breakthrough innovations including a broad portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis, the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, and two co-developed treatments to address a defining pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Biogen is advancing a pipeline of potential novel therapies across neurology, neuropsychiatry, specialized immunologic and rare diseases and remains acutely focused on its purpose of serving humanity through science while advancing a healthier, more sustainable and equitable world.

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