New York University Medical Center is isolated on the edge of Manhattan's affluent Kip's Bay neighborhood, an area that includes only sparse pockets of subsidized lower- and middle-income housing. According to Kay Ryan, director of clinical trials development for the center, "Here, the patient population is not more than half minority, and here we have to do something to recruit minorities."

"Something," in NYU's case, is recruiting patients for its cancer trials from Bellevue Hospital Center, the large municipal hospital next door that serves much of mid- and downtown Manhattan's minority and poor population, and from the Manhattan Veterans Administration Hospital several blocks away, for recruitment into the cancer center's many studies, says outreach coordinator Caron Bowen. She cites other problems they face: Some of the patients are homeless; others are barely meeting the rent. This creates what she calls "issues of compliance."

"We do try to find creative ways...

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