The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is ushering in a new era of broadened engagement of African-American and Latino communities in clinical trials. Particularly given the unethical and illegal behaviors involved with the Tuskegee Experiment and the intentional absence or lack of critical information for the involved subjects by governmental officials, NBCI utilizes important lessons learned from this historic medical abuse and ALL others experienced within Black and Latino communities for generating robust communication, demonstration, and education strategies toward substantially improving clinical trial participation.


NBCI has launched its search for Black, Latino, and other minority researchers who are interested in becoming principals and co-investigators for clinical research studies. Given the type of insight gained about the involvement of underrepresented populations within clinical research, NBCI seeks to manage a database of individuals interested in becoming principal or co-principal investigators in related research projects. NBCI is interested in providing opportunities to currently emerging and/or more seasoned researchers or scholars from traditionally underrepresented groups to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are maintained within this field.

NBCI Chief Clinical Advisor

Joseph Webster

Joseph Webster, MD, MBA, FACP, a Gastroenterologist with Digestive and Liver Center of Florida

Get to know Gastroenterologist Dr. Joseph Webster, who serves patients in West Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Webster is a board certified and fellowship trained gastroenterologist at Digestive and Liver Center of Florida, operating out of the office in West Orlando.

Procedures he specializes in include colonoscopies for colon cancer detection and removal of polyps, non-surgical hemorrhoid banding, capsule endoscopy, and more.

Founded to deliver the very best medical care in an environment that supports and comforts patients, Digestive and Liver Center of Florida consists of six gastroenterology offices conveniently located in East Orlando, West Orlando, Downtown Orlando, Oviedo, Kissimmee, and Sanford. The state-of-the-art facility on Dean Road in East Orlando includes the Endo-Surgical Center of Florida where patients can have their colonoscopy, endoscopy or hemorrhoid procedures.

The Orlando gastroenterologists of Digestive and Liver Center of Florida are recognized authorities in the field of gastroenterology and colorectal care. The expert physicians offer a wide range of services and treat the entire range of liver and gastrointestinal conditions, as well as perform diagnostic procedures including colonoscopy, endoscopy, and more advanced tests.

Scholastically, Dr. Webster graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from Florida A&M University, and a Medical Degree from the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. His residency, the last year of which he served as Chief Resident, and fellowship were taken at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He also earned a Master of Business Administration Degree in Healthcare Management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Committed to excellence, Dr. Webster is board certified in both gastroenterology and internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). The ABIM is a physician-led, non-profit, independent evaluation organization driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world.

As owner and CEO of the Webster Surgery Center, Dr. Webster directed a technology-driven clinical practice in a managed care environment. At the same time, he was CEO of the Comprehensive Clinic for Digestive Disorders, also in Tallahassee.

With a focus on serving diverse patient populations requiring ethnic and cultural sensitivity, Dr. Webster is a community and physician leader, having been elected President of the Florida State Medical Association and continuing as President of the Institute for African American Health.

Among his other professional affiliations include the American College of Physicians (Fellow), the National Medical Association, the Black Child Development Institute of Greater Orlando Florida, the National Black Church Initiative, Inc., the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Chi Delta Mu Fraternity, Inc., the Florida Gastroenterologic Society, and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine focused on the digestive system and its disorders. A gastroenterologist is a physician who has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the esophagus, stomach, small intestines, colon, liver, pancreas, and biliary system.

Dr. Webster’s contributions to GI healthcare have garnered him professional and community accolades, invitations to deliver lectures and seminars, and active involvement in medical research.

His research pursuits encompass obesity and diabetes in children and adolescents, as well as the restructuring of traditional roles to address the shift from ‘fee for service’ to ‘value-based care,’ emphasizing preventative care, quality assurance, outcomes measurements, and the pivotal role of families in fostering healthy attitudes and lifestyles.

Learn More about Dr. Joseph Webster:

Through his findatopdoc profile, or through Digestive and Liver Center of Florida,–md–mba–facp/

Top 3 Reasons Clinical Trials Are Safe

In Dr. William Carson’s experience, he says, “It is as difficult today to get African-Americans to participate in clinical trials as it was 20 years ago.” Why is that? Many of us are fearful about clinical trials, recalling the Tuskegee Experiment and others. Or, we are uninformed about what really happens during participation in a clinical trial. In this “CEO Spotlight” segment, Dr. Carson, former CEO of Otsuka, shares his insights on why more Black Americans should participate in clinical trials. Watch the full interview with Dr. Carson here.









Rare Disease


Clinical Lecture Tour

The purpose of the lecture tour is to showcase the top African-Americans clinicians in the country within their various clinical fields of expertise and demonstrate the CTEAPP methodology, the promises it offers in impacting and increasing the participation of African-Americans in clinical trials, transforming the approach of the pharmaceutical industry and how they work with African-American clinicians & the general public, and implementing NBCI National Clinical Trials Strategic Plan (NCTSP) /CTEAPP as its model.

Lastly, the lecture tour will serve as a data collection platform to identify key stakeholders in the African-American community as well as collect data on individuals who want more information on clinical trials across the country. All information collected will be voluntary. The data points for these will be email addresses, geographic location, contact information, Twitter, Facebook, and any other self-disclosed information. We will use the list to announce clinical trials in all geographic areas applying NBCI faith command structure, zip codes, cities, and other identifiable factors to make sure that we can match individuals who want more information concerning participation with our partners and clinical trials being conducted.

This tour will include lectures on the importance of African-American participation in clinical trials, and the role of the Black Church using its Clinical Trials Education Awareness and Participation Program (CTEAPP) clinical trial model.

Who are some of the Clinicians giving the lectures?

  • We will select clinicians who have made enormous impacts in particular clinical areas and whose research will affect African-Americans.
  • These clinicians must be connected to a major teaching university, be published, and have a strong pharmaceutical relationship, committed to increasing AA in the clinical trial space.

The National Black Church Initiative is initiating a fifteen-part nationwide lecture series that will highlight noted African-American clinicians and to further NBCI Clinical Trials Education Awareness and Participation Program (CTEAPP). The lecture series is another important building block in creating an expansive clinical trials initiative to increase minority participation. The goal of NBCI/ CETEAPP is to assure 15 percent or more black participation in clinical trials.


The Role of African-American Physicians to Enroll African-Americans in Clinical Trials

The NBCI Clinical Trials Lecture Tour presents Dr. Patricia Whitley-Williams M.D., FAAP, Division Chief and Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers University who discusses the role African-American physicians can take to enroll African-Americans in clinical trials and why it is important.

She is a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Network for Immunization Information of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Now Streaming on the NBCI YouTube channel and

The State of COVID-19 in the African-American Community

The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is proud to present Dr. Macaya Douoguih, MD, MPH, Head, of Janssen Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Vaccines, who will give the inaugural lecture of its National Clinical Lecture Tour. We also welcome BIO and Janssen Pharmaceutical as our partners.

The Black Church is extremely honored to have someone of Dr. Douoguih's caliber address us. The title of her lecture is The State of African-Americans and COVID-19: Where Do We Go From Here?

Rev. Anthony Evans Co-Hosts Lecture: 'Why Health Disparities Are Everyone's Problem

Rev. Anthony Evans and host Kelly Wright of "The Kelly Wright Show" on Black News Channel (BNC) speak with Dr. Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH, FACP, the James F. Fries Professor of Medicine and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Equity in Health and Health Care at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

She is also the Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity and the author of the book, "Why Are Health Disparities Everyone's Problem?"

Rev Evans Hosts "Getting Control of Colorectal Cancer in the Black Community"

NBCI presents Dr. Jaszianne Tolbert, MD, and Dr. Justin Callaway, PhD on the 3rd lecture of the National Clinical Lecture Tour, "Getting Control of Colorectal Cancer in the Black Community".

Ramona Burress, Associate Dir of Diversity and Inclusion in Clinical Trials, Portfolio Mgt, Janssen R&D Global Development co-hosted this event.

Rev Anthony Evans Discusses the Need for Black Co-Investigators in Clinical Trials

The NBCI Clinical Trials Lecture Tour presents Dr. Joseph L. Webster, Sr., MD, MBA, FACP, and Dr. James McCoy, MD, who answered questions concerning clinical trials during the FOURTH lecture of the National Clinical Lecture Tour.

Dr. Joseph Webster, MD is a Gastroenterology Specialist in Tallahassee, FL, Dr. James McCoy, MD is a general surgery specialist in Atlanta, GA.

Rev. Evans Discusses Issues in Recruitment for Clinical Trials w/Dr. Fabian Sandoval

Dr. Fabian Sandoval, CEO & Research Director, has over 25 years of bench-to-bedside research experience. His diversified research career has been in academia, healthcare systems, and the public sector.

Various therapeutic areas of interest involving clinical research trials exist within the African-American and Latino communities. The eleven (11) pillars of the clinical research approach of NBCI are as follows:

  1. Cardiovascular Diseases
  2. Cancer: (Liver/Kidney/Lung ...etc)
  3. Diabetes
  4. Blood Diseases
  5. Genetic Disease (Sickle Cell)
  6. Mental health
  7. Access to Care (i.e. Lifestyles, Self-Care)
  8. Collection of Health Data
  9. Alzheimer's Disease
  10. Rare Diseases
  11. Others