OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – As 6 News continues to celebrate the contributions of Black Americans, the spotlight lands on a man with an integral role in fighting the pandemic.
Seneca Harrison is the CEO of Quality Clinical Research, known for its COVID-19 vaccine trials. His company is making waves for participating in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials for Pfizer & Moderna but they’ve been around since 2003 doing the same work.
Harrison’s role in the community intersects at a lot of places, not just Nebraska, but across the country.
“It’s unique right now,” said Seneca.
He says his role as a black clinical researcher and a CEO is something rarely accomplished. His counterparts often look to him for feedback on ways to get black and brown communities to understand how important their role is in creating medicine.
“The industry is looking for more and more minorities to participate in these trials so that we 100% know that they work. I get a lot of people saying ‘how did you do in your trials recruiting African Americans or Hispanics or Asian Americans?” said Seneca.
He says heavy is the crown but he understands the weight of his worth. As a man from North Omaha with access to life-saving medical research whom people have grown to respect and trust over the years, he uses that platform for good.
“I’m always on my soapbox, from my inner circle to the people I work with and anyone who will listen to me. The vaccines that are being developed, you must take,” said Seneca.
The work of Quality Clinical Research helped the use of the emergency drug get approved. Harrison also beat COVID and hopes not just his experience but his expertise will be enough to prevent other black families from enduring that.
“Being an African American with high blood pressure and probably obese, that’s the recipe for COVID,” said Seneca.
Outside of using his unique role to educate and offer access, Harrison says he wants to normalize black success in this area. Black History Month for him is bittersweet.
“It’s a little sad too that I am the only African American in Omaha that’s a CEO of a research company. But it’s also an honor. Look where I came from, I didn’t have a silver spoon. I want kids that grew up in North Omaha like myself to be able to say hey, I can do whatever I want and come out of Omaha. And I can stay here and thrive,” said Seneca.
Before breaking into research, Harrison worked in construction and plumbing which he still does.
His company of 18 years is taking on new challenges that include working with pharmaceutical companies on the COVID vaccine trials for children.
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