Published on July 10, 2019

Enrollment opens in All of Us Research Program - Essentia Health

Essentia Health is partnering with the National Institutes of Health as an enrollment site for the All of Us Research Program. One million or more volunteers around the United States will enroll and be asked to share information about their health, habits and environment in order to speed up health research, and more quickly identify medical advancements.

"The results of All of Us will accelerate medical breakthroughs. It may help identify risks and what you can do to lower them," says Dr. Stephen Waring, a research scientist at the Essentia Institute of Rural Health and the principal investigator of the program.

The program is the largest of its kind ever attempted. At its heart, the work will help develop better ways to measure a person's risk for disease based on genetics, socioeconomic factors, environmental exposures, and other individual factors. The program could also help identify which treatments work for different types of people. Over the program’s duration, participants will remain engaged as partners, with ongoing opportunities to help shape the program with their input.

The All of Us Research Program is open to people age 18 and older living in the U.S. There is no cost to participate in the program. Participants will be asked, via online questionnaires, to share information about their health, family, home, and work. Participants will also be asked for permission to access their electronic health record data.

“It will be the biggest data source compiled with the potential of thousands of studies being done using this data,” says Allise Taran, research and evaluation specialist for the program at Essentia. “Researchers can apply to use this data with the promise of accelerating their research, which is good for everybody,” she adds.

Taran signed up. “I have a 6-month-old son, and I’m hoping this helps improve health for his generation,” she says. “We’ve dealt with some horrible cancer and disease in my family. It would be really nice to see us make some forward progress before he reaches an age where he might need to deal with that.”

Data collected in-person by trained lab and research staff will include physical measurements such as blood pressure, height, and weight, as well as blood and urine samples. Participants will be partners in the program and will have access to their health information and study results through the All of Us Participant Portal. All health information collected will be stored securely and confidentially. Participants who complete the full enrollment visit will also receive a $25 gift card for their time.

The All of Us Research Program will be exhibiting at the Crow Wing County Fair, July 30 through August 1. Research staff will be available to answer questions and provide more information about the program. A limited number of in-person visits will be available at the Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Brainerd Clinic from July 30 through August 1. Future enrollment dates will be made available on a monthly basis.

Those wanting to participate who live outside these areas can still complete the online portion and be notified as new in-person visit sites open. If you have questions, visit www.EssentiaHealth.org/AllofUs call (877) 340-8058 or email AllofUs@EssentiaHealth.org.

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