Published on July 16, 2019

Essentia Health-Virginia Clinic to begin enrollment drive for historic research program

On Wednesday, July 17, research staff will be at Essentia Health-Virginia Clinic to kick off the opening of enrollment on the Mesabi Range for the All of Us Research Program. All of Us is a nationwide research initiative aimed at recruiting at least one million volunteer participants to share personal information that, collectively, will help speed up health research.

Essentia Health is an enrollment partner for the All of Us Research Program, under the National Institutes of Health. The program is the largest such undertaking ever attempted. Information about health, habits and environment will be aggregated from all participants.

At its heart, the work will help develop better ways to measure a person’s risk for disease. The program also could 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 program is supported by a cadre of ambassadors, including Essentia Health Cardiologist Dr. Katie Benziger. Dr. Benziger was the first provider to enroll in the program at Essentia.

“As the medical director of heart and vascular research, I have a vested interest in making sure other people participate in our studies,” Dr. Benziger said when she enrolled. “I’m hoping to be a leader to help this get kicked off because it’s an important study and unique for people in the Northland to be able to participate in a study like this.”

Since launching enrollment in Duluth in January, the Essentia research team has completed 434 enrollment visits for the All of Us Research Program. Nationally, over 160,000 volunteers have completed all enrollment steps.

Enrollment in 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, and participants do not need to be patients of Essentia. Participants will be asked, via online questionnaires, to share information about their health, family, home and work. 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 who complete the full enrollment visit also will receive a $25 gift card.

Enrollment visits will be available at Essentia Health-Virginia Clinic (1101 9th Street North) on Wednesday, July 17. For more information, go to, call (877) 340-8058 or email

This work is supported by the All of Us Research Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, under award number 1OT2OD026550. All of Us and the All of Us logo are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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