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NIH Announces Partnerships for All of Us Program Awareness

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The ambitious precision medicine initiative looks to sequence 1 million Americans to inform public health.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it has enlisted 14 community groups and provider organizations to help raise awareness for its All of Us precision medicine campaign.

The ambitious program, which was hatched last year, is part of former President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. All of Us seeks to engage 1 million American volunteers in a huge genetic research study to build “one of the largest, most diverse datasets of its kind.”

Participants will share information from biological samples, electronic health records, and data from wearables. All information will be de-identified and made freely available to researchers and “citizen scientists” upon request.

The 14 national organizations are to receive a combined $1 million to help raise awareness and recruit participants. Because the NIH is looking to build a diverse and representative cohort, the partner organizations include health, social, and religious groups representing various minority populations.

“It’s been essential for us—from the very start—to have diverse voices at the table, weighing in on the best ways to engage and retain diverse communities in this program,” Dara Richardson-Heron, MD, said in a statement. Richardson-Heron is chief engagement officer of the All of Us program. She praised the “wealth of experience and deep connections” that the new partners bring to the table.

The announcement comes as the White House attempts to cut the NIH’s funding. President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget cuts the 21% from the NIH’s annual funding, over $7 billion. This week, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis argued that such cuts could be a great detriment to the development of new drugs.

All of Us is currently in beta testing, with national launch expected in the spring of 2018. These are the 14 partner organizations announced this week:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians, Leawood, Kansas
  • American Academy of HIV Medicine, Washington, DC
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Washington, DC
  • American Medical Association, Chicago
  • Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, Dearborn, Michigan
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Oakland, California
  • Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, Uniontown, Ohio
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative, Washington, DC
  • Cobb Institute (W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute), Washington, DC
  • League of United Latin American Citizens, Washington, DC
  • National Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee
  • National Hispanic Medical Association, Washington, DC
  • National Minority Quality Forum, Washington, DC
  • UnidosUS, Washington, DC

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