October 13, 2021
PAs Can Help Build National Research Participant Group
September 23, 2020
The American Academy of PAs (AAPA), the national professional society for more than 140,000 physician assistants, and the PA Foundation are partnering with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) All of Us Research Program to raise awareness about the importance of participation in research. In support of this partnership, AAPA will help raise awareness of All of Us among PAs and their patients by conducting a national communications campaign highlighting engagement opportunities, coordinating a state chapter outreach strategy, collaborating with the PA Foundation on activities and resources including a podcast episode, and hosting workshops/events featuring All of Us at AAPA 2021 next May.
Partnerships with AAPA and the PA Foundation will help All of Us engage individuals who have been historically excluded from biomedical research, creating one of the most robust and diverse data resources for scientists to turn to.
“AAPA is really pleased to be a partner of the NIH’s All of Us Research Program,” says Lisa Gables, AAPA Interim CEO. “The key to precision medicine is individualized medicine that can provide PAs with a better understanding of how to approach each patient. We encourage PAs and their patients to join the effort to bring diversity and personalization to medical research.”
Precision medicine is an emerging approach to disease treatment and prevention that considers differences in people’s lifestyles, environments, and biological makeup, including genes. In-depth research with participants with diverse health statuses and backgrounds is crucial for making precision medicine a reality. By participating in research like All of Us, individuals have the opportunity to ensure they are represented in the data which has often excluded many marginalized communities.
All of Us is looking for individual volunteers over age 18 living in the U.S. to participate in surveys, share access to electronic health records, and visit a partner center to provide physical data. All of Us provides participants an opportunity to break down barriers in medical research, learn about their own health, access their own data, help ensure their community is included in research, and learn about additional research opportunities.
With the rich set of data anticipated from the program, PAs and other healthcare providers will be able to provide more effective treatment and care for patients, share electronic health records, and gain new knowledge on health disparities.
“We hope that through our partnership with All of Us,” says Gables, “PAs can help to expand diversity by offering researchers a diverse data resource for future medical research and clinical trials.”