Colorado PAs Spotlight All of Us Research Program
Precision Medicine Initiative Helps Patients Live Their Best Life
September 16, 2021
The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program is a longitudinal effort to gather health data from one million or more people to build one of the most diverse health information resources in history. The program aims to reflect the diversity of people living in the U.S. and to include participants from groups that have been underrepresented in health research in the past. The health information collected through All of Us will help researchers better understand how factors like genetics, environmental factors, and life circumstances affect health outcomes and equip them to uncover paths toward delivering individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all populations.
Last spring the Colorado Academy of PAs (CAPA) hosted a variety of programs to share information with its members about the All of Us Research Program. Here, CAPA Director-at-Large Kendra Glassman, PA-C, responds to questions about the program.
Why do you think it is important to share information about the All of Us Research Program?
This is an amazing, cutting-edge research program. The more people know about the program, the more buy-in we can get for it, both from providers and participants. This will allow for greater understanding and participation.
Have any CAPA members or other individual PAs you know signed up to participate in the program?
Yes – after numerous updates about the program in our newsletters and CME events, several CAPA members, including many of our board members, have signed up.
What’s the potential for All of Us to advance the future of healthcare?
There is vast potential for this research to advance the future of healthcare. Using precision medicine has boundless possibilities and will give the medical community answers to help individuals stay healthy and to develop tests to determine their risk of getting sick.
What benefit do you think the program has for PAs and patients?
Research conducted with the program’s information from diverse communities may lead to findings that can help PAs help their patients live their best life and prevent or treat conditions. We may find new tools to assess their lifestyle and disease risk and provide the right treatments for them as individuals.
Why should PAs get involved themselves and spread the word?
This is a great opportunity for PAs to participate in a large-scale research opportunity that will benefit the medical society as a whole. It is easy and safe! It will benefit them and their patients. It is a no-brainer!
Why is it important for PAs and their patients to participate in a program that asks about health habits, environment, genetics, and more?
Prevention is key! By having a multifaceted research approach that includes thousands of individuals, this program will be a game changer in uncovering ways to keep individuals healthy and connect them with care unique to their particular needs.