What will it take to improve the future of health care? It will take you. And you. And you. And you. Truly, it will take all of us – a diverse population that is reflective of the entire United States.
Bloodworks is excited to partner with the All of Us Research Program, a historic effort by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to engage 1 million participants from all across the United States in the transformation of precision medicine.
And you have the opportunity to contribute at your next blood donation at our Central Seattle donor center.
Precision medicine centers around you, a unique individual whose environment (where you live), lifestyle (what you do), genes and family history factor into your long-term health. In a way, it’s similar to what the matching Bloodworks transfusion labs do to ensure that each patient has the right blood type to match their blood and antibodies.
Just like a universal blood type, the partnership between Bloodworks and All of Us is beneficial to, you guessed it, all of us.
Nearly 40% of the U.S. population is comprised of people of color (POC), yet participants in health research – the studies that help scientists uncover health patterns and make discoveries that will shape prevention strategies and treatments for disease – are 80-90% white.
That disparity matters. It has mattered throughout history, and it matters now, when the world is in the midst of a pandemic that often affects POC more severely than it does their white peers.
That’s where the All of Us Research Program comes into play. By involving participants from diverse demographics across the country, All of Us is breaking down barriers for those who have historically been underrepresented in biomedical research. In fact, of the nearly 300,000 participants who’ve completed initial steps of the program – on the way to 1 million – 80% are people from underrepresented groups. That includes POC, older people, those with low income or limited education, people living in rural areas, and others. When it comes to the future of health care, all of us must be included.
Thanks to the diverse population of All of Us participants, researchers have made recent discoveries using All of Us participant data. They have learned that:
With more than 1,000 researchers (and counting!) who have registered for data access and over 600 active research studies already begun, there are endless possibilities for medical discoveries in a breadth of areas – meaning the reach of this research and the impact of this program on all of us is extraordinary.
But in order to make the most significant impact, all of us need to participate. When you participate in All of Us, you’ll give the gift of your medical information – anonymously (your privacy is of the utmost importance) – to help future generations. You’ll complete surveys and will be invited to share access to your electronic health records (EHR) that will help researchers see patterns in health history with the goal of transforming the future. You’ll donate biosamples (as part of a blood donation). And in return, you’ll receive interesting results about your DNA. You’ll be a part of something much larger than yourself. And you’ll have a hand in breaking down barriers to health equity for all.
It truly takes all of us to be a catalyst for positive change in research: researchers, health care providers, technology experts, community partners, and the public – you. Bloodworks is one of many like-minded groups involved in All of Us, from San Diego Blood Bank to Scripps Research Institute.
This is your opportunity to contribute to something big, and as a program partner, Bloodworks is making it easier to enroll in All of Us. There is no need for a separate blood draw: You can participate as part of your next whole blood appointment.
Participation is power. And the power is in your hands to help create a healthier future. To learn more about how you can join and make a difference, visit go.joinallofus.org/bwnw.