We all want to make an impact through our lives. Whether it’s our career, relationships, acts of service, or something else, it feels good to know that we’ve invested ourselves in something bigger. The All of Us Research Program is giving you the opportunity to do just that. This national research program seeks to build one of the most robust health databases we’ve ever seen and, in doing so, propel medical research that could improve health for generations to come. So, how can you play a part? All of Us Research Program is seeking 1 million volunteers across the U.S. to participate over the course of ten years. Now five years in, the program is half-way to reaching this goal! Much has been accomplished, but there is still a long way to go. Read on to learn more about the program and how you can make a difference.
Tell Me More
Overseen by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), All of Us Research Program is working with partners across the country to gather health data from a diverse body of volunteers. Why? Simply put, it will fuel research that can potentially result in better health care. Instead of having a general treatment for everyone, more informed research could enable patient care to be tailored to the individual. How is this possible? They are gathering information from a large body of participants from a variety of backgrounds to see what factors play a role in their health. That’s where you come in!
Who Should Participate?
Currently, adults 19 years and older are invited to participate. Children will be able to join in the future. In an effort to represent all people, the study seeks to enroll volunteers from all backgrounds, especially those that have been underrepresented in the past, including ethnic and racial minorities, those living with disability, older adults, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and those in rural communities.
What Is Required?
If you join, you will complete surveys, decide whether you want information about your DNA, safely share your medical records, and you may be asked to give a blood, urine, or saliva sample. You should also know that participation won’t cost you a thing, and you will even receive a $25 gift card after completing the six steps of enrollment! You can choose to stop participating at any time, and you can rest assured that the program utilizes the latest technology to help keep your data private and safe. Still have questions? Learn even more about the volunteer experience here.
For those of us living in Birmingham, we have a direct tie to All of Us Research Program through The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). UAB Medicine is the leader of the All of Us Southern Network, which includes partner sites across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. UAB Medicine is also enrolling participants in the Birmingham area. How exciting that our community is playing a significant role in advancing health care, and we can be a part of it!
How Do I Get Started?
There are six steps to enroll. All of these steps of enrollment are available online except the one in-person clinic visit, which will take about 20-25 minutes to complete. You can work on the rest of your enrollment process online and then visit one of the clinic locations to complete your clinic visit.
If you would prefer to do everything in-person, no worries! Visit one of the clinic locations, and the staff can help you create an account and complete the surveys. You can stop by one of the clinic locations any time, or you can contact UAB at (833) JOIN-UAB to schedule an appointment. You can also follow the program on Instagram @joinallofus_uab.