NIH names 4 community partners to recruit 'All of Us' participants

The National Institutes of Health selected the first set of community partners for its precision medicine effort, called "All of Us."

The All of Us Research Program, which is part of the NIH's precision medicine initiative, aims to engage more than 1 million participants to share biological samples, genetic data and lifestyle information. The program — which will serve as a national research resource to inform future studies — launched its beta stage in June.

The NIH awarded four community partners a total of $1.7 million. The organizations, selected from a pool of applicants, will use the funding to engage communities that have traditionally been underrepresented in medical research, such as African Americans, Latinos, seniors and the LGBT community, among other populations.

"Medical breakthroughs have traditionally been based on findings from a limited portion of the U.S. population," said Dara Richardson-Heron, MD, chief engagement officer of The All of Us Research Program. "Our hope is for future research to include all of us, so that future healthcare can be more tailored to our individual differences."

Here are the four community partners.

1. Nashville, Tenn.-based FiftyForward, formerly Senior Citizens, will share information through lifelong learning centers and home-based services to engage low-income and senior citizens.

2. Washington, D.C.-based National Alliance for Hispanic Health will launch local and national campaigns at healthcare clinics and community events to reach Spanish-speaking populations.

3. Washington, D.C.-based Delta Research and Educational Foundation will launch a national community engagement effort to inform African Americans about the research project.

4. San Francisco General Hospital Foundation will build a national network and develop customized educational programs to engage gender and sexual minorities.

The NIH plans to select additional community partners in the future, drawing on the lessons learned from these initial four awardees.

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