U of Arizona, Banner Health program to cut 45 positions

The All of Us Research Program run in collaboration by the University of Arizona in Tucson and Banner Health in Phoenix plans to lay off 45 employees due to reduced federal research funding, according to an Arizona WARN notice filed May 28. 

The publicly funded program is part of the National Institutes of Health and was launched in 2018. The program works to create a resource that helps researchers conduct thousands of health and disease studies, according to its website

All of Us received $357 million for the 2024 fiscal year, a 34% decrease from the previous year due to a funding decrease from the 21st Century Cures Act, Josh Denny, MD, CEO of the All of Us program, said in an April 23 statement.

"While our budget circumstances are causing us to make adjustments to our immediate plans, our commitment to our participants and the protection of their data remains unwavering, and our motivation to continue advancing precision medicine and health equity is stronger than ever," Dr. Denny said in the statement. "Future drops in Cures funding will be even more significant in FY2025 and FY2026, after which that stream of funding is set to expire. The President's FY2025 budget request is $541 million for the program, which includes planned Cures funding."

Employees affected by the layoffs have been notified and will be provided support during the transition. 

Since the program's inception, more than 73,000 participants have been enrolled by the team to complete the program's initial steps. The program also found that more than 84% of participants in Arizona identify with underrepresented communities in medical research and 50% identify themselves with a racial or ethnic minority group. 

In 2016, the University of Arizona and Banner Health secured $60 million for five years from the NIH to go to the program and another $9 million in 2018. 

"As a result of a reduced federal appropriation for the All of Us Research Program, we were informed of a $6.6 million decrease to our award funding for Fiscal Year 2024," Mieczyslaw Zak, senior director of strategic initiatives for the University of Arizona, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "For the upcoming year, the program will focus on the retention of existing enrollees and the efficient recruitment of new participants from diverse backgrounds."

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