In May 2018, UF joined the SouthEast Enrollment Center, or SEEC, which includes UF, the University of Miami, Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine. More than 25 medical institutions are involved in All of Us. Data gathered by the All of Us Research Program will provide an avenue for use by researchers around the world.
Shenkman is the UF College of Medicine chair of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics and director of the Institute for Child Health Policy. She and William Hogan, M.D., UF College of Medicine professor of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics, are co-principal investigators for the All of Us Research Program at UF Health as well as the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium. OneFlorida is collaborating closely with the SEEC and serves as the data coordinating center for the consortium.
The UF study team has been recruiting participants, including our own faculty, residents, staff, students and volunteers as well as community members. The regional network aims to strengthen the program’s reach into diverse populations, including lower-income, Hispanic and Latino, African American and rural communities.
“This is the best way to contribute for anyone who wants to help improve health for future generations. The breadth of this project will be astounding,” Shenkman said. “All of Us has the potential to impact thousands of other studies covering a wide variety of health conditions.”
Participants are asked to complete surveys about their health, share their medical record information and contribute a blood and urine sample that will be used for genetic analysis. The SEEC has already contributed nearly 4,000 medical records across the four institutions to the program. This information is stored for researchers to apply to use to study different diseases, populations or trends over time. Precision medicine has the potential to allow health care providers to inform people about the best ways to stay healthy. If someone becomes sick, precision medicine may help health care teams find the best treatment for that individual.
According to David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, “The program needs participants who care about improving the health of everyone, people who are willing to share information about themselves that could help cure diseases in our lifetime.
“This initiative represents a new era for precision health to enable more proactive and personalized health care that empowers people to lead healthy lives.”