November 13, 2023
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The University of Kansas Medical Center is launching a Midwest consortium as part of the National Institute of Health’s All of Us Research Program. The medical center and its partners, including The University of Kansas Health System, will receive $6.3 million in initial funding, with the potential to renew the award every year for 4 years.
The goal of the All of Us Research Program is to advance precision medical research, which aims to one day allow clinicians to tailor patient care to each person they treat. Clinicians will be able to do this by taking into account each person’s biology, behavior and environment.
To make this possible, the program has created a national research resource that will include comprehensive de-identified health information from more than 1 million people in the US. The Heartland Consortium includes academic medical centers at the University of Kansas, the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska.
“It’s vital that the All of Us Research Program reflect the true diversity of the United States to allow researchers to better understand how differences in what it’s like where we live, our lifestyle and DNA impact our health and disease,” says Holly A. Garriock, PhD, chief cohort development officer at the research program. “The Heartland Consortium will provide opportunities for more communities to participate in medical research and be represented in the All of Us dataset, enabling researchers to discover breakthroughs relevant to their communities.”
Unlike research studies that focus on one disease or group of people, All of Us is building a diverse and secure database that can inform thousands of studies on a variety of health conditions. Researchers will be able to use a broad database to better understand the risk factors for certain diseases and help develop future treatments and prevention. The research program follows all federal, state and local laws to keep data safe and all personal details are removed from the data to prevent participants from being identified.
“The All of Us award is a chance for us to support changing the way healthcare is delivered in the future,” says Tammy Peterman, MS, RN, FAAN, president of the Kansas City division, and executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer of The University of Kansas Health System. “We are excited to be part of that process, and we believe the value will extend for generations to come. We take great pride in tailoring the patient experience today based on the individual, and we look forward to a day when we can provide clinical treatment precisely designed and tailored to each patient.”