FARGO — You have a chance to be one in a million if you’re willing to volunteer health and lifestyle information, including family health history, where you live and what you do.
It’s all in the interest of science — precisely, an initiative in precision medicine, which tailors medical treatments to individual patients, by the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us initiative, visiting here Tuesday, June 11, through Friday, June 14.
The All of Us tour will be at the Sanford Southpointe Clinic, 2400 32nd Ave. S., one stop on a national tour.
The public is invited to participate in the All of Us research program, which aims to collect information to enable research to more precisely prevent and treat health conditions.
Researchers hope to use the information to identify risk factors for certain diseases, link people to the right clinical studies, learn which treatments work for different types of people, and explore how technology can encourage people to take better care of their health.
“The All of Us research program will change the way we do research,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said in a statement. “Participants will be partners in research, not subjects, and will have access to a wide range of study results.”
Mel Lopez, a spokeswoman for the tour, which recently was in Sioux Falls, S.D., said volunteers decide how much information to provide. “It’s as much information or as little as you would like to provide,” she said.
Participants will be seen by a nurse for a brief examination that will include measurements and small samples of blood and urine. Those who are full participants, and donate a blood and urine sample, will receive $25 e-gift cards from Amazon within a week, Lopez said.
Those who give a blood and urine sample will receive information about their genetics at some point in the future, she said.
“That’s a big bonus down the line,” Lopez said, adding that patients can share the information with their physicians to help guide their care. “Every patient will learn more about their genetics.”
Participants’ privacy is protected, she said. Identifying information is removed from all data, and the samples are stored in a secure biobank, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Those who are interested in participating but can’t make it when the tour is in Fargo can go online to www.joinallofus.org/drive to learn more and enroll. So far, about 200,000 participants have signed up for the project, Lopez said.
Sanford Health invited the All for Us tour to stop in Sioux Falls and Fargo. “Basically, this is for our patients,” said Dr. Sreekanth Chavour, an internal medicine physician at Sanford Southpointe and physician lead on Imaginetics, Sanford’s genetic medicine program.
Both Sanford and the NIH are involved in bringing genetic medicine to the primary care clinic setting, he said.
“NIH is doing this on a national scale, and Sanford is doing pretty much the same thing in the Midwest,” Chavour said. “We have the same goals.”
In time, patients will benefit from what researchers learn through the initiative, he said.
“With more and more data available, it becomes easier for our researchers to come up with pioneering therapies,” Chavour said.
If you go
What: All of Us research program
When: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, June 11-14; closes at 1 p.m. June 14
Where: Sanford Southpointe Clinic, 2400 32nd Ave. S., Fargo