The Black Women’s Health Imperative has been involved in outreach for the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program since its launch in 2018. We know that Black women’s participation in clinical research is important to the health and wellbeing of our communities now and in the future.
COVID-19 has shown us how important data about health and health disparities is to how we address public health threats. Many of these threats have been linked to high rates of infection and deaths among African Americans. We must be active participants in addressing these health disparities—not just in this pandemic but across the board. Currently, there is no cure, treatment, or vaccine for COVID-19. Researchers are testing treatments and it is crucial that they have a diverse pool of people who are willing to participate in future trials and data collection.
Why Participate Now?
Every person who has enrolled in the All of Us Research Program has their own reason for participating. Some participants enroll because they want to help collect medical data that will provide a healthier future for generations to come. Others currently live with illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure and want to help contribute to research that could develop treatments and cures for themselves and those like them.
In response to social distancing orders, the All of Us Clinical Research Program has suspended in-person registration and enrollment processes, but you can begin enrollment today, on the All of Us website. To date, more than 200,000 Americans have already enrolled in All of Us, many of them women of color. The Black Women’s Health Imperative recognizes the importance of participation from Black communities around the country and encourages more Black people to enroll in clinical research.
The Powerful Possibilities of All of Us
By participating in the All of Us Research Program you will be contributing to research that may improve health for everyone. There will be advanced medical testing, highly effective mobile apps to encourage healthy habits, and more personalized medicine treatments.
All program participants have the right and ability to have access to their own health data. They also have the opportunity to share their All of Us health information with their own health care provider.
Researchers will use the data collected to study many different diseases and conditions. It is up to each researcher to decide what they study. You can learn more about the research being done at JoinAllofUs.org.
One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated for us is that medical and public health communities simply don’t know enough about the health and wellbeing of people of color and the disparities they experience that contribute to poor health outcomes. If we want to bridge that gap, we must be active advocates for our individual health, the health of our communities, and work to shape our legacy of health for generations to come. Join All of Us!