All of Us Research Program Launches Nationally May 6, and Henry Ford has Lead Role

April 30, 2018

DETROIT – Henry Ford Health System has a lead role in a landmark research initiative that aims to advance the future of medicine.

Henry Ford, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will host a free public event from 1 – 5 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at Ford Field in Detroit, one of seven events to be held across the country that day to officially launch the All of Us Research Program, an ambitious effort to advance the prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds in more personalized ways.

Admission and parking are free. Register in advance online at www.henryford.com/joinallofus or onsite the day of the event.

Henry Ford received a $60 million NIH funding award over five years for its role in All of Us. In addition to serving as a host site for the launch event, Henry Ford leads one of the consortiums as part of a network of health care systems and medical centers across the United States tasked with enrolling participants.

Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, chair of Henry Ford’s Department of Public Health Sciences, and Brian Ahmedani, Ph.D., director of Research for Henry Ford’s Behavioral Health Medicine, are co-principal investigators for the consortium.

Dr. Johnson says All of Us may be the most important research initiative in the past 25 years.

“This is unlike anything we’ve done before in health care science, and it will keep the United States at the forefront of medical research,” she says. “The data that we collect will be broadly available to researchers for many different studies. The findings may enable doctors to specifically tailor recommended treatments to prevent or cure diseases or illnesses that will be known, ahead of time, to be effective for that specific individual patient.”

At the Ford Field event, Henry Ford staff will be on hand to assist individuals to create an All of Us account – the first step in the enrollment process. Information stations will also provide helpful information about the program.

During a Facebook Live simulcast at 4 p.m., Eric Dishman, director of the NIH’s All of Us Research Program, will speak to a national audience from Ford Field about the research initiative and how those who enroll can contribute to future health care discoveries. His cancer story is emblematic of the All of Us objective: Advancing medicine in a more personalized way rather than today’s one-size-fits-all approach.

“I’m alive today because of precision medicine, and I think everyone deserves the same opportunity no matter the color of your skin, your economic status, your age or your sex or gender,” Dishman says.

Other prominent speakers include U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and Suzanne White, M.D., chief medical advisor for the Detroit Health Department, and Henry Ford’s Adnan Munkarah, M.D., chief clinical officer, and Richard Smith, M.D., a longtime Henry Ford Ob/Gyn physician.

The day’s family-friendly activities also include:

  • Tours of the Detroit Lions locker room.
  • Mini football clinics conducted by Detroit Lions youth football education coaching staff.
  • Basketball clinics hosted by Detroit Pistons’ Pistons Academy coaching staff.
  • Performance by Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.
  • Special selfie photos.

Renowned Detroit artist and muralist Hubert Massey, known for his expansive art installations, will use the selfies taken at an onsite photo booth to create a large-scale interactive mosaic display.

The All of Us Research Program will gather information for 10 years or more to inform research studies on how individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics influence a person’s health and disease risk. The goal is to enroll 1 million or more people from across the country and from all backgrounds, regardless of health status. Initially, adult participants ages 18 and older are being sought to enroll. Children will be able to enroll in future phases of the program. Participants will have access to study information and data about themselves.

Dr. Ahmedani says All of Us is not a research study to determine the safety and effectiveness of a medical treatment or medication. Rather, it’s focusing on many aspects about health and disease.

“What’s really unique is that we’re including participants from a lot of different backgrounds,” Dr. Ahmedani says. “This will allow us to study a wealth of diverse information and how it affects people’s health.”

Henry Ford leads a consortium that includes five integrated health care systems representing a strikingly diverse community population across seven states: Baylor Scott & White Research Institute in Texas, Essentia Health headquartered in Minnesota, Reliant Medical Group in northeastern Massachusetts and Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Henry Ford and Spectrum are the only Michigan health systems recruiting participants for All of Us. Anyone in Michigan can register at www.henryford.com/joinallofus.

All of Us is one of two national precision medicine programs involving Henry Ford. The health system is also part of an oncology initiative to revolutionize cancer care in the Midwest as part of the National Cancer Moonshot’s call for action.

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MEDIA CONTACT:    David Olejarz / David.Olejarz@hfhs.org / 313.874.4094