MARSHFIELD (WAOW)– Marshfield Clinic, in partnership with UW-Madison and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, is one of a few institutions nationwide to participate in the All of Us Research Program. The program wants 1 million or more participants to help speed up health research and medical breakthroughs.
“We really want to make sure that we’re treating patients better the first time and giving them the quality health care that they deserve,” said Lisa Kunst, the Senior Project Manager for All of Us in Wisconsin.
Making health care more efficient may also help reduce time spent at the doctor’s office and the cost of care Kunst said.
While some studies focus on the bigger picture of health, All of Us wants health care to take a more individualized approach. Participants are asked questions about lifestyle, environment, and their basic biology.
Kunst said diversity in participants is key and stressed the importance of having participants who live in rural areas.
“A lot of times rural communities aren’t included in bio-medical research. So when people like us are included in that research, the cures are going to be tailored to people like us too,” she said. “It’s really going to help health care in Wisconsin in general.”
The clinic has been taking participants in Marshfield since February, and will soon be expanding to Wausau. The clinic also hopes to open up a research location in the Chippewa Falls area in 2019.
Registration to be a participant is through the All of Us website. Clinic staff can help with the registration form and surveys.
Physicians say the clinic portion takes about 25 to 45 minutes, and includes taking blood pressure, body measurements, and blood and urine samples.
The program also asks participants to share their medical record information. Kunst said the program has taken appropriate measures to make sure personal information stays secure.
“Being included in the research, being part of that research, means you’re part of the cure,” Kunst said.
Participants can opt out of some aspects if they’re not comfortable giving particular information.
At the end of the day, Kunst said the program’s aim is to improve health care for people in Central Wisconsin and across the country.