Case Study: Engaging Diverse Populations in Research
A cornerstone of the federal government’s Precision Medicine Initiative is the All of Us Research Program. Led by the National Institutes of Health, All of Us is a historic effort to harness the power of data from one million or more Americans to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs and to help develop more individualized prevention and treatment strategies. HCM Strategists was selected by NIH to ensure that the All of Us volunteers reflect the diversity of the U.S., with significant participation by communities historically underrepresented in biomedical research.
As the engagement and communications awardee of the All of Us Research Program, HCM strategized, built and nurtured a national network of more than 500 community-based and healthcare provider organizations that serve as validators and trusted intermediaries to educate potential participants on the value of precision medicine and program participation. HCM proposed and manages the Community and Provider Influencer Initiative, which provides needed resources to help trusted organizations with deep reach into communities who are underrepresented in biomedical research to build outreach and engagement activities among these priority populations. HCM overcame a potential obstacle to participation by developing an interactive mobile unit (All of Us Journey) that provides culturally and linguistically sensitive information and facilitates face-to-face engagement. HCM also develops original and repurposed content for the program and works to ensure that the participant/community voice is integrated through program development and design by securing participant perspective and roles in governance, working groups, special population subcommittees and program workshops.
HCM’s multipronged approach is helping the All of Us Research Program establish the trust, transparency and value that is critical to ensuring participation by communities historically underrepresented in biomedical research. In advance of the All of Us public launch, the national network of partners generated awareness and significant interest among diverse groups, building relationships that could span decades. HCM’s work helps to ensure that inclusive participant perspectives drive program development and implementation decisions so that the program benefits everyone. Together, these efforts provide the foundation for All of Us to be a groundbreaking national research resource platform capable of yielding important breakthroughs to improve, lengthen and save lives—especially in communities where research matters most.