UIC unveils new mobile research clinic as part of national NIH program
The University of Illinois at Chicago launched a new mobile research clinic to facilitate enrollment in the All of Us Research Program — a landmark National Institutes of Health program that aims to advance individualized prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds. The program seeks to enroll 1 million participants across the nation.
The specialized vehicle will enable researchers to reach communities that have been underrepresented in biomedical research, and that tend to have poor access to health care due to geographic barriers or limited transportation options.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the mobile unit was held on April 25 at UI Health Mile Square Health Center.
Speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included:
- U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, 7th District
- Alderman Sigcho Lopez, 25th Ward
- Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Dr. John Jay Shannon, CEO of Cook County Health and Hospital System
- Dr. Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs at UIC
- Joanna Groden, vice chancellor for research at UIC
- Dr. Martha Daviglus, director of the Institute for Minority Health Research, associate vice chancellor for research and co-principal investigator of the All of Us research program at UIC
- Dr. Robert Winn, associate vice chancellor of community-based practice at UIC, director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center and co-principal investigator of the All of Us research program at UIC
- Henry Taylor, executive director of UI Health Mile Square Health Centers
The full-sized mobile unit is wheelchair accessible. It has several stations for participants to complete surveys on iPads, an area for blood draws and physical
The All of Us Research Program, which was launched nationally in 2018, emphasizes recruitment of individuals from communities that have been historically underrepresented in research. Participants will share health information such as lifestyle habits and living conditions, medical history, blood and urine samples, and blood pressure, height and weight measurement, which will ultimately provide the most diverse biomedical data resource in history. The data will be used to develop precision preventive strategies and treatments for both rare conditions and common acute and chronic diseases that may affect diverse populations differently.
In Illinois, many participants are joining the All of Us program through the Illinois Precision Medicine Consortium, which includes the University of Illinois at Chicago and UI Health, the university’s academic medical center and clinics, as well as Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Rush University Medical Center, NorthShore University Health System, and other affiliates such as Cook County Hospital, UIC College of Medicine in Peoria, Erie Family Health Centers and NorthShore Health Centers. NIH also funded more than 100 other organizations throughout the U.S. to be partners in the program.
The mobile unit will initially be located at UI Health’s Mile Square Health Center clinics, located across Chicago’s South and West sides, and will travel to other underserved neighborhoods in the city in the coming months. It will also be deployed to health fairs, neighborhood festivals and church-based events.
People who are 18 years or older can currently enroll, regardless of their health status.
To learn more about the All of Us program and how to join, please visit https://joinallofus.org.