Two University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) faculty members have been awarded a $15,000 mini-grant from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in support of the All of Us Research Program. This precision health initiative led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is aimed at gathering health data from 1 million or more U.S. participants so that researchers can gain a better understanding of the multiple environmental, lifestyle, and biological factors that can impact health and develop the next great breakthroughs in health care. UMSON is one of nine nursing schools nationwide to be awarded this funding.
Veronica Njie-Carr, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FWACN, associate professor, and Kristen E. Rawlett, PhD ’14, FNP-BC, assistant professor, are co-principal investigators on the grant, which aims to disseminate information about the All of Us Research Program to targeted Baltimore populations historically underrepresented in biomedical research — including African-American/black; Hispanic; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and intersex individuals — in collaboration with a community partner.
The mini-grant funding supports a “town hall” event, “Improving Health for All of Us in Baltimore and Beyond,” scheduled for Feb. 9, 10-11:30 a.m., at William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School in West Baltimore with a goal of bringing as many as 300 community members together to learn more about participating in the All of Us Research Program.
The event will feature Rick Garcia, PhD, MS, BSN, director of nursing education at AACN, who will speak about the vital role citizens play in the All of Us research campaign and how its results will benefit their community.
“The AACN All of Us mini-grant is important because it provides a unique opportunity to engage the academic nursing community with the All of Us Research Program funded by NIH,” Rawlett said. “Receiving this grant is meaningful because along with educating the community about precision health and the All of Us Research Program, it gives community stakeholders a voice in letting researchers and funders, like NIH, know what content is important to them and how to best convey information to community members. The funding from the mini-grant brings research information and opportunities into the community to improve health and quality of life.
“Given the remarkable investment of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) leadership in the Baltimore community, and as nurse researchers, we have developed relationships and are already working with community stakeholders and individuals in Baltimore and its surroundings,” Rawlett and Njie-Carr wrote in the grant application.
The University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library, which is housed on the UMB campus and serves as the Regional Medical Library for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Southeastern/Atlantic Region, also is participating in the All of Us campaign.
NNLM has partnered with the All of Us Research Program to work with public libraries to engage local communities, raise awareness about the program for populations underrepresented in biomedical research, and improve health literacy. This partnership will provide funding, training, and connections to empower members to transform their communities with trusted health information.
“We are honored to have this opportunity to work with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to advance the important work of the All of Us Research Program,” said UMSON Dean Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “UMSON has a distinguished history in community/public health nursing, nursing research, and service to the community. We look forward to contributing to the All of Us Research Program and enhancing the understanding of how individuals and communities throughout the U.S. can achieve improvements in health outcomes.”
AACN joined with NIH to advance the All of Us Research Program by administering a mini-grant program to facilitate the engagement of the nursing education community with the All of Us Research Program, and in particular, its focus on including historically underrepresented communities in biomedical research. This initiative uses collaboration among established community partners and nursing schools to disseminate information on the All of Us Research Program.
To learn more about the All of Us Research Program, visit http://allofus.nih.gov.