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How the ‘All of Us’ bus can help with your health history while it's in Richmond

Posted at 12:26 PM, May 02, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. — Historically, the proportion of white male participants in clinical trials is about 80%, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but researchers are actively working to change that statistic.

NIH’s “All of Us” research program stopped at the Broad Rock library branch in Richmond this week.

The campaign is asking 1 million volunteers to share different types of health and lifestyle information, including where they live, what they do and their family health history.

Researchers from NIH will use the data to learn how our biology, lifestyle and environment affect health in order to find ways to treat and prevent disease.

Tour manager Brave De La Cruz admits that most health data is lacking for many races and ethnicities.

“We are trying to create something that is more diverse and reflects the diversity in our country,” she explained.

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Brave De La Cruz

Arely Ayuzo works in healthcare and, as a Hispanic, said she felt compelled to participate.

“I think, for me, it’s really cool that I can be part of this because this is something I want to investigate by myself. Like what I’m composed of and what things I can be prone to — including when they mentioned to me what medications that can be bad or good for me, which is mind-blowing,” Ayuzo recalled.

Employees with the biotech company Genentech were also at the Broad Rock branch volunteering. One of the company’s key focus areas is addressing disparities of care and closing the gaps in healthy equity and access to care.

The Journey Exhibit features interactive activities, videos, games and quizzes which are designed to demonstrate the power of your participation in health research.

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Participants will receive their medical history at no cost in about two years, as researchers collect samples from across the country. Private companies typically charge $200 to $300 for the same information.

The "All of Us" exhibit will be at the Broad Rock branch until 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Their next stop is the East End branch at 1200 North 25th Street on Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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