Health Equity Project

2019: IAC-SAAPRI partnership created to engage NIH-funded All of Us Research Program

More about what All of Us Research Program is and how Chicago’s Asian American community can make an impact!

In 2019, the Indo-American Center (IAC) received a grant from the Asian Health Coalition and partnered with SAAPRI to conduct outreach and education around the National Institutes of Health-funded All of Us Research Program. IAC received one of only six grants available to Asian-serving organizations across the country.

The mission of All of Us is to gather medical data from 1 million people in the United States in order to accelerate precision medicine research. Given the lack of data on South Asian patients and communities, SAAPRI and IAC work specifically within the program’s Asian Recruitment and Engagement Core to increase representation of AAPI populations within All of Us research. 

“We are grateful to the Asian Health Coalition for awarding this grant to IAC. It is very important that South Asians are included in the All of Us project, especially with our uniquely higher than normal rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We are also excited to be working with SAAPRI because they have the expertise with South Asian research and data.” 

IAC’s former Executive Director, Selma D’Souza

SAAPRI and IAC engage local Chicago communities on how they can best contribute to the future of biomedical research through All of Us. Enrollment is free and participation would be invaluable to finding healthcare solutions that are specifically applicable to our AAPI populations. Participants may be asked to take online surveys, share their electronic health record, give blood samples, and have physical measurements taken. 

With more data on the health risks prevalent in South Asians, researchers may find patterns that will help healthcare providers tailor medications and treatments to patients in our community based on their unique environment, lifestyle, and health history. This is the goal of precision medicine. 

“We are thrilled to be working with the Indo-American Center to engage our community on this exciting new research initiative. South Asians are being treated based on medical research that has been done on people who are not South Asian. If we want better health care for ourselves and future generations, it is important to participate in programs like All of Us so that health professionals can better understand how to treat us as individuals and as a community.”

Dhara Puvar, former Executive Director of SAAPRI

Outreach for the program kicked off at IAC’s Early Voting Day on February 16th, 2019, where Ms. Puvar gave a presentation to community members about the benefits of joining All of Us and the importance of South Asian participation – both at the polls and in research. SAAPRI and IAC has continued to host several outreach events since.