ECCHC Chosen for The National Institute of Health’s Cohort Program of the Precision Medicine Initiative
Launch Expected Later This Year
Columbia, SC- Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center (ECCHC), a local Federally Qualified Health Center, has been selected as one of six community health centers out of 1200 across the country by The National Institutes of Health as a Healthcare Provider Organization to help launch the Cohort Program of the Precision Medicine Initiative. The National Institutes of Health announced $55 million in awards in fiscal year 2016 to build the foundational partnerships and infrastructure needed to launch the Cohort Program of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).
The PMI Cohort Program is a landmark longitudinal research effort that aims to engage 1 million or more U.S. participants to improve our ability to prevent and treat disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics. The awards will support a Data and Research Support Center, Participant Technologies Center and a network of Healthcare Provider Organizations (HPO). All awards are for five years, pending progress reviews and availability of funds. With these awards, NIH is on course to begin initial enrollment into the PMI Cohort Program in 2016, with the aim of meeting its enrollment goal by 2020.
“Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center is honored to have been selected to participate in President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program,” said Delgado Cantave, ECCHC President & CEO. “We are experiencing new and innovative approaches to providing healthcare services to our underserved populations. Partnering with NIH and peer FQHC’s on this esteemed pilot program will yield priceless information and new methodologies for the prevention and treatment of diseases.”
The PMI Cohort Program is one of the most ambitious research projects in history and will set the foundation for new ways of engaging people in research. These initial awards bring together the major elements through a variety of new partnerships that are needed to launch the PMI Cohort Program later this year. “This is an incredibly complex study requiring new kinds of strategic and operational partnerships — this can’t be business as usual,” said Kathy L. Hudson, Ph.D., NIH Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy who helped orchestrate the PMI Cohort Program. “We are excited to break new ground in engaging people in research and building a study of this scale and scope.”
Individuals interested in joining the Precision Medicine Initiative research study will be able to enroll through participating healthcare provider organizations (HPOs) or directly through the Participant Technologies Center. The HPO network will include regional and national medical centers, community health centers and medical centers operated by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). This broad network is designed to ensure that participants in the research represent the geographic, ethnic, racial and socioeconomic diversity of the country. Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center has been selected as one of the initial set of HPOs with the expectation that additional organizations will be added. HPOs will engage their patients in the PMI Cohort Program, help build the research protocols and plans, enroll interested individuals and collect essential health data and biological specimens.
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