All of Us Research Program announces partnership with Aaron Perry’s Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association

Reprinted with permission

The All of Us Research Program at UW-Madison recently launched a partnership with Aaron Perry and his Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association to recruit and enroll participants in this historic health research effort to help speed up medical breakthroughs.

Perry’s Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association includes a Men’s Wellness and a Men’s Health and Education Center located within JP Hair Design, Madison’s largest black barbershop. The Association serves as a community resource hub for more information about the All of Us program, as well as an enrollment location for those who wish to join. Elizabeth Burnside, co-principal investigator, All of Us – UW-Madison, comments,

Elizabeth Burnside

Aaron Perry is an exceptional leader, so this partnership will be instrumental in our efforts to engage with and inform Madison’s African-American community about the benefits of the All of Us Research Program.

Health research too often leaves out African-Americans. We believe All of Us has the potential to change this pattern and drive research discoveries that significantly improve the health of African-Americans, and other underrepresented groups, in Wisconsin, for generations.

The All of Us Research Program at UW-Madison is part of a nationwide effort to enroll one million or more people who will share information over time for use in thousands of health research studies. In this way, the program aims to advance medical discoveries and improve prevention and treatment of a range of diseases. UW Health joins UW-Madison as a key partner, assisting with outreach and enrollment efforts in southcentral Wisconsin.

Participants in the program are asked to share their electronic health record, answer questions through online surveys, have physical measurements taken and submit samples of blood and urine. Enrollees receive $25 upon completion of these steps. All of Us will let participants know about additional surveys and other ways to share information over the course of the program. Perry notes,

As founder and CEO of the Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association, I’m in full support of the All of Us Program.

As someone who lives his daily life with a chronic health condition, I hope to encourage other black males to join this effort to help improve future health of our kids and our grandkids.

Perry’s partnership with JP Hair Design aims to reduce health disparities and improve the social and health conditions of black men in Dane County. The All of Us Program’s commitment to diversity in health research aligns well with this mission. Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, co-principal investigator, All of Us – UW-Madison, adds,

Farrar-EdwardsAll of Us could not be successful without the partnership and guidance of community organizations like the Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association.

These partnerships are vital to responsibly conveying information within the community and demonstrating that participation in health research programs, like All of Us, helps community leaders and health researchers work toward health equity in Wisconsin and beyond.

For more information, including how to participate, please visit the All of Us -Wisconsin website.

Read more about this and other research partnerships on the CCHE community engagement page

Spring 2019 CCHE Health Equity Research Fellow Seminars

Abraham CCHE Fellow Seminar 19.1

In Fall 2018 CCHE announced its inaugural group of Health Equity Research Fellows. This class of Fellows was established to raise the visibility of health equity scholarship at UW-Madison, expand our research portfolio, and support new interdisciplinary research collaborations on campus.

All six Fellows presented their research at Health Equity Research Seminars this Spring which were attended by CCHE faculty and staff as well as our AHEAD scholars. Looking ahead, we anticipate Fellows and Scholars presenting to broader audiences of stakeholders located on and off campus.

UW-Madison Team Received ACTS Distinguished Educator Award for Research Mentor Training Programs

Two University of Wisconsin collaborators were recently honored with a prestigious award from the Association of Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS). Christine Sorkness, PharmD, RPh, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy and Medicine, and Christine Pfund, PhD, Senior Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education and director of the  Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research (CIMER), were honored in March at the 2019 ACTS Annual Meeting with a Distinguished Educator Award for their decades long partnership to improve research mentor training programs for scholars in the biomedical workforce.

Together, Sorkness and Pfund have led programs at UW ICTR to prepare early stage investigators for successful careers in biomedical research, in particular research that speeds the translation of scientific findings into interventions to improve human health. Nominators applauded their passion for improving teaching and mentoring through evidence-based mentor training programs, alongside a deep commitment to diversifying the biomedical workforce. Marc Drezner, MD, former executive director of UW ICTR, comments,

I was privileged to work with ‘the two Chrises’ during my time at ICTR. The mentor training practices they established became national benchmarks for improving the guidance that research mentors provide to their mentees.

Furthermore, they established a train-the-trainer model to widely disseminate their research mentor training curricula and both played leading roles in the NIH National Research Mentoring Network. Ultimately, their mentor training programs reached more than 9500 graduate students, junior faculty, and senior faculty nationwide, a very impressive achievement!

Sorkness and Pfund were nominated on behalf of local and national colleagues by Allan Brasier, MD, current executive director of ICTR and SMPH Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research. UW ICTR receives support from an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and is a member of the nationwide consortium of over 60 CTSA sites. Brasier notes,

Our yearly reviews from NIH consistently point to the mentor training program led by Sorkness and Pfund as an important strength of our program. Remarkably, their mentor training programs have reached 75% of CTSA sites across the country. They have really had a national impact on workforce development beyond UW.

As the mentor training programs housed at ICTR expanded, Sorkness and Pfund were able to leverage that success, ultimately becoming leaders in the NIH-NRMN initiative. One outcome of NRMN has been the creation of a new Culturally Aware Mentoring (CAM) module, focused on improving mentor relationships for individuals from diverse backgrounds, communities, and cultures.

Designed to support the NRMN goal of significantly advancing the representation and success of traditionally underrepresented groups in biomedical research, CAM has been delivered as intensive one-day training workshops at select CTSA sites. Other trainings have been held at pre-conference sessions linked to regional and national meetings drawing diverse scholars, such as the CIC Academic Network (Big 10 Academic Alliance).

Angela Byars-Winston , PhD, Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity, leads the CAM Initiative for NRMN at ICTR. She adds,

Angela Byars-WinstonPfund and Sorkness have been dedicated to advancing the careers of others and have worked alongside people from diverse backgrounds in an effort to diversify the workforce. Our collaborations in the area of cultural influences on academic and career development have been very productive. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor!

Byars-Winston currently chairs the Committee on the Science of Effective Mentoring in STEMM through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, of which Pfund is a member.

Read more about the work generated by their teams.