Knowing and acting on your family health history is an important way to protect your health. Doctors use family health history to develop a more complete picture of your health and your risk factors for disease. You and your family members share genes and may also share behaviors that contribute to your health. The All of Us Research Program is a medical study that will advance the future of medicine.
The future of health begins with you. Your Family history can tell researchers a lot about medical issues that might be related to your genes. What researchers find out from studying this information could lead to better treatment and disesase prevention for all of us.All of US research project wants to bring precision medicine to every American. The goal of All of Us is to advance precision medicine. Precision medicine is health care that is based on you as an individual. It takes into account factors like where you live, what you do, and your family health history. Precision medicine’s goal is to be able to tell people the best ways to stay healthy. If someone does get sick, precision medicine may help health care teams find the treatment that will work best.
Stephen Mikita, J.D., is a Participant Representative on the Steering Committee for All of Us, a National Institutes of Health research study that aims to gather health data from 1 million Americans in order to advance precision medicine. An assistant attorney general for the state of Utah, Mikita makes time to participate in the Steering Committee in order to represent the unique concerns of those with disabilities. He took time to chat recently about his role with the project and his hopes for its ultimate impact.
How do you feel about being included in this historic project and what are your objectives in participating in this effort to build a more inclusive picture of Americans’ health?
I am one of four Participant Representative on the All of Us Steering Committee. This committee oversees all aspects of the program and helps give direction to it. I was selected from among a lot of applicants to be one of the first two—there are now a total of six Participant Representatives on the Steering Committee. I think it speaks well of the All of Us mission and commitment to include diverse Americans, and particularly those of us with disabilities, on the committee. Participants in the All of Us Research Program are treated as true partners. The focus is on capturing data and information to achieve the ambitious goals of precision medicine. One size doesn't fit all.
Last night a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional. In this case, the legal challenge to the law was based on the fact that Congress eliminated the penalty for the individual mandate in last year’s tax bill and the Supreme Court had previously ruled that the individual mandate of the ACA was constitutional because it was an exercise of Congress’s taxing authority. With the elimination of the penalty, Republican attorneys general had challenged the law now saying that without the tax the individual mandate must fall and with it, the rest of the ACA.
Two things should be noted about this decision: first, it will almost certainly be appealed and will probably end up at the Supreme Court for a decision. Second, it will have no legal affect while these appeals go through so the ACA marketplace is still open for business. As today is the last day to enroll in many states (see yesterday’s blog for some exceptions), do not let yesterday’s court ruling deter you from enrolling in health insurance!
Financial help available for most people to get health insurance. Go to www.healthcare.gov today and #GetCovered.
Action Talking Points and Key Statistics
- Access to health insurance coverage is critical to addressing disparities in health outcomes among people with disabilities:
Annual Montana Youth Transitions and Association of Rehabilitation Conference provides event for RIIC staff to support needs of youth with disabilities in Montana.
Several RIIC staff presented at the Montana Youth Transitions/Montana Association of Rehabilitation Conference in Great Falls, November 14 – 16. The conference is geared towards youth with disabilities, families, educators, service providers and counselors to connect, collaborate, and learn more about transition planning.
A variety of workshops were offered including, but limited to, the areas of creative employment opportunities, self-advocacy, identifying and developing transition resources, assistive technology, and teaching and developing work readiness and quality IEPs.
Authors: Martin E. Blair, PhD and Kaitlyn P. Ahlers, PhD Candidate
Movin’ On in Montana was a post-secondary education campus-based experience for Pre-ETS-eligible youth. Beginning in 2015, several state and federal funding sources, including funding from the required 15% Pre-ETS set-aside, supported a four-day, three-night on-campus experience for high school students. The overarching purpose was to introduce high school students with disabilities to the college experience and to help students recognize that college (e.g., university or technical college) is a possibility if they choose to pursue postsecondary education.
All of US research project wants to bring precision medicine to every American. But what is precision medicine? Precision medicine is a revolutionary approach to treating and preventing disease that is personalized instead of a one size fits all approach.
By gathering data from 1 million people, our country’s best researchers will be able to develop treatments that are as complex and unique as we are. Not all people are the same. Yet when we visit the doctor all treatments look the same. Why is that? We just don’t have enough information to do it better, until now. Click on the following link for more information on precision medicine and how to enroll in the All of Us research project.
In order for medical research to benefit us, we need to be included in the data that research is based on. This simple idea inspired the All of Us Research Program, the research initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). By gathering health data about one million or more people living in the United States, especially from those historically underrepresented in biomedical research, All of Us will usher in a new era of precision medicine. The goal is to help doctors choose the most effective treatments based on an individual’s background, genetics, and lifestyle. But what does precision medicine look like in real life? What does it look like for Montanans?
There are many things we treasure about living in the Last Best Place. Wide open spaces, pristine wilderness, a slower pace of life, and knowing our neighbors. These are benefits we enjoy here, all of which contribute to our quality of life. But there are downsides to living off the beaten path. People in rural states are often overlooked by experts when major health and wellness studies take place. And when data about us is missing, it can't drive the policies and protocols that affect our lives.
Mark your calendars: All of Us webinar and Twitter chat
It might almost be Halloween, but no tricks here! Mark your calendars for these two upcoming All of Us events co-hosted by the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities. After a morning Twitter chat, join the 1.5 hour webinar, which will feature presentations from local Montana disability advocate speakers Bob Liston and Marsha Katz of ADAPT Montana, as well as a presentation from Dr. Erica Woodhal, a professor in the University of Montana’s Department of Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) staff, students, and community partners will be participating in a series of presentations at the University of Montana as part of the School of Public & Community Health Sciences seminar program for students, staff and faculty. The 16 week graduate seminar is part of UM’s Public Health doctoral program aimed to educate and equip students with the skills and expertise to improve public health at the community level and around the world.
October 4, 2018—Health Care Transitions for Youth/Young Adults with Disabilities
October 18, 2018—Walkable communities for all: Using inclusive, interdisciplinary walk audit workshops to achieve health equity
November 8, 2018—Geographic Methods for Application in Public Health
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