FiftyForward is one of seven national community partners to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue work to engage participants for the All of Us Research Program from communities underrepresented in biomedical research, with a focus on older adults and rural individuals.
All of Us is a national effort that aims to enroll one million or more people to build one of the largest, most diverse databases of health information so researchers can use data from this diverse group to study health and disease. FiftyForward will collaborate with other program awardees to engage and motivate individuals from underrepresented communities through innovative outreach, enrollment, and retention strategies.
“As a community engagement partner, we are honored to contribute our efforts and expertise to ensure older adults and rural individuals have the chance to become All of Us participant partners,” said FiftyForward Chief Program Officer Gretchen Funk. “We are committed to sharing information about All of Us widely and engaging and motivating older adults and the community through our centers, programs, peer ambassador volunteers, and trusted partnerships throughout Middle Tennessee.”
Since 2017, FiftyForward has been a proud National Community Engagement Partner for the All of Us Research Program, with a specific aim to provide outreach and education to older adults and those residing in rural communities. To date, FiftyForward has held more than 250 engagement events, reaching audiences of 10,000+, including proudly hosting one of the program’s national launch events in 2018. FiftyForward trains and retains a dynamic group of older adults as All of Us Peer Ambassadors, who encourage program enrollment and the participation of older adults and other individuals from underrepresented communities. Combined, these volunteers have contributed nearly 1,000 hours to the program since the All of Us initiative was launched.
Vera Coleman, one of the FiftyForward All of Us Peer Ambassadors, has spent her life valuing education and the sciences. Having worked in the 1960s as one of the few females in biomedical research at Vanderbilt and Meharry, Coleman said, “I’ve always believed in the merits of research. Now, I have an awesome opportunity to be involved in something that will not only prove beneficial for me, but for my family and community as well. The All of Us Research Program has become my passion!”
Learn more about the All of Us Research Program and how you can become one in million, by visiting www.joinallofus.org/fiftyforward. To book a free presentation on the All of Us Research Program for your community or group, contact All of Us Project Director Kelsey Mahaffey, at [email protected] or 615-743-3431.
To hear Coleman’s story and gain more insight on her Nashville roots as well as the benefits of her participation in the All of Us Research program, listen to Squeeze the Day podcast (https://fiftyforward.org/podcast/).
Established in 1956, FiftyForward supports, champions, and enhances life for those 50 and older. As a nonprofit serving Middle Tennessee, FiftyForward operates seven lifelong learning centers – two in Williamson County and five in Davidson County –offering classes including health and wellness, arts, technology, virtual programming, and engaging volunteer opportunities. FiftyForward also provides comprehensive supportive care for older adults including essential services such as FiftyForward Adult Day Services, FiftyForward Fresh/Meals on Wheels, and care management. Learn more about older adults and those we serve in our podcast Squeeze the Day, our video series FiftyForward Exchange, and at www.fiftyforward.org. Follow us @FiftyForward on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.