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How You Can Help Shape the Future of Health

Science is advancing at a rapid pace that is changing the most basic ideas about how we take care of ourselves.

Jane L. Delgado, Ph.D., M.S.

President and CEO, Healthy Americas Foundation

We know the one-size-fits-all type of healthcare that was the standard of care for decades may actually hurt, rather than help. We have learned that Hispanics, regardless of heritage, absorb medicines in different ways, and that the effectiveness of medicine varies by the food you eat and even the time of day you take it. 

Thanks to progress in science, we have learned more about our genes and how unique each one of us is, and also how much we have in common. Most important of all, we learned that our genes are only part of the story about our health. The future of health is about personalized medicine so that each person gets the medicine and treatments that will provide the most benefit. 

Left out

While this progress was being made, the inclusion of Hispanic communities was at best an afterthought. Even the most basic information of how many Hispanics died from a given disease did not begin to be collected nationwide until 1989. That was the year a Hispanic modifier was added to the model death certificate. Before then, the government did not know how many Hispanics died each year. 

But more important than how many died and from what, Hispanics were not an adequate part of the clinical trials that developed new medicines and treatments. For Hispanics to benefit from what we have learned, they need to be part of every aspect of health. This means adequately including Hispanics in basic research of new medicines and treatments is essential as we move to a future where medicine will be tailored to meet the factors that make each person unique. 

The future of health is about personalized medicine so that each person gets the medicine and treatments that will provide the most benefit. 

All of Us

To make this vision possible, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the All of Us Research Program, which is seeking to enroll 1 million or more people from across the United States to help speed up medical research. While the goal is impressive, just as important is that from the outset of the effort there has been a significant effort to include Hispanics. 

In the future, the healthcare you receive will include the right medicine at the right time for you. You can be a part of that future by volunteering for the All of Us Research Program at www.joinallofus.org/juntos or by calling 1-844-842-2855. The future of health truly belongs to all of us.

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