A traveling exhibit to raise awareness about and recruit volunteers for a national research initiative that seeks health information from a million Americans will stop over the next two weeks in Omaha and Grand Island.
The National Institutes of Health launched its unprecedented All of Us program in 2015 to gather genetic, biological, environmental, health and lifestyle data that researchers can tap to learn more about how differences in those factors can influence health and disease. The ultimate goal is to use that information to prevent and treat diseases in an approach known as precision medicine.
But first, they need to reach “all of us.”
The All of Us Journey comprises two mobile units that are traveling across the country in partnership with various organizations, including the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. The University of Nebraska Medical Center and community partners are hosting the Nebraska stops in conjunction with the alliance.
Jane Delgado, the alliance’s president and CEO, said the outreach is intended to ensure that the initiative is based on good science. In the past, Hispanics, African Americans, women and older people have felt that they were not well-represented in scientific research.
Sign up for the Live Well Nebraska newsletter
Get the latest health headlines and inspiring stories straight to your inbox.
Reaching out to the Hispanic community is key, she said, because some of the group’s health outcomes are different than those of other groups.
“It’s the first major step the NIH is taking ... to get us towards personalized medicine, which is the holy grail we’re all working toward,” Delgado said. “This is so important for all of us. It’s really going to change the discussion.”
Participants, who must be at least 18, will complete a series of confidential questionnaires online, providing information including demographic, lifestyle and health behaviors. They will also provide — in private rooms — physical measurements and biological samples such as blood and urine. The bus also offers a virtual reality experience that demonstrates how medical breakthroughs have made a difference in the world.
The research bus’s first stop will be Tuesday through Friday at Metropolitan Community College’s South Campus at 2909 Edward “Babe” Gomez Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.
It’s also important that the project is tapping the Midwest, said Athena Ramos, an assistant professor in the UNMC College of Public Health’s Department of Health Promotion and Center for Reducing Health Disparities. Such studies often focus on coastal populations.
“Even bringing it here physically to Nebraska is a really great step in the right direction,” she said.
Hours for the Grand Island stop, at 1137 S. Locust St., are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 21 and 23, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 22, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 24.
1 of 17
Matthew Eledge and husband Elliot Dougherty plan to explain her out-of-the-ordinary birth to their daughter in terms she can understand: that her grandmother furnished the garden where she grew, and that her aunt, Lea Yribe, generously supplied the seeds.
One pothole did a passenger a favor when the ambulance he was in struck it, according to first responders. Gretna firefighters were taking a man suffering chest pain and a high heart rate to the hospital. While en route to Lakeside Hospital, the ambulance hit a pothole. The jolt returned the patient’s heart rate to normal.
Thought to be brain dead, doctors took former Creighton Bluejays play-by-play announcer T. Scott Marr off life support. Before his family settled on a funeral home, they decided to see their dad one more time. When they got there, he was awake and speaking.
Karla Perez was 22 weeks pregnant when she suffered a catastrophic brain bleed and was declared brain dead. Her unborn child was alive, but wouldn't survive delivery. So family and doctors kept her on life support. Angel was born eight weeks later.
Darnisha Ladd never imagined Snapchat would help save her life after she suffered a stroke. But needing a precise timeline of events, doctors and family relied on a post on the phone app and were able to give her a needed medication in time.
Lindsey and Derek Teten's triplets are one in a million. Literally. The Nebraska City couple's three daughters, born in late June 2017, are identical and were conceived without fertility treatments. The girls were the second set of spontaneous triplets born at Methodist Women's Hospital. The first set, also girls, was born in 2015.
What makes Jamey Dougall's health story unusual is his treatment plan. Dougall, who's legally blind, uses a special pair of glasses to see. He's seen his wife Kandice, his two daughters, and now, his favorite college football team — the Huskers.
Doctors diagnosed the paralysis that was creeping up Justin Chenier's legs as Guillain-Barre syndrome. It would become so serious that the Omaha man would nearly lose consciousness while screaming because of the pain. The syndrome was triggered by West Nile virus.
Kenze Messman's been diagnosed with several chronic illnesses. Sometimes her heart rate climbs, seizures send her to the floor and migraines leave her in the dark. And one of the ailments causes the 17-year-old to have allergic reactions to almost everything.
The skin on Sharan Bryson's leg was black from lack of circulation. She felt nothing but a sharp, stabbing pain. The leg was dead, and her best option was amputation. Bryson bounced back and put her hard work to the test by running a 5K.
Chase Tiemann has had numerous surgeries in his young life, including the amputation of his left arm. The Omaha boy has a condition that causes tumors — sometimes benign, sometimes cancerous — to form on his body. To boost his spirits after amputation, the Papillion Fire Department named Chase an honorary firefighter.
Wesley Woods battled heart disease for 20 years. He'd racked up nine heart attacks, multiple surgeries and one heart transplant. He was tired of hospitals. Tired of chest pain. Tired of feeling tired. Woods was lucky — he received a second transplant.
Amber Kudrna wasn't sure she'd be able to have a child of her own. After two kidney transplants, doctors gave the Omaha woman a laundry list of potential pregnancy complications. Kudrna and husband Adam weighed their options and, in September 2018, welcomed a baby boy.
Joe Nolan couldn't take his son James' pain away. But he could find a way to share it. Nolan got a tattoo that arched across his head, just like his son's scar. James was born with a handful of ailments, including one that regularly requires his skull to be reshaped.