VA All of Us research program site opens in Augusta

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 1:45pm

    The VA All of Us Research Program is pleased to announce the opening of its newest program site in Augusta, Maine. Located at the Togus VA Medical Center, 1 VA Center, the new site joins the 28 VA All of Us Research Program sites currently operating in VA Medical Centers across the U.S. A second site—in Portland, will open later this year.

    “Maine is one of just two states in which we’ll launch sites this year,” said Dr. Sherilyn Sawyer, one of the program’s principal investigators. “We chose Maine because many Veterans here have expressed interest in joining All of Us but didn’t have access to a convenient VA enrollment site. With more than 100,000 Veterans in the state, we look forward to partnering with those who want to advance health research while learning about their own health in the process.”

    The National Institutes of Health launched the All of Us Research Program in 2018 with a mission to accelerate health research. That same year, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with the program to ensure that Veterans would be counted and could benefit from the program.

    To meet its mission, All of Us is working to enroll one million or more participants, reflecting the rich diversity of our nation, in the program. Participants contribute bio samples and information about factors that influence health, such as lifestyle and the environment. The vast quantity of data provided has led to one of the largest and most diverse research datasets in the U.S. that researchers are using to study major illnesses and health conditions. More than 10,000 research studies are now underway.

    Veterans who enroll in All of Us can choose to receive information about their own DNA. They may elect to receive personal health-related insights, such as whether they are at increased risk of developing certain health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, and how their body might react to certain medications—all free of charge. When DNA results are returned, participants can receive free genetic counseling, if they would like help understanding their results.

    “We are excited to be able to enroll our Maine Veterans,” said Dr. Marie Albert, local site investigator for All of Us at the Togus VA Medical Center. “While Veterans will be contributing to a major national health research program that could benefit future generations, we hope that the insights and information they receive will help them in their own health journey.”

    To make an appointment or to learn more about the VA All of Us Research Program, please call (833) 805-0426. Veterans can also visit to learn more or enroll online.

    The All of Us Research Program is expected to last for 10 years or longer to monitor health over time. As of April 20, 2024, more than 784,000 people, including 37, 380 Veterans, have enrolled in the program, 80.9 percent of whom have historically been underrepresented in biomedical research.