Drs. Breathett, Ramos Pen ‘Healthy Dose’ Blogposts on Medical Bias, Precision Medicine

Two articles posted as blogposts to “The Health Dose” blog by the University of Arizona Health Sciences tackle tough issues over medical bias with minority patients and the nationwide launch May 6 of the All of Us℠ Research Program—at a moment when the Arizona cohort leads the nation in recruitment and received confirmation that the state’s largest award from the National Institutes of Health just got bigger.

Medical Bias

The first blog, “Helping Your Doctor Overcome Medical Bias of Minority Patients,” was written by heart failure specialist Khadijah Breathett, MD, who joined the faculty in the UA Division of Cardiology and UA Sarver Heart Center last fall.

Infographic on physician biasIt explores how race or ethnicity influence clinical decision-making, reporting findings of these complex issues from an article, “Factors Related to Physician Clinical Decision-Making for African American and Hispanic Patients: A Qualitative Meta-synthesis,” published March 5 in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Dr. Breathett was primary author on the research (click image on right to enlarge).

She notes that some physicians worry about racial/ethnic minority patients being less likely to adhere to recommended care or sending them to specialists because they may be underinsured. She offers several approaches to recognize and clarify concerns that create barriers to accessing care, encouraging patients to “ask for help,” “find a facility that has what you need” and “take charge of your modifiable risk factors.”


All of Us℠

Drs. Valerie Schaibley and Kenneth RamosThe second blog, “The All of Us Research Program – Powering the Future of Precision Medicine,” was penned by Valerie Schaibley, PhD, and Kenneth Ramos, MD, PhD, PharmB, from the UA Health Sciences Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine.

Dr. Schaibley is the administrator of the center, which hosted its "3rd Annual Precision Medicine Symposium" on May 9.

A man interacts with a kiosk in the All of Us Journey exhibit [National Institutes of Health]Dr. Ramos, who also holds titles as UAHS associate vice president for precision health sciences, director of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s MD-PhD Program and professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, is the center’s director. In addition, he’s an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a co-investigator on the All of Us℠ Arizona Research Program—operated jointly by the UAHS and Banner Health. The national program was initially known as the Precision Medicine Initiative.

On May 3, UA President Robert Robbins, MD, announced UAHS and Banner Health received a nearly $9 million installment on an expanded award for their participation in the national All of Us℠ program to enroll a million participants and build a genetic database that will enable researchers to develop personalized medical solutions to some of the world’s most daunting health challenges.

Originally planned as $43.3 million over five years—already the largest peer-reviewed grant in state history—the award now has been increased to $60 million. The increase was based on performance.

Dr. Akinlolu Ojo“We are ahead of all nine other HPOs (health-care provider organizations) in the country: UAB, Wisconsin, Columbia, New England, Chicago, Detroit, the University of California system, Miami + Emory, and Pittsburgh,” noted Akinlolu Ojo, MD, MPH, PhD, a UA nephrologist, UAHS associate vice president for clinical research and global health initiatives, and principal investigator for the Arizona All of Us℠ program.

With 7,063 full participants recruited as of May 8, the Arizona cohort was well ahead of all others. Closest were the University of Pittsburgh-led cohort at 5,122 participants, the TransAmerica Consortium led by the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit with 3,353, and New England, led by Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General hospitals, at 3,297.

It’s more than just a number’s game, though, Drs. Schaibley and Ramos note in their blog. The information gleaned from data of participants can mean easing patient suffering to potentially curing cancer, they underscore.

To learn more about how you can become “One in a Million” with All of Us℠, please visit https://allofusaz.uahs.arizona.edu/ or call toll-free 877-268-2684.


“UA, Banner Health Receive Largest NIH Award in Arizona History” | Posted May 3, 2018
“DOM Faculty Enlisted for All of Us℠ Arizona Research Program Video Interviews” | Posted Jan. 11, 2018
“DOM Blog: Arizona All of Us Research Program Enrolls First 1,000 Participants at UA, Banner Health” | Posted Oct. 4, 2017

Release Date: 
05/09/2018 - 4:30pm