The All of Us Research Program University of Arizona-Banner Health is honoring Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, as the August Arizona Health Champion. All of Us UArizona-Banner created the Arizona Health Champion award series to recognize health professionals, educators, community partners and researchers who are dedicated to increasing the quality of health care, access and research, especially in underserved communities.
In honor of National Immunization Month in August, All of Us UArizona-Banner selected Dr. Parthasarathy, contact principal investigator for the Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID Disparities, professor of medicine at UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and director of UArizona Health Sciences Center for Sleep and Circadian Sciences. Dr. Parthasarathy is dedicated to educating communities about COVID-19 prevention and vaccinations through his work at Arizona CEAL.
Additionally, Dr. Parthasarathy spearheaded efforts to address health disparities related to COVID-19 and vaccination by building community partnerships, facilitating open conversations, and providing educational outreach and access. The goal of CEAL is to conduct community-engaged research and outreach and reduce misinformation and mistrust among communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
“The mission of CEAL is to provide trustworthy, science-based information through active community engagement and outreach to the people hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Parthasarathy, who is also a member of the university's BIO5 Institute.
The National Institutes of Health-funded Arizona CEAL program is part of a 21-state alliance to address health disparities. Researchers often work closely with RECOVER, another NIH-funded initiative that is studying long COVID. Dr. Parthasarathy helps lead RECOVER efforts in Arizona.
“During the COVID pandemic – and previously the flu pandemic – we observed that people of color were disproportionately affected with regards to greater mortality and morbidity rates,” Dr. Parthasarathy said. “Inclusive participation in research is extremely important, not only to determine whether the treatments and cures work in all individuals, but also to promote trust and adoption of such treatment in various communities.”
An initiative of the NIH, the All of Us Research Program, led by University of Arizona and Banner Health in Arizona and Colorado, aims to build the largest and most diverse database of health information of its kind to improve health for future generations.
One of the core values of the All of Us Research Program is that participants reflect the rich diversity of the United States. All of Us UArizona-Banner currently leads the country in enrollment with more than 54,000 participants. More than 80% of those participants come from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research; more than half from racial or ethnic groups that have been underrepresented.
Once a participant is enrolled, their personal information is separated from the data, which is then made available for researchers to study. There are currently more than 2,300 studies using All of Us Research Program’s data. Researchers are studying how factors like genetics, environment and lifestyle affect the way in which diseases and medications impact individuals differently. Study topics include the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, the effects of factors like age and socialization on COVID-19 outcomes in the aging Hispanic/Latino population and LGBTQ+ health disparities during COVID-19.
To learn more or to enroll, visit AllofUsAZ.org or call 877-268-2684.
The University of Arizona-Banner Health Program is supported under the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program funding award OT2OD026549 with previous awards UG3OD023171-01 and UG3OD023171-01S1 and the CEAL funding award OT2-HL156812.
“All of Us” and the All of Us logo are registered service marks of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).