The overarching aim of the Cohort Core is to increase the immediate and long-term impact of the critical research proposed in the genomic clusters by connecting the genomic clusters to the community, including current patients, potential patients, and medical providers across Indiana. This Core also serves to incorporate a broader conceptual vision of the human aspects of precision medicine by engaging the social sciences and ethics fields in the implementation of IU’s Precision Health Initiative. In doing so we will address the third major PHI aim: To make progress on key chronic diseases that affect Indiana, the U.S., and other societies.
The Cohort Core will address four focal challenges:
- Chronic diseases are complex, shaped by social, cultural, environmental, economic and geographic factors as well as biological ones. Making progress on these diseases requires a more comprehensive understanding of those complex factors, understanding which we will pursue through the creation of a statewide and representative population health cohort study that will establish Indiana as a living laboratory for comprehensive precision health care.
- In order to more fully understand chronic diseases and how individuals in the community deal with them, we must have data that scientifically represents the people of Indiana, including those who have health problems now and those who do not, as well as those that seek health care and follow-up with treatment recommendations and those that do not . It is particularly crucial to include Hoosiers from areas of greatest deprivation and diverse racial and ethnic groups, as a representative sample will dramatically enhance the utility of that data in preventing, treating and curing chronic disease. The Cohort Core will recruit such a representative cohort.
- Communities are too often omitted or marginalized from health care planning, especially at early stages where relationships based on mutual understanding and trust are created. This foundation of shared knowledge and experience is critical for successful public health implementation of precision medicine. We will create an efficient, outreach pipeline from and back to the community by leveraging the ties formed during the field study, in order to more fully engage all key stakeholders in addressing issues of chronic disease.
- Traditional biomedical training and practice offers little opportunity for students, research faculty and clinicians to understand the impact of complex contexts on health, medical care experiences, and treatment outcomes. The Cohort Core will enhance education offerings in these areas so as to enhance biomedical research and the practice of medicine.