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Kaiser Seeks Local Participants for National Research Bank

Posted April 11, 2016, 01:13 PM HST
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medical record pixabayKaiser Permanente Hawai’i members are being sought to take part in a national long-term research effort by the company’s Research Bank.

The research, which entails members providing genetic and environmental information, is designed to improve health care, treatment, and preventative disease for generations to come.

Members would collectively create one of the largest and diverse repositories of health data that would act as a resource for researchers studying health, diseases, and care delivery.

Researchers can use the KP Research Bank to study genetic and environmental factors that affect health, and look for new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent certain diseases.

Asians, Pacific Islanders, and other ethnically diverse members historically under-represented in health studies are highly encouraged to enroll in the KP Research Bank.

The diverse data in Kaiser Permanente’s various regions, including Hawai’i, presents a unique opportunity for researchers to study genetic factors and treatments of diseases, like asthma, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension in mixed-race populations.

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“Our 245,000 members in Hawai’i, who represent a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, have the chance to make a difference — not just in their community, but for future generations — as researchers look to identify ways of improving care in rarely studied populations,” said Cyndee Yonehara, KP Research Bank operations lead for the Hawai’i region. “We are proud and excited to be in the unique position of playing a major role in future research studies that will improve health care and potentially the lives of millions of people around the world.”

Kaiser officials say that over 220,000 members in four regions have been a part of Research Bank biobanking efforts since 2005.

The goal of the widespread launch is to recruit 500,000 ethnically and geographically diverse members across Kaiser Permanente’s seven regions.

To participate in the KP Research Bank, Kaiser Permanente members over 18 years of age must fill out a consent form, granting access to their medical record, complete a brief health survey, and provide a blood sample. Participants’ names, medical record numbers, and personal information will be de-identified and replaced with a study number to keep records private, secure, and confidential. Participation will not affect health care coverage or become part of patients’ medical records.

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