Columbia, South Carolina's Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center (ECCHC) has been chosen as one of six community health centers in the nation to assist The National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Healthcare Provider Organization (HPO) as the NIH begins a Cohort Program of the Precision Medicine Initiative.
The initiative will be funded during fiscal year 2016 with $55 million in NIH grants. The Cohort Program is part of President Barack Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) and will involve at least 1 million patients (likely more). The program will assess patients based on lifetstyle, environment and genetics; its goal is to improve prevention percentages and treatment.
The HPOs will participate in the program for a minumum of five years.
“Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center is honored to have been selected to participate in President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program,” Delgado Cantave, ECCHC president and CEO, said. “We are experiencing new and innovative approaches to providing health care services to our underserved populations. Partnering with NIH and peer Federally Qualified Health Centers on this esteemed pilot program will yield priceless information and new methodologies for the prevention and treatment of diseases.”
Kathy L. Hudson, NIH deputy director for science, outreach and policy, called the program "an incredibly complex study" requiring new kinds of strategic and operational partnerships.
“We are excited to break new ground in engaging people in research and building a study of this scale and scope,” she said.
Patients who wish to join the program can enroll through participating HPOs.