RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – A community-based population health study just launched by Nevada-based Renown Health, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and 23andMe, a personal genetics company, has doubled its initial enrollment size.
Renown announced on Saturday that it has closed enrollment.
"Community members can sign up for a waiting list to be kept informed of availability at partners.renown.org," Renown said in a statement.
Officials earlier announced that due to overwhelming public interest, they increased the pilot phase of the study to an additional 5,000, bringing total participants to 10,000.
“This is population health at its best,” said Anthony Slonim, M.D., DrPH, Renown Health president and CEO. “We honestly didn’t know how long it would take to enroll 5,000 people because this has never been done before.”
Lead DRI scientist on the study Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D. explained that public enrollment in the study had reached more than 5,000 people by Friday, less than 24 hours after the initial announcement.
Grzymski added that Renown Health and DRI research team members consented more than 250 people to participate in the pioneering study in less than one hour following a press conference that included Governor Brian Sandoval announcing his participation.
"Surpassing the enrollment goal in less than 24 hours is unheard of in research studies," said Anne Wojcicki,” co-founder and CEO of 23andMe. "Treating people like partners in research and returning information back to participants is an incredible tool for driving participation and engagement."
For more information and to sign up for the study, visit partners.renown.org or call
ORIGINAL STORY: Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute have announced a new collaboration with 23andMe, a personal genetics company, to launch one of the first community-based population health studies in the U.S. that will combine health, population and genetic information with environmental data and return 23andMe genetic results to study participants.
Funded by Renown Health Foundation and Nevada’s Knowledge Fund, this pilot study will offer community members the opportunity to volunteer for research while also gaining access to their individual genetic information at no cost.
23andMe’s Genotyping Services for Research platform is designed to enable local researchers to review genetic data and health-related survey responses from study participants. Combining genetic data with health and population data from Renown, as well as information from environmental databases, DRI scientists will analyze and model public health risks ranging from disease and illness, to the effects of air quality on the health of Nevadans.
“This collaboration addresses one of the fundamental tensions in medicine: Which is more important nature or nurture?” explained Anthony Slonim, M.D., DrPH, Renown Health president and CEO. “Clearly, both are important and by combining Renown’s de-identified health data, such as 300,000 health histories that are five years or longer and patient population demographics, with other determinants, like social and environmental, we can begin to better understand the health and healthcare needs of the people and communities we serve.”
The study is open to the first 5,000 northern Nevada residents who qualify.
“This is the ultimate example of population health in action in a community based setting,” Dr. Slonim added.
Each participant will receive 23andMe’s Personal Genetic Service, including more than 65 personalized genetic reports on their health, wellness, traits and ancestry. 23andMe is the first direct-to-consumer genetics company to provide reports that meet FDA standards.
“We see this as an innovative approach to population health that will benefit Nevadans, and could serve as a model for other states,” said Andy Page, president of 23andMe. "It’s exciting to have Renown and DRI, leaders in healthcare and research, come together for a comprehensive study of this scale, and to see such a great application of our Genotyping Services for Research platform."
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, who announced his participation as one of the first Nevadans to complete 23andMe’s DNA test as part of this study, said this offers an unprecedented opportunity for residents of the Silver State.
“Nevada’s greatest resource is, and always has been, our people,” said Governor Sandoval. “Renown’s forward-thinking approach to community healthcare, combined with DRI’s data and environmental expertise, will create incredible potential for new scientific discoveries and encourage citizens just like myself to take a proactive role in self-care and ultimately change the way we think about our health moving forward.”
“This is a very proud moment for DRI and for Nevada, made possible because of Governor Sandoval’s vision for innovation through the Knowledge Fund,” added Dr. Robert Gagosian, DRI acting president.
Researchers hope to build an infrastructure to apply the population health pilot to all Nevada residents – approximately 2.8 million people. In doing so, researchers could build predictive models and look for significant population health factors across demographic variables such as gender, age, income, location; and distinct population health strata that consider community health, individual health, and chronic disease variables, as well as their interactions.
“Through this study, we will begin to understand how environmental factors can help predict who may be at risk, allow for quicker diagnoses, and encourage the development of more precise treatments,” said Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., AIC senior director and principal investigator of the study.
“That understanding, combined with the information we will deliver back to study participants, are the first steps toward a future where access to your personal health data will contribute to a higher overall quality of life for all Nevadans.”