You Can Impact the Future of Healthcare
By Denece Forenback, MSN, BSN, RN, director of the Clinical Research Unit at the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science. This article was published in the Richmond Register the weekend of January 28, 2023.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2023) — You’ve heard a lot about health research in the recent years of the pandemic. Health research changes lives. It’s how we learn about health conditions and make discoveries to improve treatments, care, and diagnostics. Every medicine or tool we use — from vaccines to pacemakers — was developed through a process of rigorous research with strict oversight.
But research needs people like you in order to move forward. Too often, studies have to end early or don’t enroll enough participants, leaving important questions unanswered.
At the University of Kentucky, health care providers and researchers work diligently to advance discoveries that improve health. We’re part of research studies for new medications for conditions like Alzheimer’s, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), diabetes, transplant rejection and cancers, and we continue to contribute significantly to COVID-19 vaccine studies. We also have studies about a huge variety of other health and wellness issues.
You are invited to join in this discovery. You can make a difference by participating in research. Participating is a way to help others by “giving forward.” It’s also an opportunity to learn about your own health and sometimes to access health resources before they’re widely available.
Whether you’re healthy or have a medical condition, there are opportunities for you to participate. Health research is more than clinical trials for medications or rare diseases. It can be as simple as a questionnaire, a non-invasive health test, or helping to understand the effects of exercise. Many studies compensate participants.
Health research includes extensive protection for participants. The same ethical and legal codes for medical care apply to research, which is regulated with further safeguards. UK, like every research institution, has a review board that evaluates research to ensure participants’ rights and welfare. Every study follows a carefully controlled plan of what researchers will do and what is asked of participants, and this plan is explained in detail before you decide to join. Participants are free to leave a study at any time.
Visit UKClinicalResearch.com to learn how to get involved. You can:
- Explore current studies at UK by topic/health status
- Join UK’s Wellness, Health and You program, a confidential annual survey that seeks to learn how life experiences affect about Kentuckians' health
- Join the national ResearchMatch program, an easy, secure platform that connects people interested in research with studies they might be eligible for. Visit ResearchMatch.org/uky.
For questions about participating in research, contact us at UKClinicalResearch@uky.edu.