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Patients & Community

Patients & Community

About Medical Research

Frequently asked questions about clinical research, the study of health and illness in people.

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Volunteer for a Study

Information to help you decide if you want to take part in a clinical research study.

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Research Community Resources

Resources on how and why HHS and HHRI conduct medical studies and how we serve the community.

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Patient Advocacy

Find out how Hennepin Healthcare protects patients participating in clinical research studies.

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Research Highlights

Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute is testing an innovative way to help people quit smoking – by letting them bet on themselves and win real money. It’s part of a new game called QuitBet and it’s being funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant administered by researchers at Hennepin Healthcare. Players commit to quit smoking over four weeks and bet $30 on themselves, which goes into the pot. Players then receive a free breath testing device to track their progress every day. At the end, all the players who have managed to quit win back their bet plus a profit as they split the pot with the other winners. Winners typically double their money while quitting smoking.

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paramedic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought changes to many areas of our lives, including how and where we work, how our children play and learn, and how we get our healthcare.  The challenges that came with the pandemic affected how research is conducted as well, and at a time when research presented one of our best hopes for navigating a way forward, lock downs and safety protocols created new hurdles for participation in research.  In response to these challenges, HHRI developed a partnership with Hennepin Healthcare’s Community Paramedics team so patients could continue to have access to the research studies that were investigating new treatments for the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Dr-Warren-McKinney

Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) is proud to announce that Warren McKinney, PhD, has been named HHRI’s VP for Equity in Research. In this role, Dr. McKinney joins the HHRI Board of Directors and the institute’s executive leadership team. The VP for Equity in Research is a new position at HHRI created to help Hennepin Healthcare and HHRI best meet their shared goal of improving equity in research by investing in a coordinated approach to reduce barriers and facilitate health equity research by engaging with minority communities in a more in-depth manner.

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Microscope-scientist

Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) received a grant from 3M to support the training of postdoctoral and junior faculty researchers. HHRI’s Research and Career Development Award is designed to extend the impact of STEM educational curricula by providing a clear pathway to career opportunities in related fields, especially in biomedical research. This aligns with HHRI and 3M’s shared commitment to increase diversity, advance inclusion, and achieve equity in the community, workplace and business practices.

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Dr Tyler Winkelman

Hennepin Healthcare physician and HHRI researcher Dr. Tyler Winkelman was Dr. David Hilden’s guest Healthy Matters on WCCO 830-AM radio on Sunday, September 26, talking about the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Consortium, COVID-19 vaccinations and stats, health equity, and how Minnesota collaborates. Dr. Winkelman leads the Minnesota consortium. Their mission is to improve health by informing policy and practice through data-driven collaboration among Minnesota’s healthcare community members.

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People

People in Minnesota’s Black, Indigenous and communities of color experience some of the worst health disparities in the United States. A new research center, the Center for Chronic Disease Reduction and Equity Promotion Across Minnesota (C2DREAM), led by the University of Minnesota (U of M) and Mayo Clinic, will research the impact of structural and interpersonal racism on these health inequities for people who are Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). This work will be done in collaboration with community leaders and community health organizations across the state, including the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute. “Racism is a fundamental cause of health inequities in Minnesota,” explains Rachel Hardeman, Ph.D., founding director of the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity (CARHE) and an associate professor in the U of M School of Public Health. “Working together, C2DREAM will study and confront the complex, multidimensional ways racism impacts chronic disease for BIPOC communities.”

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Research Stories

Investigator Spotlight

Find a dream or a goal, work towards it and lean on your community to help you

Image of Dr. Casey DorrCasey Dorr, PhD, is an investigator at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI), Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, and now a student again, working on a Master’s degree in Biostatistics. A member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Dr. Dorr was featured in the February 2019 Ojibwe Inaajimowin where he talks about chasing dreams, setting goals and counting on your community to help you along the way are major keys to success.

In the article, Dr. Dorr recounts how a high-school trip to the rainforests of Belize sent him on his path to becoming a researcher. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Cell Biology and Chemistry at the University of Minnesota Duluth, he earned his PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.

At HHRI, Dr. Dorr’s research focuses on cell culture, CRISPR, RNA sequencing, Flow Cytometry, Genomics and Biotechnology.  He’s combining all of these technologies with his passion to help us understand better why people’s bodies metabolize drugs differently.

Protecting Patients

Empowering Research Participants with Information

But while research is essential, respect for patient autonomy and decision making, as well as the protection of the patients’ safety, remains the priority.
- Adm. Brett P. Giroir, MD
Assistant Secretary for Health, US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) is a department within the DHHS that protects the rights, welfare and well-being of people who participate in clinical research trials.

In a recent blog, Adm. Brett P. Giroir, MD, writes about OHRP's  About Research Participation initiative to provide accessible informational for potential research participants. The About Research Participation website contains resources for the public in English and Spanish to learn about participating in research and making informed decisions. You can find links to these and other helpful resources and in the Useful Links section below.

Useful Links

Websites

Hennepin Healthcare and the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute are committed to improving patient care and the health of our community through research and education. For the past year, Hennepin Healthcare has been working with new independent community boards to bring more transparency to how and why we conduct medical studies and how we serve the community. As part of this work, new resources are being created and shared to provide insight into what we've learned thus far and our commitment to partnering with the patients and families who rely on us for quality healthcare.  We are sharing those resources below and we also continue to make the reviews and reports available for all to read.

Go to Research Community Resources on hennepinhealthcare.org

Watch the Rebuilding the Community Trust video on YouTube

Watch the Research By and For Our Community video (English)

Watch the Research By and For Our Community video (Spanish)

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) website provides resources for the public to learn about participating in research and making informed decisions.  The site includes videos, information and other tools. 

About Research Participation (English)

Acerca de La Participación en Las Investigaciones Científicas (Spanish)

La Oficina de Protecciones para la Investigación Humana (OHRP, en inglés) es encargada de proteger los derechos y el bienestar de los participantes voluntarios en investigaciones científicas que sean auspiciadas por el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos de los Estados Unidos (HHS, en inglés). Una de las maneras en que OHRP desarrolla esta misión es proveyendo al público de datos básicos acerca de lo que son las investigaciones científicas y lo que significa participar como voluntario en las mismas, para que aquellos que estén considerando participar puedan tomar una decisión más informada.

Entender lo que significa participar como voluntario en investigaciones científicas puede ser difícil. OHRP ha desarrollado y recopilado la materia siguiente para ayudarle a usted y a sus familiares a tomar una decisión.

En los siguiente enlaces podrá ver algunos videos informativos y una lista de preguntas para que las discuta con el equipo investigativo.

Acerca de La Participación en Las Investigaciones Científicas (Español)

About Research Participation (Inglés)

Learn what is a clinical study, who conducts them, reasons for conducting them and more in this online resource from the US National Library of Medicine.

Visit the NIH US National Library of Medicine website

Glossary of common terms associated with clinical research trials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

View NIH's glossary of common terms

Videos

Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health, explains the importance of participating in clinical trials and encourages the public to consider joining, especially those who are underrepresented in clinical trials.

Watch the video on YouTube

OHRP has created a series of short videos with basic information about research. These videos are intended to help potential participants understand how research works, what questions they should consider asking, and things to think about when deciding whether to participate in a study.

Informational Videos (English)

Videos Informativos (Spanish)

La Oficina de Protecciones para la Investigación Humana ("OHRP", en inglés) ha creado estos cortos videos que contienen datos básicos acerca de las investigaciones científicas. El propósito de estos videos es ayudar a quien esté considerando participar en una investigación a entender mejor como las investigaciones funcionan. Además, aquí se le presenta ciertos asuntos que debe de considerar y ciertas preguntas que debe de hacer antes de decidir si participa o no en una investigación científica.

Videos Informativos (Español)

Videos Informativos (Inglés)

PDFs

Guide to clinical research studies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Describes the differences between observational studies and clinical trials. (downloadable PDF) 

View Why Do Researchers Do Different Kinds of Clinical Studies?

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