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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

How 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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Questions, Complaints, or Feedback

The Human Research Protection Program welcomes your questions, concerns, and/or feedback.

If you are a research participant and would like to discuss problems, concerns, or questions about a study, or your rights as a participant in a research study with someone other than the study Principal Investigator, please contact the Hennepin Healthcare Human Research Protection Office (HRPO).

Anyone can submit feedback, including research participants, family members, or others. To offer feedback about your experience in a research study or provide suggestions for the Human Research Protection Program, please contact us at, (612) 873-6881 or complete the online Feedback Form:

Research Highlights


Participants needed for study on reducing dementia risk and memory loss in the African American community

The Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute is currently conducting a study gathering needed information to learn how to prevent or reduce the risk and burden of dementia and memory loss in the African American community.

Healthy Aging Through the Senior Years Study (HATS) is an opportunity for older African Americans in the Twin Cities to participate in a five-year study of brain health, memory and thinking (cognitive) abilities. Participants will help researchers identify potential risk factors associated with memory and thinking problems, dementia, and general health including heart health in the Black community.

HHRI is currently in need of study participants.

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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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Research Stories

Investigator Spotlight

Dr. Casey Dorr featured in the Bemidji Pioneer

Dr Casey Dorr

Casey Dorr, PhD, a Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) Investigator, was recently featured in a story in the Bemidji Pioneer. The piece highlighted his journey from a first-generation descendant of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe from Bemidji to becoming a scientist. Dr. Dorr hopes to inspire Indigenous students to pursue careers in the field.

Dr. Dorr’s passion for science began in high school. Despite not having any family members or mentors in the field, he was determined to combine his love of science with his Indigenous heritage. By freshman year of college at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), Dr. Dorr knew science was the field for him.

“When I got to Duluth, my dream really started to develop,” Dorr said. “I started envisioning myself as a scientist.”

Dr. Dorr pursued this path and eventually became a highly experienced scientist at HHRI and an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Medicine.

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


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

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


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)


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?

Stay up-to-date on HHRI happenings

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