Northwest Adventists Urged To Enroll in Health Study

October 01, 2002 | Terry Butler

Researchers conducting a new Adventist Health Study are now recruiting church members in the North Pacific Union, giving Northwesterners their very first opportunity to be involved in a significant Adventist Health Study.

It is expected that more than 18,000 from the North Pacific Union Conference territory will participate in the Study.

Previous studies by Loma Linda University were restricted to California members; the new Study’s overall goal is to recruit 125,000 church members across America—including 45,000 black Adventists.

Enrollment started in California early this year and during the next three years will progressively roll out to every conference. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, the study will answer many questions relating to cancer, heart disease, and the quality of life.

Gary Fraser, M.D., the study’s principal investigator, says, “Church members can help create history by belonging to the largest and most exciting study of its kind in America.”

Adventists have been chosen for the study because of the diversity of their eating habits, their interest in health, their willingness to fill out questionnaires, and the success of previous Adventist health studies, he said.

Terry Butler, DrPH, and Patti Herring, DrPH, directors of recruitment, recognize the challenge of enrolling 125,000 members but are optimistic that the support of pastors and churches will make it possible.

“We have many black members who are excited about the study, because discoveries will help greatly impact high cancer and heart disease deaths in blacks. The study is also a great opportunity to witness to the community,” says Dr. Herring.

When to Enroll

Enrollment of participants began in August in the Idaho and Upper Columbia conferences. Idaho enrollment continues through November; while Upper Columbia is open through October. Enrollment in Montana, Oregon, and Washington conferences begins this month and runs through February 2003. (Enrollment dates for Alaska members have yet to be determined.)

Study directors urge members to watch for promotional materials in their churches or to ask local pastors or health directors for information in conferences where enrollment is now taking place.

Those who may wish to participate but do not currently attend an Adventist church are urged to write Adventist Health Study, Loma Linda University, Evans Hall, Loma Linda, CA 92350, or phone (800) 247-1699 for more information. •

Reported by Terry Butler