Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Conquering Diseases Clinical Research Volunteer program?

Conquering Diseases is a research project that hopes to discover the keys to better health in our community.  Through the Conquering Diseases Research Volunteer program, we help connect the community members who want to volunteer for clinical research studies to clinical trials that are of interest to them. The decision to participate – or not - will not change any care and treatment received here at UMass Memorial Health Care, now or in the future.

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How can I participate in the Clinical Research Volunteer program?

Visit our ConqueringDiseases.org website and click on the enroll button. During the enrollment process you will complete a form which lists your contact information. You will also sign an Informed Consent which gives Conquering Diseases staff permission to share your contact information with UMass researchers who have a study you may want to join.

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How will my privacy be protected?

We release your contact information only to UMass researchers who have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.  The UMass Medical School IRB reviews all UMass clinical studies to ensure that the studies are safe and study participant’s privacy and health information is protected.

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Will the Conquering Diseases project benefit me directly?

Becoming a Conquering Diseases Research volunteer is a pathway to enrolling in a specific study. Some studies may result in a direct benefit for you and others will not. In any study, you have the benefit of knowing that you are doing something to help others, or yourself, in the future.  Whether or not there is a direct benefit to you, your volunteering may help others in our community as doctors and scientists learn more about health and how to prevent and better treat diseases.

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How do I get more information or sign up for the Conquering Disease program?

Like any research project, Conquering Diseases program staff invites you to read, have time to ask questions, and then sign a consent form if you want to participate. One of our trained research staff is available to review the consent with you and be sure you understand everything in the consent before you make a choice. This is called informed consent – like any research project, the Conquering Diseases program believes it is important that you have full understanding before you volunteer.

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If I decide to participate now, can I change my mind?

The consent you sign to enroll in the Clinical Research Volunteer Registry does not expire and does not have an end date. However, you can change your mind about participating as a volunteer and can withdraw your consent anytime by emailing ConqueringDiseases@umassmed.edu or calling our staff at 508-856-2776.

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Will other people know whether or not I have signed up?

The Conquering Diseases program staff keeps any information collected about you as confidential as possible. Information about your participation is limited to those with a need to know. We encourage you to tell your doctor of your participation and discuss opportunities for clinical research now or in the future. By creating a visitor profile on the ConqueringDiseases.org website you can easily bookmark and share studies that interest you.

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I have heard that research centers have review boards. Has a review board approved this study?

Yes, this research project has been reviewed and approved on two levels. First, the UMass Medical School's Institutional Review Board (called an IRB) has carefully reviewed this project and given its approval to invite participants. Second, the UMassMemorial Health Care privacy office (what you may hear called a HIPAA or privacy protection office) has also carefully reviewed this project and has approved it. Both the IRB and HIPAA offices will get a periodic report about this project. Any changes or additions will always require another review and re-approval.

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If I decide not to participate now in this project, can I change my mind in the future?

Yes, we welcome you to consider participating any time, now or in the future. This project is voluntary and is totally separate from your care and treatment. You can decide at a future date and volunteer when you are ready.

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Are there ways I can find out what is happening with this project in the future?

Yes - whether or not you participate - we invite you to review our website for current information about the Conquering Diseases project. We will periodically publish interesting information about currently recruiting studies and results from completed research studies. We want you to know as much as possible, and feel free to also call or email us for more information about clinical research opportunities at the UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care.

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