Shriners Hospitals is partnering with telegenomics technology and services company Genome Medical to establish the Genomics Institute at Shriners Hospitals, with the goal of applying pediatric genetic research to advance precision medicine and improve treatment outcomes for children.
Through the institute—to be based in Tampa, FL, where Shriners is headquartered—the healthcare system plans to offer genetic sequencing to patients at its 22 hospitals and outpatient locations in North America, and from its international network of outreach clinics. Shriners said it aims to help patients by discovering new genetic causes for the diseases and conditions for which they are working to create personalized therapies.
“Through sophisticated, next generation sequencing of DNA samples from our patient population, Shriners Hospitals hopes to gain the understanding needed to create more targeted, efficient and personalized treatments and therapies,” said Marc Lalande, Ph.D., vice president of research programs for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “We are proud to be at the forefront of this next major step toward bringing new hope and healing to children and families the world over.”
Where sequencing turns up genetic variations in the most medically actionable genes, patients and their caregivers will be linked to Genome Medical in order to receive support and clinical guidance from its genetic counselors and medical geneticists specializing in pediatric conditions.
Services to be offered through Genome Medical may include virtual genetic counseling, arranging confirmatory genetic testing for the patient, referrals to appropriate medical specialists for follow-on care, and coordination of genetic testing of family members when recommended.
“Across the country, families often have to wait months or even a year to see a pediatric genetic specialist and they may have to travel far distances. We are changing that by joining together with Shriners Hospitals to offer easy access to leading clinical genetics specialists via virtual care, typically with next day appointments, to ensure every child has access to appropriate genetic care to guide personalized treatment plans,” added Lisa Alderson, co-founder and CEO of Genome Medical. “Genome Medical is excited to be part of this strategic partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children to advance pediatric genomics research and improve the quality of care through genome-informed diagnosis and treatment.”
Headquartered in South San Francisco, CA, Genome Medical serves patients and their families through its Genome Care DeliveryTM technology platform and nationwide network of genetic specialists.
Shriners is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. All care and services are provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay.