Mountain View and San Francisco, CA - March 26, 2009 - El Camino Hospital, the hospital of Silicon Valley, and DNA Direct, a provider of guidance and decision support for genomic medicine, today launched the Genomic Medicine Institute (GMI), becoming the first community hospital in the nation to integrate genomic medicine into healthcare delivery. GMI will offer the full support physicians and patients need to make informed decisions about genetic tests and genomic therapies that can lead to earlier intervention, more effective prevention and improved care. GMI’s first partner, DNA Direct, will provide genetic information services, including individual phone consultation for physicians and counseling for patients, as well as Web-based tools.
"The Genomic Medicine Institute is a strong complement to our industry-leading cancer, heart and vascular and women’s health centers," said Jon Friedenberg, vice president of El Camino Hospital and sponsor of the Genomic Medicine Institute. "It will help bridge the information gap for physicians and patients, making genomic medicine a viable option, as El Camino Hospital continues to bring breakthrough innovation into real practice in our community."
The Genomic Medicine Institute is partnering with local companies such as DNA Direct to provide complete genomic medicine services to enable community physicians to properly use counseling, tests and targeted therapy. Patients and physicians will have access to DNA Direct’s clinical expertise through its Web-enabled resources and tools, as well as its national call center staffed by certified genetic counselors, who will help physicians select appropriate tests and directly educate patients about genomic medicine and genetic conditions.
"Genomic medicine is the use of genetic information to better understand how an individual’s physiology interacts with the environment," said Cesar Molina, M.D., medical director of the South Asian Heart Center and a cardiologist at El Camino Hospital. "This information helps doctors intervene and even prevent disease, or better manage it and prescribe the treatments that will work best for the patient."
GMI has selected an initial subset of nine tests that impact cardiology, gastroenterology, obstetrics and gynecology, oncology and psychiatry that are considered to be the most proven and valuable for at-risk patients. Physicians are starting to weigh the benefits of new and emerging technology for their patients and DNA Direct will provide tools to help them through this process, including a physician portal, educational Web seminars, pre- and post-test questionnaires, medical literature and clinical guideline reviews, and physician-referred counseling.
"Together, DNA Direct and El Camino Hospital are working to meet emerging demand for genetic information," said Ryan Phelan, founder and CEO of DNA Direct. "With more than 1,700 genetic tests currently available, genomic medicine has already begun to change the delivery of healthcare. DNA Direct will help El Camino Hospital physicians enhance patient care through streamlined, cost-effective access to guidance and decision support services that help identify the most appropriate testing option, ensuring that the right patient gets the right test at the right time, and that results are interpreted in the correct clinical context. "Sharon Terry, president of the Genetic Alliance, a nonprofit health advocacy organization, said, "This partnership marks a truly innovative approach to incorporating genomic medicine into the delivery of health care. El Camino Hospital is making important inroads into providing high-quality care with personalized treatment. By partnering with DNA Direct to offer clinical expertise, resources and tools, El Camino Hospital will enable its patients and physicians to benefit from genomic medicine."