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El Camino Hospital Media Releases

Dr. Billings Appointed to Veteran Affairs Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee

Mountain View, CA - November 18, 2009 - Paul R. Billings, MD, Ph.D., FACP, FACMG, has accepted a Secretarial appointment to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee. His term will run through 2012.

Dr. Billings, acting Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital and an internationally recognized authority on genetic testing, will join some of the nation's most respected experts in advising the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, and other executives of the Department, on issues related to the VA's development of a genomic medicine program. The Advisory Committee is responsible for assisting the Department in meeting the future health care needs of the more than 25,500,000 U.S. veterans.

"I am honored to be selected for this strategic government initiative," said Dr. Billings. "Genomic medicine may allow us to better understand how an individual's physiology interacts with the environment--helping tailor treatments and even preventing disease. By integrating genomics into the VA health care delivery system, we can not only deliver higher quality care to the men and women who have served this country, but empower them personally to improve their health. We also have an opportunity to design a program with all the appropriate safeguards against the misuse of personal genetic information that can be a model for other providers of health care," Dr. Billings added.

Dr. Billings was appointed acting Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital in May, 2009. A noted teacher and researcher who has focused on both the scientific and policy implications of using of genetic information in medicine, his research on genetic discrimination provided academic support for the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act that became law in 2008. He has received numerous research grants for his work from various organizations, including National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the California Health Care Foundation.