Research Report 2019_20

Devin Absher, PhD / HudsonAlpha Health Alliance

expanding HudsonAlpha’s genomic health mission

reactions. Responses to more than 100 medications are known to be influenced by the genome. The Health Alliance’s team of experienced clinical lab and diagnostic professionals, genetic counselors, and knowledgeable genomic educators ensure both healthcare providers and patients understand all as- pects of genomic test options, results, and actionable next steps. By using results from the genetic testing provided by the Health Alliance, participants and their providers can identify medications that will work well for them based on their DNA and also make lifestyle chang- es according to their hereditary disease risk. Genomic sequencing services for the Health Alli- ance are provided by the HudsonAlpha Clinical Services Laboratory, LLC , led by clinical lab director Elaine Lyon, PhD. Using the most advanced sequencing technolo- gy and a clinically validated pipeline for interpretation, this Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified, and College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited lab serves a key role in the identifi- cation of variants involved in the development of cer- tain diseases. The HudsonAlpha Clinical Services Lab provides the highest-quality genome testing and in- terpretation for patients. The Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, LLC , led by chief medical officer David Bick, MD, provides clinical support services, in- cluding genetic counseling, clinical decision support, and access to medical geneticists and pharmacists.

Genomic testing can provide insights into disease risk and intervention, help make better health decisions, and even target therapies that lead to better health outcomes. As genomic data becomes more integrated into health care and clinical decision making, there is a growing need for trusted collaborators to help guide individuals through the complexities of genomic health. The HudsonAlpha Health Alliance, LLC, is an indepen- dent, nonprofit organization formed in 2019 to help meet this need by helping groups such as health systems, physician networks, and self-insured employers develop customized genomic testing programs for their patients or employees. The Health Alliance, led by HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigator Devin Absher, PhD, is a program that deliv- ers an integrated suite of clinical services to its partners, their patients and employees. It also provides relevant educational information to physicians who may have pa- tients engaging in such programs. Personalized tests and screenings can lead to better participant health by guiding health decisions based on a participant’s disease risk and providing insights into medication ef- ficacy for the participant. The Health Alliance helps its partners deliver precision health solutions by providing access to genetic testing and the clinical support neces- sary to make the most of the test results. The programs offered by the Health Alliance can be customized to provide different types of health informa- tion to the participants. Programs can include informa- tion on disease risk, medication response, or both. For the disease risk screening, participants’ DNA samples (usually from saliva) are analyzed for changes in genes associated with actionable genetic diseases for which medical intervention can lower the chance of developing the disease in the future. Most of the genes are associ- ated with either a hereditary form of cardiovascular dis- ease or cancer risk. The medication response screening looks at the participants’ DNA for certain genetic factors that can help predict whether certain medications will be effective or if they are likely to cause adverse drug

Because the Health Alliance recognizes that genetic testing programs are only beneficial when people participate in them, educational resources are provided that encourage participant engagement. Participants in the programs are given evidence-based resources, ed- ucational support, and clinical decision support to make themost of the genetic testing results. They also gain ac- cess to the HIPAA-compliant Genome Gateway ™ , that not


HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

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