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New Precision Medicine Alliance Targets Community Healthcare Providers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) have jointly launched what they're calling the Precision Medicine Alliance, an initiative that aims to provide patients from both national healthcare systems with access to diagnostic and treatment protocols based on their genetic and molecular profile information.

According to the partners, the program will be available at nearly 150 hospitals and care centers that serve approximately 12 million patients per year. It "will provide community physicians with access to a wide range of diagnostic technology that is currently only available in academic medical centers," Dignity Health President and CEO Lloyd Dean said in a statement. Access to these resources will enable community providers to offer "more accurate diagnoses with personalized therapies [that are] tailored to each patient," he added.

Initially, the program will focus on providing oncology patients with advanced diagnostic tumor profiling, the partners said. They also plan to develop a database of clinical cancer data that they believe will be the largest ever compiled by a single organization. Later on, the program will be expanded to include other services, such as cardiovascular risk assessment and pharmacogenomics testing.

The alliance will also work on integrating patients' electronic medical records into a data-management infrastructure that will enable quick access to clinical expertise and clinical trial information. In addition, the two health systems will partner with laboratories and bioinformatics companies to develop molecular tests for clinical use. Healthcare providers will be able to combine the results of these tests with patients' medical histories and develop individualized treatment and prevention plans for their patients, the partners said.

"With recent advancements in science and technology, the ability of personalized medicine to improve health outcomes for individuals and reduce toxicity due to adverse drug responses is great," Personalized Medicine Coalition President Edward Abrahams said in the statement. "Partnerships such as the one between Dignity Health and CHI that will bring this targeted approach directly to the communities ... will have a significant impact on patient lives and improving overall community health."