Jefferson Health to Offer Free Genetic Testing to Employees

Jefferson Health is partnering with the genetic testing company, Color, in a pilot project that will give its 30,000 employees the ability to access their genetic information, including their hereditary risk for medical conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

The genetic testing capabilities provided by Color will come at no out-of-pocket cost to employees.

Karen Knudsen, PhD, Enterprise Director of the NCI-Designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital said the partnership between Jefferson and Color is unique because it brings the data/software solutions provided by Color together with two options for employees to access free genetic counseling: Color’s board-certified, licensed genetic counselors, or Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson’s board-certified, licensed cancer genetic providers.

Here, a model has been designed to expand access to genetic testing by joining Color’s genetic education materials used for at-home testing with the option to see a genetic counselor in-person to address concerns and discuss results. Other at-home genetic tests don’t tether together the innovation in genetic testing with Academic Medical Center-based genetics program.

With a saliva sample, Color’s kits will analyze:

* 30 cancer-risk genes, mutations in which could increase the likelihood of developing hereditary breast, ovarian, colorectal, uterine, pancreatic, melanoma, stomach or prostate cancers.

* 30 genes commonly associated with hereditary heart conditions that can have actionable treatment plans, including cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, and hereditary high cholesterol

* 14 genes associated with the metabolism of commonly used drugs for which genetics can help inform drug use and dosage to help improve medication efficacy and minimize negative effects

* Your DNA on an ongoing basis to help you learn more about common traits influenced by your genes, such as lactose intolerance and alcohol flush

This situation could be extremely useful for employees who are genealogists, and who are working on putting together a medical family tree or a family health history. It can also help workers who wonder if they are carrying a gene mutation that could potentially be passed down to their offspring.

Related Articles at

* Color Genomics Has New Hereditary Cancer Risk Genetic Test

* Color Announces Population Health Initiative

* How to Start a Family Health History

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