Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives join forces to create Precision Medicine Alliance

The initiative will offer advanced technologies and genomic profiling to nearly 150 hospitals, focusing first on cancer treatment, hospital executives said.
By Bernie Monegain
10:41 AM
Dignity Catholic precision medicine

San Francisco-based Dignity Health and Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives today launched the Precision Medicine Alliance.

The goal is to offer patients from both healthcare systems faster and more accurate diagnostic and treatment protocols based on their genetic and molecular profile information.

The program will be available at nearly 150 hospitals and care centers across the U.S., serving about 12 million patients annually and creating the largest community-based precision medicine program in the country, officials said.

[Also: Precision medicine: Analytics, data science and EHRs in the new age]

At the start the initiative will focus on advanced diagnostic tumor profiling in cancer treatment. It will later expand into other areas such as cancer and cardiovascular risk, and pharmacogenomics.

The program will also support oncology research by populating a database the founders expect will become the largest collection of clinical cancer data ever compiled by a single organization.

“This will provide more accurate diagnoses, with personalized therapies tailored to each patient through community providers, where the vast majority of care happens,” Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean said in a statement.

The alliance will partner with laboratories and data companies nationwide to promote new clinical trial development and molecular tests to meet specific patient needs, officials noted. It will also integrate electronic medical records into a data-management infrastructure to allow quick access to the right clinical expertise and clinical trial information.

“Conventional wisdom suggests patients suffering from the same condition should be treated with the same therapy,” added Kevin Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives. “Science now tells us that the efficacy of one size fits all for medications and therapies varies by patient because each person has a unique DNA profile that responds differently to prevailing treatments."

The Precision Medicine Alliance is aligned with the national Precision Medicine Initiative, a $215 million investment from the White House to accelerate biomedical research and provide clinicians with new tools to select the therapies that will work best in individual patients. 

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

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