Geisinger takes its precision health initiative to national stage

System appoints Huntington F. Willard to lead program’s expansion across the U.S.
By Bernie Monegain
12:24 PM

Geisinger is expanding it’s the precision health program it started in 2014 to include the entire country.

The work will be based in the Washington D.C. area. Geisinger executives say the initiative is intended to boost the health system’s national exposure for the Geisinger precision health model, which incorporates genomics and data science into precision healthcare.

[Also: Geisinger takes giant steps toward precision medicine with its EHR …]

Geisinger President and CEO David T. Feinberg, MD, noted the national exposure will make it possible for Geisinger to “double-down on our bet on this game-changing approach to anticipatory medicine – preventing early-onset cancer, cardiovascular events, and other diseases, and keeping people out of hospitals.”

Geisinger’s MyCode Community Health Initiative and electronic health data integration will play integral roles in this new national effort.

Geisinger executives are also introducing new strategic partnerships and ventures as it expands the Geisinger model across the country.

Geisinger launched MyCode Community Health Initiative in January 2014 in collaboration with the Regeneron Genetics Center. It is the largest study in the United States with EHRs linked to large-scale DNA sequencing data.  

Huntington F. Willard will head the initiative.

To accelerate innovation in the Geisinger National Precision Health Initiative, Willard will launch a new Precision Health Innovation Lab to leverage Geisinger discoveries and advances in genomics and data science.

Willard, an internationally recognized leader in human genetics and genomics, will be launching new programs aimed at expanding Geisinger's impact in precision health.

Willard is a former president of the American Society of Human Genetics, founding director of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and the 15th President of the Marine Biological Laboratory. He is co-editor of the first textbook on precision medicine titled "Genomic & Precision Medicine," now in its third edition.

In his new role, Willard will be professor of precision health and associate chief scientific officer at Geisinger, as well as director of the Geisinger National Precision Health Initiative.

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