DPH: Public Health Genomics

Public Health Genomics

Welcome to the DPH Genomics Web pages

Genomics is an especially exciting new field for public health, because of the possibilities it holds for preventing disease and improving health.

Genomic discoveries will continue to play an increasing role in disease prevention, detection, and treatment. For this reason, the Connecticut Department of Public Health developed a Connecticut Genomics Action Plan in 2005, and in 2008 created a Public Health Genomics Office. The Genomics Office will strive to integrate developing genomic technologies into public health policy, programs, and practice. The Office will also serve as a resource for health professionals and the public about the role of genomics in disease prevention and health improvement.

A Genomics Profile for Connecticut provides a current picture of the landscape under which the Genomics Office promotes the translation of genome-based information into health benefits for the state’s diverse population.  The Genomics Office recognizes the importance of genomic factors in most human diseases and conditions that can occur at any stage of life.


WHAT'S NEW

May, 2014

The Connecticut Department of Public Health Genomics Office and Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program, and the American Heart Association are collaborating on a symposium entitled:  “Cardiovascular Disease Genomics: Getting to the heart of the matter”

WHEN:  Thursday, May 1, 2014, 9:00am – 11:30am
WHERE: Connecticut Hospital Association, 110 Barnes Road, Wallingford, CT

Click on the following link for the symposium flyer (PDF) with the agenda, additional information on FREE CREDITS AVAILABLE, and registration instructions. Note there is no fee for this symposium, however registration is required by April 28, 2014.

 
February, 2014:  Family Health History Data Collection in Connecticut

We used Connecticut data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to assess public perceptions and practices regarding family health history (FHH). Although 97% of respondents believed family history to be important for their own health, only 54% reported having collected their FHH.  The percentages of those who had collected FHH differed among demographic subgroups.  Read more in the Connecticut BRFSS Genomics Brief.

June, 2013:  Family Health History Awareness - Updated 2013 Workbook Factsheets 

 
2013 Workbook Factsheets:
   Asthma      High Cholesterol 
   Cancer       Obesity
 
 
 
Your family health history holds key information about your past and clues to your future health. By collecting your family health history, you can learn about health problems for which you may be at increased risk. Then, by sharing this information with your healthcare provider, you can find out how you may reduce your risks.
 
Your Family Health History and Chronic Disease 2013 Workbook, Pocket Guide and Poster (suitable for placing in a waiting room, clinic, or other gathering space) are available for download (click on links above) or as printed copies.
 
To request copies of the Family Health History 2013 Workbook, Pocket Guide or Poster, click on "Send Feedback" at the bottom of the DPH home page, or phone 860 509-8000.


April, 2013: What is High (blood) Cholesterol?  
 
NEW Family Health History Factsheet on High Cholesterol (PDF)
 
A family history of high cholesterol may put you at a greater than average risk of developing high cholesterol. Genetic contributions are usually due to the additive effects of multiple genes,  but occasionally may be due to a single gene defect, such as in the case of familial hypercholesterolemia. Your doctor may recommend more frequent cholesterol tests if you have a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol.
 
 
July, 2012: Cancer Genomics Best Practices for Connecticut Healthcare Providers disseminated to medical providers

As part of a Healthy People 2020 Action Project, the Genomics Office is promoting cancer genomics best practices for two hereditary cancer syndromes -- Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) and Lynch Syndromes.  The purpose is to inform Connecticut health care practitioners about evidence-based recommendations for referral to, and use of, cancer genomic services.

Patient Information Sheet for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (PDF):   English and Spanish
Patient Information Sheet for Lynch Syndrome (PDF):    English and Spanish

Project Background – provides more information about the Healthy People 2020 Action Project.

 
July, 2012: Public Awareness and Use of Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomic Tests

Connecticut and three other states used data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to assess awareness and use of direct-to-consumer personal genomic tests. Twenty-three percent of respondents in CT reported having heard or read about such tests, but less than 1% have ever had one. Factors associated with awareness were higher education, income greater than $75,000, and ages between 50 and 74, inclusive.

Results were published in the journal Genetics in Medicine.

 
November, 2011:  Genomics Office promotes National Family Health History Month

Join us in promoting family health history awareness in November!  Most of us know that we can reduce our risk of disease by eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and not smoking. But did you know that family history might be one of the strongest influences on your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer?

Family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments that together may influence their health and their risk of chronic disease. Most people have a family health history of some chronic diseases (e.g., cancer, coronary heart disease, and diabetes) and health conditions (e.g., high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia).  Family health history is a useful tool for understanding health risks and preventing disease in individuals and their close relatives. Family health history information may help health care providers determine which tests and screenings are recommended to help family members know their health risk.  And because 96% of Americans believe that family history is important to health, yet only about 30% have tried to collect and organize their family history information, the U.S. Surgeon General has designated November as Family History Month, and Thanksgiving as national Family Health History Day. 

The DPH Genomics Office Family Health History webpage has more information and links to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Web-based family health history collection tool called “My Family Health Portrait", available in multiple languages.

To send a CDC Health eCard about Family Health History, click on the following link: Send a family health history eCard.

May, 2011:  DPH Genomics Efforts Focus of Healthy People 2020 Grant Award

A DPH project focusing on two objectives in the new Genomics topic area of Healthy People 2020 has received funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The objectives reflect increasing scientific evidence of health benefits from using genetic tests and family health history to guide clinical and public health interventions. The DPH Healthy People 2020 Action Project is a collaborative effort among several DPH programs, including Genomics, Planning, Workforce Development, Cancer Control, and the Connecticut Tumor Registry. More information... 

November, 2010:  An Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics

The Connecticut Department of Public Health-Genomics Office, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association/CT Chapter, presented a seminar on November 19, 2010 entitled ”Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics”. The program included a keynote address by Robert Green, M.D., M.P.H., followed by a panel presentation by Susan Capasso, Ed.D., C.G.C.,  and Harry Morgan, M.D., and a discussion session.  An on demand webcast of the event is posted on TRAIN Connecticut, by clicking the seminar title above and registering for the webcast.  (You must first be registered and/or signed into TRAIN Connecticut to view this webcast.)

September, 2010The 2010 State Public Health Genomics Resource Guide

The Connecticut Department of Public Health Genomics Office efforts are featured in a new resource document developed by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO).  Titled "The 2010 State Public Health Genomics Resource Guide", this updated, 2nd edition highlights innovative approaches and challenges by states to integrate genomics into their public health programs, with the goal of helping state public health leaders and program managers identify solutions for addressing their state’s unique challenges. Included are an overview of Connecticut and other states' genomics activities, web links to toolkits, presentations and research reports.
 

July, 2010:  Knowledge and Awareness of Genetic Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer in Connecticut

Following a 2007-2008 public awareness campaign in Connecticut about the availability of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, the Genomics Office used the 2008 BRFSS survey to assess the knowledge and awareness of men and women about such genetic testing.  The results describe the factors influencing the respondents’ self-reported knowledge.

May, 2010:  Resources for Teaching Genomics

The Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Genomics Office participated in a novel program held for teachers and health educators in the spring of 2010, which had as part of its program goals greater awareness and inclusion of genetics and genomics into science and health curricula from the elementary through high school level.  The resource guide developed for this program provides examples of sites offering actual coursework modules, lecture materials, slides or other useful information.

November, 2009: DTC Personal Genomics Services

Embracing the advancements in genetic and Internet technology, a number of web-based companies have started offering personal genome profiles directly to consumers.  The companies claim to provide consumers with information about their risk of developing diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers.  The presumed goal is to empower individuals to take better control of their health.  Although commercial genetic tests may sound appealing and harmless, it is important to be aware of some of the pitfalls and limitations of such tests.  The DPH Genomics Office developed information to consider about Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomics Services.

November, 2009: Family Health History Campaign

Your Family Health History Workbook, Pocket Guide, and Poster developed.

October, 2009: Genetic Privacy Laws

Genetic privacy laws now exist at both the state and federal levels to enable Connecticut's citizens to feel more secure that their genetic information will not be used against them in health insurance and employment situations.  It is important that consumers be able to use their family health history and have access to genetic testing without fear of discrimination.

At a basic level, Connecticut's genetic privacy statutes are compared to the protections and limitations found in the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (see comparison document).

May 2009:  Incorporating Family Health History into Your Health Outreach Promotion Efforts

The goals of Family Health History initiatives are to provide an accessible method for easily obtaining an accurate family health history and to use that information in health promotion and disease prevention. Such information is important because, although sophisticated genetic testing and other related advances may dramatically change how health care is practiced, genetic information can be used today to improve health.  While most diseases result from the interactions of multiple genes and environmental factors, almost everyone has available now, at no cost, the family history--personalized information that captures these factors and can provide the foundation for individualized disease prevention.

The DPH Genomics Office developed a panel presentation on the promise and benefits of enhanced family health history collection, and methods currently available. The Speakers’ slide presentations from this workshop are now available.

March, 2009: Colorectal Cancer Information Resource on DPH Web Site

The DPH-GO, together with the Connecticut Tumor Registry and the DPH Comprehensive Cancer Program, has created a Web-based information resource on colorectal cancer, including information about genetic testing. The new resource, released in March to mark national colorectal cancer month, includes:

October 2008: Training Opportunity for Nurse Educators

A new, online training opportunity is now available at no cost for nurse educators at TRAINConnecticut (http://ct.train.org). Entitled, “Incorporating Genetics and Genomics into Your Curriculum,” the training consists of four modules:

• MODULE 1 Chromosomal Disorders
• MODULE 2 Modes of Inheritance
• MODULE 3 Family History Development
• MODULE 4 Integrating Genetics into Nursing Curricula

Upon successful completion of all modules, four CEUs will be awarded by the National League for Nursing.

This training project is a collaboration between St. Vincent’s College and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, administered through the New England Genetics Collaborative.

May 2008: Passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), is the first  federal legislation to provide protections against discrimination based on an individual’s genetic information in health insurance coverage and employment settings.  The resource, “What Does GINA Mean? A Guide to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act,” summarizes the protections of this civil rights legislation and outlines its impact on the future of health in America.


 





Content Last Modified on 4/15/2014 2:37:01 PM