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El Camino Hospital Launches Genomic Medicine Institute
Date:3/26/2009

First community hospital to offer comprehensive genomic medicine services for physicians and patients in partnership with DNA Direct

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and SAN FRANCISCO, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- El Camino Hospital, the hospital of Silicon Valley, and DNA Direct, a provider of guidance and decision support for genomic medicine, today launched the Genomic Medicine Institute (GMI), becoming the first community hospital in the nation to integrate genomic medicine into healthcare delivery. GMI will offer the full support physicians and patients need to make informed decisions about genetic tests and genomic therapies that can lead to earlier intervention, more effective prevention and improved care. GMI's first partner, DNA Direct, will provide genetic information services, including individual phone consultation for physicians and counseling for patients, as well as Web-based tools.

"The Genomic Medicine Institute is a strong complement to our industry-leading cancer, heart and vascular and women's health centers," said Jon Friedenberg, vice president of El Camino Hospital and sponsor of the Genomic Medicine Institute. "It will help bridge the information gap for physicians and patients, making genomic medicine a viable option, as El Camino Hospital continues to bring breakthrough innovation into real practice in our community."

The Genomic Medicine Institute is partnering with local companies such as DNA Direct to provide complete genomic medicine services to enable community physicians to properly use counseling, tests and targeted therapy. Patients and physicians will have access to DNA Direct's clinical expertise through its Web-enabled resources and tools, as well as its national call center staffed by certified genetic counselors, who will help physicians select appropriate tests and directly educate patients about genomic medicine and genetic conditions.

"Genomic medicine is the use of genetic information to better understand how an individual's physiology interacts with the environment," said Cesar Molina, M.D., medical director of the South Asian Heart Center and a cardiologist at El Camino Hospital. "This information helps doctors intervene and even prevent disease, or better manage it and prescribe the treatments that will work best for the patient."

GMI has selected an initial subset of nine tests that impact cardiology, gastroenterology, obstetrics and gynecology, oncology and psychiatry that are considered to be the most proven and valuable for at-risk patients. Physicians are starting to weigh the benefits of new and emerging technology for their patients and DNA Direct will provide tools to help them through this process, including a physician portal, educational Web seminars, pre- and post-test questionnaires, medical literature and clinical guideline reviews, and physician-referred counseling.

"Together, DNA Direct and El Camino Hospital are working to meet emerging demand for genetic information," said Ryan Phelan, founder and CEO of DNA Direct. "With more than 1,700 genetic tests currently available, genomic medicine has already begun to change the delivery of healthcare. DNA Direct will help El Camino Hospital physicians enhance patient care through streamlined, cost-effective access to guidance and decision support services that help identify the most appropriate testing option, ensuring that the right patient gets the right test at the right time, and that results are interpreted in the correct clinical context."

Sharon Terry, president of the Genetic Alliance, a nonprofit health advocacy organization, said, "This partnership marks a truly innovative approach to incorporating genomic medicine into the delivery of health care. El Camino Hospital is making important inroads into providing high-quality care with personalized treatment. By partnering with DNA Direct to offer clinical expertise, resources and tools, El Camino Hospital will enable its patients and physicians to benefit from genomic medicine."

For more information about El Camino Hospital's Genomic Medicine Institute, including online patient and physician resources, visit www.elcaminohospital.org/Genomic/.

About DNA Direct

DNA Direct delivers guidance and decision support for genomic medicine to patients, providers and payors. The company's comprehensive clinical programs are unique to genomic medicine, and combine proprietary technology with genetic expertise, including a national call center of genetic experts, web-based applications, and educational resources and training. The company is based in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.dnadirect.com.

About El Camino Hospital

Established in 1961, the 399-bed, not-for-profit El Camino Hospital has delivered the highest level of medical services to the community for more than four decades. Its quality programs and high customer satisfaction rankings have been recognized locally and nationally. Since 2005, HealthGrades, a national rating company, has named El Camino Hospital a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence, placing it in the top 5% of hospitals nationwide. El Camino Hospital is one of only 14 hospitals in California designated as a nursing magnet hospital by the American Nursing Credentialing Center. Specialties include cardiac care, dialysis, cancer care, maternal child health services, orthopedics, stroke treatment and behavioral health. The hospital is also recognized as a national leader in the use of health information technology to promote patient safety, including computerized order entry, electronic medical records and wireless communications.

To learn more about El Camino Hospital and its services, visit our web site at www.elcaminohospital.org. For a physician referral, visit our web site or call the El Camino Health Line at 800-216-5556.

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SOURCE El Camino Hospital; DNA Direct
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