Dignity Health, CHI Partner to Create Precision Medicine Alliance

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Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) announced the launch of the Precision Medicine Alliance LLC that will 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 approximately 12 million patients annually, creating the largest community-based precision medicine program in the country, according to the press release announcing the news.

The Alliance will initially focus on advanced diagnostic tumor profiling in cancer treatment and 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 that will become the largest collection of clinical cancer data ever compiled by a single organization.

“The Precision Medicine Alliance will provide community physicians with access to a wide range of diagnostic technology that is currently only available in academic medical centers. This will provide more accurate diagnoses, with personalized therapies tailored to each patient through community providers, where the vast majority of care happens,” said Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health. “Through our partnership with CHI, we are using the latest technology, especially in genomic sequencing, to deliver the right care, to the right patients, quickly and efficiently.”

Added Kevin E. Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives, “Conventional wisdom suggests patients suffering from the same condition should be treated with the same therapy. 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. Through the new Precision Medicine Alliance, use of genomics for diagnosis and treatments enables a new degree of precision for identifying the most effective treatment and/or clinical trial for each patient, as well as those treatments that would potentially be ineffective or harmful. Through the program we will partner with laboratories and data solution companies nationwide to promote new clinical trial development and molecular tests to meet specific patient needs.”

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The Precision Medicine Alliance will also integrate electronic medical records into a robust data-management infrastructure that will allow quick access to the right clinical expertise and clinical trial information. The two health systems will partner with laboratories and bioinformatics companies nationwide to develop molecular tests specific to meet the needs of patients and clinicians. By combining the data from highly sensitive diagnostic tests with an individual’s medical history, health care providers will be able to develop individualized treatment and prevention plans.

Additionally, the Precision Medicine Alliance is aligned with the national Precision Medicine Initiative®, which is 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.

“Current treatment programs largely focus on the best course of treatment for the general population,” said Edward Abrahams, president of the Personalized Medicine Coalition. “However, with recent advancements in science and technology, the ability of personalized medicine to improve health outcomes for individuals and reduce toxicity due to adverse drug responses is great. Partnerships such as the one between Dignity Health and CHI that will bring this targeted approach directly to the communities is thrilling and will have a significant impact on patient lives and improving overall community health.”

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