Veterans health innovators learn from Sanford Imagenetics

Free genetic testing program touted at VHA Innovation Experience (iEx) meeting

iEx logo with red, white and blue diamond in the center, surrounded by black and white photos of veterans and their families

A Sanford Health and Veterans Affairs program offering free genetic testing for veterans got a national audience this week at the Veterans Health Administration Innovation Experience, known as iEx.

The program is called Pharmacogenomics Action for Cancer Survivorship — PHASeR for short. Joe Kippley, senior director of Sanford Imagenetics strategic partnerships, and Dr. Deepak Voora of the Duke University School of Medicine introduced the program. They spoke to a roomful of VA leaders and employees, private industry and government partners as well as hundreds more tuning in via livestream.

“We want to be seen in our communities that we operate in as a provider of choice, an employer of choice and a partner of choice (for veterans),” Kippley told iEx attendees.

Watch video: Sanford Health and Duke University share one patient’s story at VHA iEx

Learn more: How Sanford Health supports veterans

The program focuses on pharmacogenetic testing. This uses your DNA, or genetic information, to help your doctor determine prescription drugs that may work better for you.

PHASeR launched this year at a pilot site in Durham, North Carolina. While Sanford and the VA encourage cancer survivors to participate, a cancer diagnosis is not required. The Sanford-VA partnership plans to expand the program to 250,000 U.S. veterans at 125 sites by 2022.

This program comes at no cost for veterans or taxpayers due to a $25 million gift from philanthropist Denny Sanford and a matching fundraising effort from Sanford Health.

The second annual VHA iEx took place Oct. 22-23 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event included demonstrations by VHA employee innovators, VHA iEx Talks and the live conclusion of VHA Shark Tank 2019.

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Posted In Genetics, Innovations, Veterans

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