Sanford Chip genetic test available in primary care setting

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –- Sanford Imagenetics now offers expanded genetic testing and counseling through primary care clinics, making it a more accessible part of health care.

Primary care physicians are able to use the results of the Sanford Chip genetic testing to help patients find which medications will work best for them and help them assess their personal risks of various diseases, including breast cancer.

Sanford Imagenetics, which began in 2014 thanks to a gift of $125 million from philanthropist Denny Sanford, allowed Sanford Health to embed genetic medicine directly into primary care.

Beyond providing testing, the model also offers genetic counseling for patients and guidance for how to navigate their results. Genetic counselors help people understand the medical, psychological and familial effects of genomics in a disease process.

“Our Imagenetics program allows us to better understand someone’s risk for disease and then build a care plan that best matches that patient’s results,” said Cassie Hajek, M.D., a medical geneticist with Sanford Health. “It’s another way we can practice preventative medicine — helping people understand their risk for disease and how to avoid complications from medications to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.”

The Sanford Chip is available to eligible patients through their Sanford Health primary care provider. One blood test provides information on both genetic risk for disease and effective medications at a $49 out-of-pocket cost. This test will be ordered and the results managed by a Sanford primary care provider.

Genetic tests completed at any Sanford Health location are kept in-house and processed in laboratories in Sioux Falls. The services are offered in primary care clinics throughout Sanford’s footprint in North and South Dakota and Minnesota.

The Sanford Medical Genetics Laboratory has customized the analysis of specific regions of a patient’s genetic code to create unique testing with the Sanford Chip. As a laboratory-developed test, it doesn’t require approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but all clinical testing is covered by federal laboratory regulations.

Jerome I. Rotter, M.D., director of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, is a pioneer in the field of medical genetics and a member of the Sanford Imagenetics external advisory board.

“Sanford Health has been visionary in using genetics in a systemic fashion in patient care. I would say Sanford Imagenetics is at the cutting edge of this work—and it’s not only their own patients who will directly benefit. This approach will simultaneously translate to other clinics and providers in the nation, and across world,” Rotter said.

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