Sanford, Harvard partner for genetic screening study

Health FSA
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A partnership with Sanford Health, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital will help determine best practices for using genetic screening to improve population health.

The Imagenetics program at Sanford Health offers expanded genetic screening and counseling through primary care clinics, using a simple blood draw and the Sanford Chip, a $49 test that examines patients’ DNA. Physicians use this information to more accurately prescribe medications and to identify genetic risk factors and tailor a care plan to address them.

The four-year collaboration began this year.

Genomic medicine professionals from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital will help guide Sanford researchers in using and interpreting data collected through the test. Patients can consent to participate in the study when they sign up for the chip. Patients who already have had the test will be contacted separately for consent.

The research collaboration examines a variety of research questions, including how prepared providers are to deliver results to patients, how results affect their prescribing patterns and patient compliance, the health and economic effects of the results and how results affect family members of patients.


The Imagenetics program, which began in 2014, after a gift of $125 million from philanthropist Denny Sanford, allowed Sanford Health to add genetic medicine to primary care.

The Sanford Chip is available to eligible patients through their Sanford Health primary care provider. This test will be ordered and the results managed by Sanford primary care providers with support from genetic counselors. Genetic counselors help patients understand the medical, psychological and familial effects of genomics in a disease process.

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