**This PD Message has the corrected dates for the 2012 Annual Meeting**
We've had an early spring in the Mountain States, with daffodils and trees in blossom to cheer our days.
the MSGRCC office, we've been preparing for the annual meeting of the
American College of Medical Genetics (more next newsletter) and
supporting our various projects. Telemedicine has become an increasingly
important activity in the Mountain States. In 2007, there was only one
known telegenetics project in the region. In 2010, MSGRCC began funding
two small projects to improve access to genetic services using
telemedicine, and has funded two additional projects in 2011 and 2012.
One of the original projects, the Montana Telegenetics Project:
Improving Access, Educating Providers and Consumers, will be completed
in May 2012, and we are proud that the telemedicine services implemented
using MSGRCC funds will be integrated into usual practice moving
forward. This level of sustainability is exactly the outcome we like to
see for our small projects, and this month we'd like to highlight their
The Montana Telegenetics Project: Improving Access, Educating Providers and Consumers
is based at Billings Clinic in Montana and uses the existing Eastern
Montana Telemedicine Network to provide genetic counseling to obstetric
and oncology patients in a four state catchment area (Montana, eastern
North and South Dakota, and Wyoming). The specific goals of the project
- Provide timely, cost-effective access to genetic counseling services in region
- Provide education and supportive services regarding best practices in obstetric (OB) genetic screening to isolated OB providers
- Provide genetics education to consumers
The project lead, Susan Landgren, MS, CGC,
has informed regional providers about the new project, developed
patient scheduling and genetic counseling protocols, and developed
provider and patient satisfaction tools. Over the past year, the
project has provided 15 oncology and 11 prenatal genetic counseling
visits, and seven obstetric consultations with specialists in Denver,
Colorado. Patients have reported a high level of satisfaction with use
of the telemedicine, and approximately half of the patients responding
to the satisfaction surveys indicate that travel would have otherwise
prevented them from receiving genetic counseling.
clinical services are supplemented by educational efforts targeting
providers and consumers. The educational programs are provided via
distance education technology and offer information about the importance
and availability of genetic counseling at Billings Clinic in Montana.
To date, there have been four educational sessions, two focused on
consumer education and two targeting providers. Feedback on these
sessions has been positive, and the sessions are viewed as a useful tool
for raising awareness about genetics and encouraging utilization of the
only is this good work being recognized regionally, but our investment
in telemedicine is beginning to gain national attention. On March 20,
2012, Liza Creel and Susan Landgren presented on MSGRCC telemedicine activities and the Montana Telegenetics Project at the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center Annual Meeting in Billings, Montana. On March 27, 2012, the National Coordinating Center's Telegenetics Workgroup hosted a Community Conversation on Telemedicine at the 2012 ACMG Clinical Genetics Meeting in Charlotte, NC. Dr. Mary Kukolich presented on her telemedicine work at Cook Children's during the Community Conversation. Finally, Liza Creel presented on telemedicine activities of all Regional Collaboratives at the HRSA Office for the Advancement of Telehealth Grantee Meeting in Washington, DC on March 29, 2012. Our telemedicine activities were also cited in a blog article last year: http://telemedicinenews.blogspot.com/2011/02/genetic-info-for-mountainous-region.html.
We are so proud of the many accomplishments of our Telemedicine
Workgroup, our telemedicine mini-projects, and our partners over the
last several years.
hope you avoid spring fever as March comes to a close, and please
remember to let us know of your activities and needs. You are our
Regional Collaborative, and we want to be sure that we're serving you
and the families in our region. Please remember to mark your
calendars for the MSGRCC 2012 Annual Meeting, June 28-30 in Denver,
I. Kaye, M.D., Ph.D.
Kathryn Hassell, M.D.