Mountain States Logo *NEW*  

Message from the Project Directors

Kathryn Hassell, MD & Janet Thomas, MD


Join Our List.
September 2016


Dear friends and colleagues,


We hope many of you were able to get in some much deserved leisure activities over the Memorial Day weekend, whether enjoying a hike, barbecue with friends and family, or a quick vacation. The MSGRC team was able to enjoy the long weekend before our departure to Washington DC this week for the Newborn Screening Translational Research Network (NBSTRN) meeting. While this meeting will not be broadcast live, presentation slides will be made available after the meeting. 


Welcome Our New Intern!
In our last message, we gave an update on the expansion of our genetic services mapping project. Beginning this week, MSGRC will be contacting clinics in our region to identify information such types of services, catchment areas, and populations served. This effort will be led by Nayanjot Rai, a current MPH student at the Colorado School of Public Health interning with MSGRC. We're excited to have her working with us and want to take this opportunity to let genetics clinics know to anticipate being contacted by Nayanjot. We sincerely appreciate the participation of our region's genetics clinics in these calls. We hope our expanded mapping can identify high need areas that can be targeted by future MSGRC efforts. 
Updates in Telegenetics
At our last annual meeting in April 2016, our Telegenetics session was held as a working lunch session. Our goal was to include members outside of our telegenetics workgroup participate in our "brainstorming" session on future ideas for telegenetics activites at MSGRC. We were fortunate to have Dale Alverson, MD, as a speaker for the session. Dr. Alverson is Past President of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and the Medical Director of the Center for Telemedicine and Cybermedicine Research at the University of New Mexico. For those unable to attend in-person, his presentation slides are available here. We were also pleased to have the perspective of clinicians currently using telegenetics. Mary Kukolich, MD, has been a leader of telegenetics at Cook Children's in Ft. Worth, Texas. Christine Barth, MA, GC, at St. Mary's Hospital has been a longtime proponent and user of telegenetics in her practice. As mentioned in the last Project Director message, we have initiated a case study of telegenetics at Cook Children's. To date, we have been able to interview Dr. Kukolich and Kim Epperson, the Director of Telemedicine at Cook's. Some of our initial findings have been the importance of both clinician buy-in and institution-wide use of telemedicine, or use across specialities. We hope this case study will be instrumental in promoting and assisting in the uptake of telegenetics in clinics across our region.
Other Items of Interest
  • Save the date!: The MSGRC Annual Meeting 2017 will be held from April 20-22. This year we will be visiting a new city, Salt Lake City, Utah. We're excited to be seeing everyone in a great new location!
  • We want our members to be aware of "Evenings with Genetics," hosted through the Baylor College of Medicine. The next seminar is September 13 in Houston, Texas. This seminar series is open to the public and geared towards families. Registration is required but attendance is free. Please register here!
  • Grey's 5k: It's that time of year again! Long serving MSGRC member Bill Morris is holding his annual 5k to raise awareness of NBS education on Saturday, October 15. Some of the TX Health Institute will be there, including MSGRC Project Manager Marilyn. For those not quite ready to complete a 5k, there is a scenic 1 mile walk option. Please also pass along this information to companies that may be interested in corporate sponsorships. Lace up those sneakers and register here!
  • The last ACHDNC meeting was attended by MSGRC staff Kathryn Hassell, Janet Thomas, and Joyce Hooker. Presentations can be found on the HRSA website.  
Final Thoughts

While we don't have any photos of MSGRC staff from the Labor Day weekend (we're camera shy) we do have some photos of a couple of our furry friends enjoying the long weekend. Both Joyce and Marilyn agreed that furry friends are a great way to end the PD message. Enjoy and we will have many updates to share in October!

Belgium filly Dawn, Joyce's buddy up in Nova Scotia



Cash, Marilyn's hiking partner and best friend enjoying scenic views on Mt. Lindsey


Warm regards,

 Kathryn Hassell, M.D.              Janet Thomas, M.D.
 Project Director                      Associate Project Director
MSGRC staff contact information: 
Kathryn Hassell, Project Director   
Janet Thomas, Associate Project Director
Marilyn Brown, Project Manager -303-477-1976  
Liza Creel, Evaluator       
Joyce Hooker, Director of Social Outreach
Kristi Wees, Social Media Coordinator 
Celia Kaye, MSGRC Consultant                
THI staff contact information:
Camille Miller, Project Administrator 
Sherry Wilkie-Conway, Project Oversight
Stephanie Ondrias, Events Manager
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Grant H46MC24095,The Mountain States Genetics Regional Collaborative for $600,000. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Mountain States Genetics Regional Collaborative, 8501 North MoPac Expressway, Suite 170, Austin, TX 78759
Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact