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myGenetics

Your DNA makes you, you. And it may hold the key to understanding certain health risk factors. That’s why HealthPartners created myGenetics, a community health research program. This study looks at what your DNA can tell you about your health. The knowledge we gain will be used to provide more personalized care to our patients, families and community – building a healthier future for all.

This study is open to established HealthPartners and Park Nicollet patients who are 18 and older. You can join myGenetics with your HealthPartners online account. If you don’t have an online account with us, you’ll need to create one in order to join.

If you’re not already a HealthPartners or Park Nicollet patient, you can become one by scheduling an in-person appointment or video visit with one of our primary care doctors.

About myGenetics

This large-scale community health research program is one of the first of its kind in Minnesota. It’s a voluntary study available to all HealthPartners patients over the age of 18. We’re aiming to enroll 100,000 people to develop our secure genetic research database.

Genetic screening is done at no cost to you and will include a variety of information about DNA. Through myGenetics, we're able to screen for certain common cancers and heart disease, as well as regional ancestry and traits.

Creating a healthier community

Population genomics research is at the forefront of medical science. A DNA test can provide a more detailed picture of your hereditary health risks than talking through your family history. We’re able to learn if our patients are at clinically higher risks for developing serious health conditions. Finding these genetic markers early may help our care team provide personalized preventive care recommendations, improving lives.

We’re still learning all the ways DNA testing can help improve the quality of health care. By participating in this study, your genetic information will help us learn what may cause certain diseases and how we can treat them more effectively so we can work towards improving the standard of care for all.

Benefits of genetic testing through myGenetics

Genetic testing has several health care benefits. Through this program, you’ll gain a better understanding of how your DNA can impact your health. Our team of genetic counselors, doctors and experts will use this information to provide care tailored to your specific risks and needs.

Approximately one in 75 people will learn they have an actionable genetic risk factor for one of the inherited cancer or heart conditions that are part of this study. A similar program found that routine medical care misses these risk factors in 90% of patients.

We sequence the whole exome, meaning we’ll have data on all of your genes. We will start by providing clinically proven, actionable results. And your HealthPartners and Park Nicollet doctors will be able to access this information for your entire lifetime, and re-query your genes as our understanding of DNA evolves.

What you can expect from your genetic screening results

DNA is your genetic information, and it’s unique to you. Looking at your DNA can let you know if you’re at risk for developing certain inherited conditions and can be used by you and your care team to create personalized care recommendations.

Actionable health risks

Your DNA will be screened for three conditions that can be passed down in families and may increase your risk for certain cancers and heart disease:

  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
  • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome)
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia (hereditary high cholesterol)

Your genetic ancestry and traits

Your DNA can also impact traits and help you gain insights into your ancestral roots. Our genomics partner Helix will provide access to your traits and ancestry information through their online portal. It is offered as optional and at no cost to you.

Your genetic ancestry report will show where your ancestors likely lived, and your traits report will explain how your DNA may influence personal traits, including:

  • Sweet tooth
  • Hair curl and texture
  • Earwax type
  • Circadian rhythm
  • And several others

How myGenetics works

Taking part in our genetic screening study is easy.

Sign up for the study

If you’re a HealthPartners patient over the age of 18, you can take part in the study. You can register through your HealthPartners online account. This account will allow you to review and sign the informed consent form. If you don’t have an online account, you’ll need to create an account in order to participate in myGenetics.

After you have signed the consent form, you’ll have the opportunity to set up an optional personal Helix account so you can view your results through their online portal. You will also be able to see your results in your HealthPartners online account.

Visit any lab

After you’ve signed up, you will make an appointment at one of our labs. Your visit will only take about 15 minutes. Don’t make an appointment for a myGenetics lab visit within 30 days of a blood transfusion.

Your sample

You’ll provide a small blood sample for DNA collection (a saliva sample may be collected if you prefer). Once we have your sample, we will send it to our genomics partner Helix to sequence your DNA.

Get your results

You’ll receive your digital genetics report in your HealthPartners online account and in your Helix account, if you choose to create one. Your genetic information and information from your medical record will also become part of our genetic research database, helping us to support research that may improve health care for future generations. And as part of our valued research community, we’ll keep you up to date on how your participation is advancing genetic research.

Receive personalized health care recommendations

The results of your actionable health risks will be returned to your health record and your care team so we can use it to provide personalized care recommendations.

If you’re found to have a risk for one of the inherited cancer or heart conditions that are part of this study, we’ll connect you with one of our genetic counselors. We’ll help you better understand your test results and guide you toward the care you need.

This study is open to established HealthPartners and Park Nicollet patients who are 18 and older. You can join myGenetics with your HealthPartners online account. If you don’t have an online account with us, you’ll need to create one in order to join.

If you’re not already a HealthPartners or Park Nicollet patient, you can become one by scheduling an in-person appointment or video visit with one of our primary care doctors.

What to do if you have questions about myGenetics

Our team of experts is just a phone call away. We’re available to answer any questions you might have about participating in this study and the genetic testing that is a part of it.

You can reach us at 952-967-5357 or mygenetics@healthpartners.com.

Share your myGenetics story

We believe in the power of shared experiences. By participating in myGenetics, you’re helping us learn how we may be able to improve the standards of health care for everyone. We’re proud of how this work will impact the health of our families, friends and community for generations to come.

We’d love to hear about your experience with myGenetics. Sharing your story can help spread awareness about this community research program and encourage others to join. No story is too big or too small to share.

Tell us your myGenetics story

Helix – our partner in genetic testing

As a leader in health care, we’re investing in groundbreaking research so we can continue to provide the best care to our patients and community. To do this, we’ve teamed up with Helix, a leading population genomics company. Helix created the first and only FDA-authorized whole exome sequencing platform for clinical use. Together, we’ll deliver powerful genetic information to you and your care team for proactive health care planning.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

You’ll receive the results of your genetic screening digitally. We’ll send your DNA test results about your actionable health risks to your HealthPartners online account. If you choose to create a personal account through Helix, your results will also be available there.

The results about your traits and ancestry won’t be available in your online account and will only be available in your Helix account.

Only established HealthPartners and Park Nicollet patients over the age of 18 are able to participate. If you have any questions about eligibility, call 952-967-5357 or email mygenetics@healthpartners.com.

If you’re not a current HealthPartners and Park Nicollet patient, you’re welcome to become a patient by making an appointment with one of our primary care doctors. You can schedule a primary care appointment online.

Only HealthPartners and Park Nicollet patients can participate at this time, but we welcome anybody over 18 years of age to consider becoming a patient. You can become a patient by scheduling an in-person appointment or video visit with one of our primary care doctors. You can schedule a primary care appointment online.

No, this study is voluntary and provided at no cost to the participants. The genetic testing provided won’t be billed to your health insurance or to you. We’re also offering genetic counseling appointments at no cost if your test comes back with a genetic risk (positive).

Your DNA and health information from your medical record will become part of our genetic research database. Over time, the information in this database may help us better understand the causes of certain diseases and how we can treat them more effectively. By adding your personal genetic information to this study, you’ll be helping improve the standard of health care for all.

Plan for your lab visit to take about  15 minutes. If you plan to provide a saliva sample, please don’t eat, drink, chew gum, use tobacco or brush your teeth for 30 minutes before your visit. And please don’t plan to provide a saliva or blood sample within 30 days of a blood transfusion.

You’re welcome to provide a saliva sample instead of a blood sample for DNA collection. But it’s important to understand that we recommend providing a blood sample because they have higher rates of collection and testing success.

If your results show you’re at an increased risk for certain conditions, know that you’re not alone. We’ll contact you about your results, and you’ll also be able to schedule a free genetic counseling follow-up appointment.

Your results will become part of your electronic health record, enabling us to take a precision medicine approach. We’ll be able to recommend screenings, preventive care and other treatments tailored to your genetic results.

Precision medicine is an emerging approach for preventing and treating diseases. It uses genetic, environmental and lifestyle information to help create treatment plans.

By combining this information, care can be more personalized, and you and your care team may be able to develop specialized plans for prevention, detection and treatment. The goal of precision medicine is to provide the right medical care to the right patient, at the right time.

The time it takes to receive your results varies. In some cases, it can take up to 12 weeks before your report is ready. If you have any questions about when you might receive your results, call 952-967-5357 or email mygenetics@healthpartners.com.

Keeping your information secure is as important to us as it is to you. We follow federal privacy laws, and myGenetics is overseen by an institutional review board. Here are some of the ways we protect your genetic information:

  • Your results will not be shared with your insurer or impact health care coverage decisions.
  • Your information will be de-identified for population health research, meaning researchers will not see information that could be used to identify you.
  • If you’re contacted to participate in future research, we’ll get your permission before taking any next steps.

Yes! You’re welcome to participate in other health studies with HealthPartners while part of myGenetics.

Yes! You can register for myGenetics even if you’re already taking part in another HealthPartners study.