myGenetics makes immediate impact on community health, reaching year-one goal
About 25,000 participants have enrolled in the free DNA testing research study
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — HealthPartners is celebrating a big milestone that coincides with the one-year anniversary of myGenetics, a DNA testing community research study that launched in partnership with Helix.
Since May 2022, about 25,000 participants have chosen to take part in this study, reaching its annual goal and giving a strong start to the multi-year program designed to improve overall community health while arming patients with information so they can take control of their own health and well-being.
“We’re committed to not just treating or curing illnesses, but preventing them,” says Leslie Dockan, vice president of primary care, laboratories and clinic operations. “It’s incredible to see our patients and those in the community be so enthusiastic about myGenetics and the future of personalized medicine.”
A growing number of people have joined myGenetics because they heard about it from a family member, a friend or a trusted physician who believes in the role genetics will play in the future of health care.
Participants include individuals like Deenya Craig, who found out she carries the BRCA2 gene mutation that brings a greater risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Because of her family history, she says she wasn’t surprised by the news, but rather blessed with the knowledge. “I'm a firm believer in God, and there’s a prayer I have been praying for 20 years,” she says. “Every night, I pray, ‘Lord, don't let this cancer gene in our family continue. Let it be stopped.’”
Craig credits myGenetics for giving her answers. Since receiving her results, she’s met with a genetic counselor and gathered information. After already having some related health scares, she’s choosing to have a double mastectomy.
“This genetic mutation loves breast tissue,” she says. “It can have it. I don't need it. I choose life and all the things that life will bring.”
Craig, a black woman in her early 50s, isn’t just championing for herself. She’s sharing her journey publicly in hopes inspires others to take part in the myGenetics study. “For two reasons, I'm passionate about health care and people of color. And there's always this mistrust of the medical system. At some point, we have to see ourselves.”
By sharing her myGenetics experiences on YouTube and TikTok, she hopes others will see how knowledge can get people through anything.
For more information about myGenetics, go to healthpartners.com/myGenetics.
Helix is the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company operating at the intersection of clinical care, research, and data analytics. Through its CLIA / CAP laboratory, its end-to-end workflow, and data analytics platforms, Helix enables health systems, life sciences companies, payers, and government partners to accelerate the integration of genomic data into patient care and public health decision making. Learn more at helix.com.
HealthPartners is dedicated to improving health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. As an integrated health system, it provides care to more than one million patients and coverage to more than 1.8 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. HealthPartners also provides medical education and conducts research through HealthPartners Institute. For more information, visit healthpartners.com.