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KAISER PERMANENTE GENETICS NEWS, ANNUAL AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HUMAN GENETICS MEETING, NOV. 9-13

 KAISER PERMANENTE GENETICS NEWS,
 ANNUAL AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HUMAN GENETICS MEETING, NOV. 9-13
 Health, medical and science writers planning to attend the 42nd annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in San Francisco November 9-13, are invited to to cover the following national genetics stories centered in the San Francisco Bay Area:
 -- Is the U.S. ready for large scale cystic fibrosis (CF) screening? -- a Northern California Kaiser Permanente study may provide some answers. There is a vigorous controversy within the scientific community about the appropriateness of general population screening made possible by the development of new CF mutation testing. Based on information available until now, the CF Foundation and ASHG have taken the position that general population screening is not warranted at this time. Both organizations are awaiting the results of pilot studies. The Office of Technology Assessment believes the question is a matter of when, not if. Numerous NIH and privately funded studies are underway.
 On Nov. 11 geneticist David R. Witt, M.D., will present the results of the Kaiser Permanente CF population screening study at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. This study has important national policy implications, since general population screening has been delayed pending the results of large studies such as that led by Dr. Witt.
 -- Northern California Kaiser Permanente: A Model Genetics Program
 Reporters are invited for an inside look at the Northern California Kaiser Permanente genetics program -- unique in health care delivery. It is an integrated system that offers screening to expectant parents (35,000 deliveries annually); identifies at-risk pregnancies; and coordinates genetic counseling, testing, and follow-up care through state-of-the-art clinical genetic services and technology.
 With few exceptions, Kaiser Permanente is unique in providing an internal genetics program. Individuals within Kaiser Permanente's 2.4-million member Northern California Region do not have to go outside of their health plan for genetic services -- or worry about paying for them if they are needed, since all genetics services are included in benefits coverage.
 The Northern California Kaiser Permanente genetics program is conducted by a team of professionals who are on the cutting edge of clinical genetics and genetic research. The staff includes six board-certified M.D. clinical geneticists, one Ph.D. cytogeneticist, one Ph.D. molecular geneticist, and 30 masters level genetic counselors.
 News Media Resource Guide Available. A comprehensive guide explaining the Kaiser Permanente Northern California genetics program may be obtained by calling Gary Summers, 510-284-7004.
 Contacts. Reporters are invited to contact the following individuals:
 David Witt, M.D., 408-972-3300 -- for information on the CF screening study to be presented at the ASHG November conference; background on the national CF screening debate; Kaiser Permanente's regional genetics computer system (one of the nation's most advanced systems); the San Jose cytogenetics lab (one of the largest in the country).
 Ronald Bachman, M.D., genetics department chief, Oakland Medical Center 510-596-6571 -- for a detailed explanation of Kaiser Permanente's regional genetics program and any of its components; interviews with genetics program participants and staff.
 CONTACT: Gary Summers of Lewis and Summers, 510-284-7004, for Kaiser Permanente.
 -0- 10/28/92


CO: Kaiser Permanente ST: California IN: MTC SU:

TM -- SF004 -- 6094 10/28/92 14:14 EST
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Date:Oct 28, 1992
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