Health system Jefferson Health is deeply committed to doing the right thing for the health of its employees. And the health system knows that precision medicine, based on a personal risk analysis thanks to genomics, can help individuals predict risk, but also can help physicians develop the right care plans.
“We knew we had to offer that to the 32,000 people who work with us,” said Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, CEO of Jefferson Health and president of Thomas Jefferson University.
In addition, the health system hosts an NCI-designated cancer center – the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. Sidney Kimmel has been a leader in cancer genomics and in genetic counseling to diagnose and predict outcomes. Most recently, Sidney Kimmel created a genomic screening center for men.
“That counseling is critical: Once the results come in, we had to provide immediate help to employees who would ask, ‘What does this mean?’“ Klasko said.
That is where Color came in. Color is a vendor of genomics, precision medicine and population health technologies.
“Color is able to integrate its own counselors with the genetic counselors we have at our cancer center to ensure when an employee gets a result that shows an increased risk for cancer or heart disease, they have the resources and information to take action with their physician,” Klasko explained. “Color also is able to meet another Jefferson priority: We wanted a system that protected our employees – blinded to us as employers.”
In fact, Jefferson Health elected not to make data from its employees available for clinical research without additional steps to gain consent and privacy. Research was not the first priority. The priority was helping the employees, and Klasko believes that is why the health system has had rapid adoption.