AdventHealth for Children, Rady Children’s Institute launch genomics partnership to help critically ill kids

Technician uses matching-for-gene-sequencing

ORLANDO, Fla., and SAN DIEGO, Oct. 5, 2020 — AdventHealth for Children is partnering with Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine to bring rapid and ultra-rapid whole genome sequencing to Central Florida families for the first time. The testing will help critically ill babies and children in intensive care with unexplained medical conditions receive appropriate care.

This advanced diagnostic technology rapidly identifies the causes of rare genetic disorders in some of the sickest infants and children. AdventHealth selected Rady in order to bring the quickest turnaround of genomic test results available in the country to patients in Central Florida. Preliminary diagnoses are typically available in less than three days for medically urgent cases.

“Genomics is the future of medicine. This advanced testing can have a significant impact on how we diagnose and treat patients,” said Dr. Rajan Wadhawan, a board-certified neonatologist and senior executive officer of AdventHealth for Children and AdventHealth for Women. “Rady Children’s Institute is a leader in genomic medicine, and this partnership will help us provide the best care to some of the littlest and sickest patients in our care.”

“Our team is focused on using the power of rapid Whole Genome Sequencing to identify or rule out most genetic diseases in one swift step and empower the medical team at the bedside to provide personalized treatment and improve outcomes,” said Dr. Stephen Kingsmore, president and CEO of Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. “We’re delighted to partner with AdventHealth to bring the life-changing benefits of Rapid Precision Medicine® to the children and families of Central Florida.”

Located on the campus of Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, the Rady Children’s Institute houses a state-of-the-art genome sequencing lab and employs a multi-disciplinary team of experts who specialize in providing timely and accurate guidance to physicians caring for children with rare genetic disease.

The Rady partnership is the latest in AdventHealth’s investment in genomics. In 2019, AdventHealth launched the “WholeMe” study, which is ongoing. Ten-thousand people have the opportunity to join WholeMe, in which AdventHealth’s partner Helix will evaluate their DNA for the genes linked to familial hypercholesterolemia, known as “FH.” FH is a life-threatening genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. If left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack, even in young adults.

AdventHealth is also welcoming Dr. Majed Dasouki, a leading expert on the field of genetic medicine. He will serve as the medical director for AdventHealth Medical Group’s genetic medicine practice in Orlando. In this role, he will help patients and families interpret genetic test results and develop treatment plans for those with genetic disorders, both children and adults. Dasouki previously served as the director of the Newborn Screening and Biochemical Genetics Laboratory (NSBGL) at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.