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Geisinger receives award from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study communication of genomic lab results

Patti Urosevich, 570.204.1848
Oct. 4, 2013  

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger Health System’s Genomic Medicine Institute has been approved to receive a $1.4 million  research award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study how best to share genomic lab results with patients. The study is part of a portfolio of projects that will advance the field of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research and provide patients with information that will help them make better-informed decisions about their care.

Marc S. Williams, M.D., director, Genomic Medicine Institute, Geisinger’s Sigfried and Janet Weis Center for Research, will lead the research. The project, which includes researchers from Penn State and Virginia Tech, will focus on the best way to share genomics results with patients and clinicians to promote shared decision making.

Patient-centered communication of genomic laboratory reports is becoming more important as information from an individual’s genes (genomic information) becomes more frequently used to diagnose and manage medical conditions.  Currently genomic test results are only shared with clinicians.

According to Dr. Williams, the study will identify how best to communicate genetic laboratory information, what part of the communication is of the greatest value to patients and clinicians and how best to integrate the reporting into the day-to-day workflow at Geisinger in a way that is relevant and helpful.

“We believe that a new type of genomic test report, tailored for patient as well as clinician use, promotes shared decision making and trust,” said Dr. Williams. “It also allows patients to be more involved in the management of their disorders, better navigate the health care system, and make more informed decisions about their health and health care in conjunction with their clinicians.” he added.

“This project was selected for PCORI funding not only for its scientific merit but also for its potential to fill an important gap in our health knowledge and ultimately help patients and those who care for them make more fully informed decisions about their care,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, M.D., MPH. “The project reflects PCORI’s commitment to support patient-centered comparative effectiveness research, a new approach to health research that emphasizes the inclusion of patients and caregivers at all stages of the study process. We look forward to following the study’s progress and working with Geisinger’s Genomic Medicine Institute to share the results.”

Geisinger’s study is one of 71 projects totaling more than $114 million approved for funding by PCORI’s Board of Governors earlier this week. The awards were a mix of projects that included the first studies made to specifically target improvement of research methods. All were selected through a highly competitive review process in which scientists, patients, caregivers and other stakeholders helped evaluate more than 570 proposals that responded to five PCORI funding announcements.
Proposals were evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, how well they engage patients and other stakeholders, their methodological rigor and how well they fit within PCORI’s national research priorities. All awards were approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

The awards are part of PCORI’s latest round of primary research funding. Through previous funding cycles, including a round of pilot projects and other initiatives, PCORI has committed a total of $304 million since 2012 to support patient-centered comparative effectiveness research.

For more information about PCORI funding, visit For more details on Geisinger’s Genomics Medicine Institute, visit

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at

About Geisinger Health System
Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As the nation’s largest rural health services organization, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 19,500 employees, including a 1,000-member multi-specialty group practice, six hospital campuses, two research centers and a 448,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $6.1 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and  Facebook.

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