Healthy Nevada Project Opening to 40,000 More Volunteers

January 24, 2018in News

Fifteen months after launching our community-based population health study with the Desert Research Institute (DRI), we are taking steps toward significantly expanding public enrollment. Today, Renown Institute for Health Innovation (Renown IHI) – jointly formed by Renown Health and DRI – announced a new project partner, personal genomics company Helix.

Using Helix’s proprietary Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology and uniquely personalized suite of DNA-powered products, research teams at Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute (DRI) plan to offer an additional 40,000 Nevadans the opportunity to have their DNA sequenced and participate in phase two of the study. Enrollment is expected to open this spring.

The Healthy Nevada Project will offer study participants a DNA kit from Helix that provides information on personal traits or ancestry, and a Helix.com account which will enable them to explore additional DNA-powered products through the Helix App store if they choose.

As we finalize the details of phase two, we will update all employees for a chance to take part in this study that delivers on our mission of making a genuine difference in the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. ​To learn more about this next phase of the Healthy Nevada Project, read Dr. Tony Slonim’s blog on the BestMedicine site.

More on the Healthy Nevada Project

In September 2016, the pilot phase of the Healthy Nevada Project enrolled 10,000 participants in less than 48 hours and completed DNA sample collection in just 60 working days. Research teams are currently working on the first peer-reviewed scientific results from the study after gaining valuable community and population health insights from the data.

“From the beginning, our focus with the Healthy Nevada Project has been on delivering personalized health data to our communities that will ultimately drive positive change for our state,” said Dr. Tony Slonim, President and CEO of Renown Health. “We are very excited about the opportunities the next phase of this groundbreaking study will offer. Community participants will be able to gain deeper, actionable insights into their DNA data, while our research teams gain unprecedented access to the largest clinical DNA sequencing facility in the world.”

Northern Nevada’s healthcare catchment spans 100,000 square miles and serves almost 1 million people. The diverse population, generational healthcare data and innovative combination of leading-edge research tools and detailed environmental databases make the region an ideal location for advanced health science.

“Our pilot phase used genotyping, which was a great start, but moving to NGS sequencing and inviting an additional 40,000 people to participate will dramatically accelerate what we can learn about the human genome and has the potential to greatly improve preventative health,” said Joseph Grzymski, an Associate Research Professor at DRI, Co-director of Renown IHI, and Principal Investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project.

Employees are encouraged to stay tuned to Inside Renown or HealthyNV.org as Renown IHI finalizes the details of phase two enrollment for the Healthy Nevada Project.