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New England Genetics Collaborative Awards $100,000 in Contracts for Small Projects

By Matthew Gianino, Institute On Disability / UCED
April 9, 2008

The New England Genetics and Newborn Screening Collaborative (NEGC), housed at UNH’s Institute on Disability, has awarded a total of $100,000 in contracts as part of its Innovative Small Projects program. This annual funding program encourages short-term creative projects that meet emerging needs in the field of genetics. Proposal requirements include sponsorship by one of the NEGC’s collaborative council members and a maximum budget of $30,000. Of the proposals received, five contracts were awarded:

  • “A Pilot Study to Demonstrate How Nurse Educators Can Incorporate the American Nurses Association Guidelines on Genetics and Genomics in their Prospective Curricula,” submitted by Dr. Susan Capasso of St. Vincent’s College in Bridgeport, Conn. This project will develop and deliver an online workshop for nurse educators about the role that genetics plays in health and diseases which in turn will inform nursing students.

  • “Patient as Teacher Project,” submitted by Dr. Mark Korson of Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, Mass. This project will add to the already successful Metabolic Outreach Service, which provides expert consultation to academic medical centers, by incorporating personal perspectives directly from patients and their families in order to have an impact on medical students and other providers.

  • “Understanding the Genetics of Deafness,” submitted by Dr. Heidi Rehm of the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, Harvard Medical School - Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics in Cambridge, Mass. This project will raise awareness and understanding about the genetics of deafness by printing a parents’ guide in Spanish.

  • “Leadership Training Program for the NE Connection for PKU and Allied Disorders,” submitted by Donna McGrath and Denise Queally of the NE Connection for PKU and Allied Disorders in Milton, Mass. Through this project, young adults with metabolic disorders will receive leadership training which will propel them both into the transition of their own health care as adults, and into leadership roles within agencies servicing that population.

  • “Sickle Cell Disease Life Skills Training to Improve Health Outcomes,” submitted by Bill Kubicek of Next Step Program in Cambridge, Mass. The project will design and implement a replicable model of educating young adults with Sickle Cell disease about making the transition to the adult health care system.

Funded by a federal cooperative agreement from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the NEGC promotes collaborations between the medical community, public health professionals, educators, advocates, and families in all six New England states. The NEGC partners with the Institute for Health Policy and Practice at UNH and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics to enhance the services and supports for individuals with genetic disorders.

For more information about the NEGC Innovative Small Projects Program, contact Amy Schwartz, project manager, at 2-2962 or amy.schwartz@unh.edu, or Karen Smith, project coordinator, at 2-3454 or karen.smith@unh.edu. For more information about the NEGC and future funding initiatives, visit www.negenetics.org.

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