The way we deliver and receive health care is changing rapidly. Advancements in genetic and genomic technologies have opened the door to health care that is tailored to a person’s genetic makeup – a practice called ‘precision health’.
Precision health has gone from being a service offered at specialized clinics to an essential component of everyday health care. However, this integration is hindered when there is limited genomic knowledge among health care providers and educators.
This is the first initiative in Canada to integrate precision health concepts and genomics education into nurse practitioner training for both students and faculty.
“The main aim of this program is to make sure that everyone in BC who needs clinical genomic services can access them. We believe that providing health care providers with the right education is the starting point for achieving equitable access to genomics and precision health care for all,” says Sally Greenwood, Vice President of Communications and Societal Engagement at Genome BC.
Genome BC’s Genomic Education for Health Professionals (GEHP) program is the first initiative designed to strengthen the skills of health care workers in genomics. It was developed after a lack of resources to educate health professionals was identified as a major obstacle to using genomics in clinical care.
This pilot project is a big step forward in using genomics and precision health in Canadian nursing care. Dr. Rani Srivastava, Dean of Nursing at TRU, states, “This pilot project resonates with TRU’s innovative and collaborative approach to nursing education. Our faculty eagerly anticipates integrating genomic content into our new nurse practitioner program and strengthening connections with UNBC and UBC.”