What’s now a big, empty space is about to be a state of the art genomic facility in Luzerne County.
Officials with Geisinger Medical Center announced plans for a new center in Forty Fort, Which will be home to researchers and others in the genomic field.
Construction work will soon begin at a Geisinger medical facility on Welles Street in Forty Fort.
Officials showed images of what the new genomic medicine center will look like when it’s done.
“This really is health care for the entire family.”
But not family medical care in the traditional sense, according to Monica Giovanni, the director of clinical genomic strategy.
This 14,000 square foot facility is the new home for a state of the art telegenomics program.
Genomics, being the study of a person’s DNA. Tele, meaning they’ll be able to communicate with people globally.
“If a variant is discovered in a patient that is medically actionable, as we say, we’ll bring that patient here at Forty Fort, or using that telegenomic approach, anywhere they may be,” said Monica Giovanni, director of clinical genomic strategy.
Currently, the genomics program works in a smaller, temporary space near Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center near Wilkes-Barre.
Geisinger was given a $100,000 state grant to create the new space.
“We think that somewhere around three to five percent of patients that come through will have a change in their genetic code that will lead to some kind of immediate medical treatment that could improve their health, or save their life,” said director of clinical genomics Dr. Michael Murray.
Dr. Murray’s office will be there eventually, along with staff from Geisinger’s autism department.
It will also connect from the inside to its next door neighbor, the system’s maternal fetal medicine department, putting more heads together to not just treat disease, but try to prevent it.
“We’re in the very early stages here, but we’re going to really help set the standards of care that others around the world will be watching and learning from.”
Construction work is set to begin and the center is scheduled to be completed and ready for patients by November.