Letter from the President and Medical Directors - Spring 2016

This spring edition of our newsletter brings the season-appropriate ‘blooming’ of three announcements from IMG – the opening of new offices in Chicagoland, introduction of a pharmacogenetics panel, and the initiation of an early anatomy scan research protocol.

Insight Medical Genetics is growing the footprint of genetic counseling and screening over the next year with the opening of several new full service locations. Just like our current locations, these new offices will provide the full range of medical genetics services with greater convenience and access to care across the Chicagoland area. Each office will be staffed by a genetic counselor, a phlebotomist/receptionist, an ultrasound technician and a telemedicine-based connection to one of us (Lee Shulman, Jeff Dungan), in order to provide complete prenatal first trimester genetic counseling and aneuploidy screening as well as hereditary cancer risk assessment. With an anticipated opening in May, IMG will have a new office to serve the northern suburbs, located in "The Glen" at 2551 Compass Road in Glenview. In June, we plan to open an office in Arlington Heights (1614 W Central Road), very close to Northwest Community Hospital. These two additions will join our most recent opening of a satellite office at Swedish Covenant Hospital in the city (5145 N California Ave ). And by the end of 2016, we look forward to the addition of two more locations in the southwestern and southern suburbs to bring the total number of IMG locations to seven (including Chicago and Oak Brook) to serve physician practices and their patients across the Chicagoland area. Laboratory services, both cytogenetic and molecular, will continue to be centralized at the 680 N. Lake Shore Drive location.

Adding to the repertoire for women’s health… IMG has recently completed the validation of a pharmacogenetics (PGx) panel and will be providing both the laboratory testing and, uniquely, genetic counseling to support the interpretation for our network of referring providers. The IMG PGx panel contains drugs specifically used for the treatment of pain and depression. Proper use of this genetic screen can significantly improve the choice of appropriate medication, reduce the ‘trial and error’ time to determine effectiveness, and minimize risks of drug toxicity in your patients. In addition, we will be identifying potential teratogenic impact that some of the medications in this category can have on pregnant patients. Read page 3 and 4 for more on this topic.

And, we have initiated a research protocol entitled "Early Ultrasonography vs Traditional Ultrasonography for Assessment of Fetal Anatomy" under the guidance of Jeff Dungan who is serving as the principal investigator. The intent of the study is to determine in what proportion of fetuses a full anatomic survey, typically performed at 18-20 weeks gestation, can be obtained at 13-14 weeks gestation. Patients seen at IMG for aneuploidy screening and whose referring physicians utilize NMG Diagnostic Obstetric Ultrasound reading services will be offered the opportunity to participate in the study, with informed consent, at no cost (and reimbursement for parking). Ultrasound data obtained at 13-14 weeks will be compared to the anatomic survey performed at 18-20 weeks and stored by the NMG service. The potential value of both knowing that growth and development appear to be normal at an early stage of pregnancy as well as detecting relevant problems to allow more time for further testing is truly significant and may have profound impact on early pregnancy care.

Through our continued relationships with you and your patients, 2016 is off to a strong start…

Sincerely,

Morris Fiddler, PhD
Jeffrey Dungan, MD, FACOG, FACMG
Lee Shulman, MD, FACOG, FACMG