ST. GEORGE— Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, executive director of Intermountain Healthcare’s Precision Genomics program, has been named as one of the top 25 health innovators in the nation by “Modern Healthcare” magazine.
Nadauld was recognized by the magazine under the “quality and safety” category. Under his direction, Intermountain’s Precision Genomics program has made discoveries in disease treatment and medicine through studying patient DNA.
“For the industry to truly transform how it operates, innovation must take hold at all levels of an organization,” Modern Healthcare said in their announcement of the 2019 list of innovators. “Often, a seemingly simple idea can lead to huge change. The inaugural class of Top 25 Innovators found new ways to engage consumers, improve quality of care and lower costs.”
By analyzing an individual’s differences in genetics, environments and lifestyles, the Precision Genetics program assists medical professionals in targeting illnesses and identifying specific treatments. Using this technology, researchers can learn about the unique genetic makeup of a patient’s cancer cells to help identify a more personalized plan for their care.
In June, Intermountain announced a partnership with deCODE genetics of Iceland to launch the groundbreaking HerediGene Population Study, which is being led by Nadauld.
The study is the largest and most comprehensive DNA mapping effort from a single population in the U.S. to ever be conducted. Researchers will collect 500,000 voluntary DNA samples from Intermountain patients in order to develop better medicines and identify people who are predisposed to certain genetic diseases.
More than 20,000 samples have been collected so far.
“It’s great to have the hard work of our team recognized on a national level,” Nadauld said in a press release.
While leading the charge, his team achieved a 27% reduction in negative outcomes for blood clot patients and a 250% improvement in readmission rates for patients suffering from depression.
Intermountain first started its Precision Genomics program in 2013. They were one of the first programs dedicated to analyzing the DNA of patients with advanced cancers.
New research by the program is unlocking ways to treat other illnesses including opioid dependence, cardiovascular health and medication metabolism.
“There’s much more to come that will help patients, our friends, our neighbors and our families to live the healthiest lives possible,” Nadauld said.
Earlier this year, the program was awarded the Utah Governor’s Science Medal for Industry by Gov. Gary Herbert. It is the highest honor given by the state of Utah to residents and companies who have made significant contributions in the fields of science and technology. Following the award, Nadauld said the best part was they were just scratching the surface of what is possible with precision medicine.
“With our efforts, we’ve seen an increase in overall survival of patients with advanced cancer, while seeing a decrease in costs. Recognitions like this really validate the work we’re doing,” he said.
For a full list of Modern Healthcare’s honorees, click here.
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