Originally published Dec. 12, 2011
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE) announced on November 18, 2011 that Georgia is one of three states to receive a cooperative agreement grant for $900,000. Over the next three years, the grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will address the needs of women ages 18 to 49 at high risk for developing breast cancer. Georgia now joins Michigan and Oregon in receiving the funding to continue ongoing CDC-supported work in breast cancer genomics. The funding was issued as part of the federal Education Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act.
The Department will partner with Georgia CORE to implement the Georgia Breast Cancer Genomics Education, Surveillance, and Policy Program (GBCG ESP), allowing DPH to benefit from the organization’s ability to attract ongoing support and resources to assure program sustainability beyond the years of CDC funding.
The collaboration includes two academic partners to provide clinical and scientific expertise in the development of the genomic program. They include the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM).
The Georgia Breast Cancer Genomics program will foster evidence-based recommendations for breast cancer genomic tests and other interventions and may lead to trials for larger breast cancer genomics efforts.
“Georgia women are diagnosed with breast cancer more than any other cancer, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in our state,” said Kimberly Redding, MD, Director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program with the Georgia Department of Public Health. Through this program, we have the opportunity to reach populations that are rural, underserved and at high risk for breast cancer.”
Nancy Paris, President and CEO of Georgia CORE will serve as program director for the cooperative agreement award. “We are thrilled to be among a small group of award recipients for what will be a significant contribution to breast cancer education, surveillance and policy in Georgia,” said Paris.
The Department and Georgia CORE collaborated with the Winship Cancer Center of Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine and the Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy to establish education, surveillance and policy goals for the cooperative agreement award. The work will enhance activities to promote breast cancer genomics by increasing testing and counseling and develop programs to increase public knowledge about family history, risk assessment, and genetic counseling and testing. The work may also increase insurance coverage of gene testing and clinical interventions for patients at high risk for breast cancer.
Emory will begin piloting a screening tool to identify high risk women that will eventually be disseminated for use throughout the state in geographically defined population centers where racial and ethnic disparities are present. Phase I of the genomics program will focus on public health districts in Macon, Savannah and DeKalb County, and Phase II will expand to public health districts in Augusta, Columbus, as well as Clayton, Cobb, Douglas, Fulton and Gwinnett Counties.