University of Michigan Pediatric Researcher Selected to Head American Academy of Pediatrics Initiative

Published: Aug 25, 2011

Grant seeks to help primary care providers prepare for the genetic era

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- University of Michigan's Beth A. Tarini, M.D., a pediatrician who conducts research on the use of genetic testing in children, has been selected to serve as co-medical director of a Genetics in Primary Care Institute grant awarded to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The three year award is provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Tarini, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the U-M Medical School, is also a faculty member with the University's Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit, a multidisciplinary research team working to address the most pressing child health issues of the day.

The vision of the Genetics In Primary Care Institute initiative is to improve the delivery of genetic-based services in the primary care setting. The institute will work directly with primary care physicians to increase their understanding of basic genetics principles and emerging genetic tests, enhance their skills of collecting and interpreting family history information, and assist them in navigating genetics-related ethical issues.

The initiative will also seek to prepare the next generation of pediatric primary care providers by advancing policies that more effectively incorporate genetic medicine into residency training programs.

"Given the rapid development of genetic technologies, genetics is becoming an increasingly important aspect of clinical medicine. This initiative will help to ensure that pediatric primary care providers and their patients reap the rewards from these advances," says Tarini.

Tarini is a member of the AAP's Committee on Genetics, whose research seeks to optimize the use of genetic services in pediatrics. The co-director for the Genetics in Primary Care Institute project is Robert Saul, M.D., from the Greenwood Genetic Center, a nonprofit organization advancing the field of medical genetics and caring for families impacted by genetic disease and birth defects.

"It is both an exciting and a challenging time to be a pediatrician," says Tarini. "Dr. Saul and I will work with a team of experts to develop processes that help pediatric primary care providers deliver high-quality genetics-based services."

About C.S. Mott Children's Hospital:

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in the U.S. News Media Group's 2011 edition of "America's Best Children's Hospitals" including third in the country for heart and heart surgery. In November, the hospital moves to a new 1.1 million square feet, $754 million state-of-the-art facility that will be home to cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.

About the U-M CHEAR Unit:

Founded in 1998, U-M's CHEAR Unit is a national leader in the analysis of the American health care system and the organization and financing of care for children. Since its inception, the CHEAR Unit has been awarded over $40 million in research grants from federal, state, and foundation sources. The CHEAR Unit comprises core faculty from the Schools of Medicine, Social Work, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Public Health, Business and Law. Multidisciplinary teams provide the structure for research of community, state and national child health policies, practices, and programs. There are more than 30 faculty affiliated with CHEAR.

About the American Academy of Pediatrics:

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

SOURCE University of Michigan Health System

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