National Surf Contest Helps Fund Local Genetic Testing

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After a month long online voting competition in October, ProMedica Flower Hospital won the 2016 Battle for the Breasts. The contest, sponsored by the Mauli Ola Foundation aims to “spread awareness about the importance of early detection in breast cancer.” With 5-10% of all breast cancers are considered to be hereditarym, early detection is key.

So how did Flower Hospital get involved in all of this? It came down to a little bit of luck, and whole lot of community participation.

Dimity helped earn our genetics program $50,000 worth of genetic testing vouchers from Ambry Genetics to use for patients who are unable to afford genetic testing.

Earlier this year, the Mauli Ola Foundation randomly selected 16 cancer genetics clinics from across the country through a lottery system to participate in a bracket or March-Madness-style contest. Each clinic was then partnered with a female professional surfer who surfed on the clinic’s behalf. Video clips of the female surfers were published online for the public to vote. ProMedica Flower Hospital was pleased to have surfer Dimity Stoyle represent us and bring us home the big win. At the end of the competition, Dimity helped earn our genetics program $50,000 worth of genetic testing vouchers from Ambry Genetics to use for patients who are unable to afford genetic testing.

Video: Watch how the funding from this competition will benefit local patients.

Currently, many health insurers cover genetic testing related to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer when it is medically necessary. Occasionally, there are situations where a health insurer may use stricter criteria for genetic testing compared to what is nationally recommended, or a health insurer may have “genetics exclusions” written into its plans that an employer selected. High deductible insurance plans can also present issues as genetic testing can be quite costly.

Our Cancer Genetics Clinic plans to use these genetic testing vouchers for people who meet NCCN (National Comprehensive Cancer Network) criteria for genetic testing, but also are in need of financial assistance regarding genetic testing.

Find more information on who should consider genetic testing, please look at our Cancer Genetics Program’s website.

Sarah Adelsperger

Sarah Adelsperger, MS, LCGC, is a licensed and board-certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Sarah joined Kelly Morse, MS, LCGC, in the Cancer Genetics Program in May 2015 at ProMedica Cancer Institute, the first established program of its kind in the region.

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