A New Grant and Name for the Institute on Disability’s New England Genetics Collaborative

June 15, 2017

New England Regional Genetics Network

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire has received a three-year renewal for its New England Genetics Collaborative (NEGC) from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

With this grant renewal, the NEGC program will officially change its name to the New England Regional Genetics Network (NERGN). This is part of a national shift from a Collaborative to a Network Model. Each region will establish a network of partnerships and connections to link individuals and families to genetic services. A focus will be on linking medically underserved populations (based on poverty, rural geographic location, and/or populations that experience health disparities) to genetic service providers, and promoting efficient genetic services practices through the use of health information technologies such as telehealth/telemedicine.

“The NERGN’s work is important to improve health equity and health outcomes in individuals with genetic conditions, reduce morbidity and mortality caused by genetic conditions, and strengthen and improve the quality of coordinated follow-up and treatment for comprehensive genetic services,” explains Dr. Monica McClain, Director of the NERGN.

The New England Regional Genetics Network is one of seven regional organizations across the United States dedicated to narrowing the gap between what is and what can be, for individuals with genetic disorders. Funded by HRSA, the NERGN coordinates collaboration between representatives from public health, metabolic and genetic clinics, medical homes, academia, and parent groups to support innovation in genetics and improve access to genetic services.

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire was established in 1987 to provide a university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Its mission is to promote full access, equal opportunities, and participation for all persons by strengthening communities and advancing policy and systems change, promising practices, education, and research. Dr. John Moeschler, from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, was one of the original founders of the NEGC. He is retiring from the project, and has been invaluable in building a successful project over the past 10 years.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.