Dear Colleague,

While the pandemic continues to surge in California at the fastest pace yet, public health precautions like social distancing and mask wearing are more imperative than ever. CIAPM continues to support the statewide pandemic response, primarily via the Governor’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force, which among many efforts, opened a Department of Public Health Branch Laboratory this month in Valencia. This lab increases testing capacity and works with communities, health care providers, and industry to improve testing accuracy, access, and availability during this critical time.

Additionally, it has been an honor over the last year to contribute as part of the writing team for the forthcoming California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences. CIAPM team members also provided design, formatting, and reference management support. The report is expected to be published Wednesday, December 9 by the Office of the California Surgeon General and will be featured in our December newsletter.

Alongside updates of our ongoing endeavors and the recent Advisory Council meetings that set the stage for our next steps as a program, this month we are delighted to showcase the results of Project Baby Bear, a 2-year precision medicine demonstration pilot across five children’s hospitals, funded by the California Department of Health Care Services.

We appreciate your support and, as ever, would be open to highlighting your programs in a future issue; send us an email or use the blue button at the bottom of this newsletter. 

In partnership,  
The CIAPM Team 
Program Updates
Website Resources 
During these months of conferences-turned-webinars, announcements of numerous virtual events about precision medicine, social determinants of health, and other important topics can be found on our Meetings page. Suggest an event for inclusion by emailing us.
Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity (CCORE)
CIAPM is participating in CCORE, a 14-month racial equity capacity-building program for state employees.

The fourth CCORE module focused on storytelling, messaging, and framing. The ACT (Affirm, Counter, Transform) framework was studied as a method to confront and reframe dog-whistling in conversations about race.
Precision Medicine Advisory Council
News from the CIAPM Network
Project Baby Bear
From 2018-2020, the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine was awarded $2 million in state funds to demonstrate the clinical and financial value of providing early rapid whole-genome sequencing for critically ill infants supported by Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. Five hospitals participated: Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, Children’s Hospital Orange County, UC Davis, UC San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital – Oakland, and Valley Children’s Hospital. 

As documented in their Final Report, Project Baby Bear conducted genomic sequencing of 178 babies and families that resulted in the following outcomes: 

  • Provided diagnoses for 43% of babies (76 total) 
  • Altered the management of 31% of babies (55 total), leading to fewer hospital days, fewer procedures, or new therapies 
  • Diagnosed 35 rare conditions 
  • Reduced healthcare spending, in large part due to earlier discharges and fewer procedures, including: 513 fewer days in the hospital; 11 fewer major surgeries; 16 fewer invasive diagnostic tests; $2.5 million in healthcare savings; and less suffering associated with unnecessary surgeries, tests, and therapies.
One project partner, Dr. Mario Rojas, NICU Medical Director of Valley Children’s Hospital, summarized the results well: "I have never seen a diagnostic tool that’s made such a huge impact in intensive care medicine in all my years of practice."

We congratulate the team for their exceptional work advancing the clinical utility and value proposition of precision medicine and the hundreds of participating families for contributing to this powerful demonstration pilot.
External Opportunities
Evidence-Based Telehealth Network Program
Proposals are invited to demonstrate how health care systems can increase access to health care services utilizing Direct-to-Patient Telehealth technologies and conduct evaluations to establish an evidence base for assessing efficacy.
Estimated Deadline: March 22, 2021
Institutional Grants for Research Training in Biomedical Informatics and Data Science
Applicants are encouraged to propose training programs for research careers in biomedical informatics and data science.
Estimated Deadline: May 14, 2021
HSS Request for Information: Innovative Technologies to Improve Care for Underserved Aging Populations
Public input is being sought by the DHHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health for innovative technology solutions to chronic disease management for aging underserved populations.
Deadline: December 22, 2020
Advance Health Equity through SDOHs
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of County Health Officials will fund up to 50 communities at $50,000 each to evaluate their work to advance health equity by addressing social determinants of health (SDOH).
Deadline: December 8, 2020
Call for Papers: Telehealth for Underserved Communities
The journal Telemedicine and e-Health released a call for studies addressing the application of telehealth in underserved communities.
Deadline: March 31, 2021