Direct Communication
From MGN Director Dr. Mathew J Edick and MGN Co-Director Dr. Susan A Berry
Midwest Genetics Network (MGN) is excited to share with you the second installment of our bi-monthly newsletter. The newsletter is an effort by the network intended to keep you informed of the work happening across the region and let you know about opportunities to get involved. In each issue, we will shine the spotlight on a selected member of MGN in our MGN FACES section. This issue features MGN Advisory board member and pediatrician Dr. Mimi Behar; you can read about her passion for MGN's work.

This edition’s deep dive focuses on MGN’s educational efforts led by the Stakeholder Education & Engagement Workgroup, or as we call it, “SEE". SEE’s accomplishments in providing top quality educational and quality improvement opportunities highlights the importance of the diverse stakeholder partnerships that underpin this and all of MGN’s work. We recognize that not everyone loves genetics quite as much as we do, especially not primary care providers that are already overburdened with countless other concerns for their patients. However, by including primary care providers, family members, representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with a host of other stakeholders from development of the concept all the way though implementation and dissemination, the team was able to understand the unique needs of both families and primary care providers, and then tailor our approaches and projects to meet these needs. As you will read below, this approached has paid dividends in reaching primary care providers with our educational resources.  

We truly hope you find the newsletter to be useful and enjoyable.

Mat and Sue
Miriam J. Behar, MD
Pediatrician and
MGN Advisory Board Member
What has been most fulfilling about your role?
"The work that MGN does is amazing. Reaching out to primary care providers to give them state-of-the-art information about genetics so they can improve the care of their patients is so worthwhile. The involvement of families is an added bonus, I have met so many family members with memorable stories about their journeys with their children."
MGN and MI ACE Partnership

Background: The prevalence of ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, is higher among children and youth with special health care needs than children and youth without special health care needs. MGN is forming a small group to explore the relationship between ACEs and special health care needs and how genetics providers can incorporate trauma-informed care into their work. If you are interested in being a part of this work, please contact Project Lead Jane Pilditch at for more information.
Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO)

Project ECHO is a guided-practice model that increases access to specialty care and knowledge in under-served and remote regions. Through innovative telementoring, the ECHO model uses a hub-and-spoke knowledge-sharing approach where expert teams lead virtual groups, amplifying the capacity to deliver improved access, knowledge and best practices in their own communities. ECHO program topics include public health, quality improvement, program development, growth and replication. The Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) has a replication agreement with the ECHO Institute and is working to integrate ECHO into our MGN work. Opportunities to participate in ECHO series will be communicated in our newsletter, website and emails. The ECHO Institute embodies servant leadership and its worldwide replication programs are committed to the democratization of knowledge and the goal to Touch One Billion Lives by 2025. MGN ECHO 101 will launch on June 3, 2021. Please see details and registration in the MGN News You Can Use section. 
MGN Deep Dive: The Stakeholder Engagement & Education (SEE) Workgroup
Who we are?
The Stakeholder Engagement and Education (SEE) workgroup was formed to help MGN achieve the goal of ensuring more families have access to quality genetic services by providing training, education and engagement opportunities to families, providers, and stakeholders. 

SEE workgroup members include primary care providers, geneticists, genetic counselors, family and patient partners, and public health experts. Members are engaged in developing and administering provider education opportunities that result in the right people (patients, families, PC Providers, geneticist, etc.) engaging with one another more frequently and more effectively. 

By offering education credits at no cost to participants, MGN’s quality genetics education and learning opportunities serve as a dual-purpose resource for providers – a vehicle for important and timely information to increase knowledge in genetics while meeting their state continuing education requirements.  
What have we been up to lately? 

 Providing quality genetics education to families and providers has been a priority for MGN since its inception in 2004. Through a fruitful partnership with the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MNAPP) and the ongoing work of the SEE Development Team, MGN has successfully developed and administered the following continuing education and quality improvement projects to facilitate MGN's provider education objectives:

Improving Communication of Newborn Screening Results offers MOC4 credit to pediatricians. To date, 145 pediatricians from 70 clinics across 16 states and 1 territory have been trained.

 Improving Care for Developmental Disabilities and Dysmorphic Features. To date, 68 clinicians from 40 clinics across 10 states. are registered. This educational opportunity will remain available on MGN’s virtual learning collaborative channel for enduring CME, MOC2, and MOC4 credits until 2022. 

For more information see contact information below!  
“The SEE workgroup engages its members to help develop and administer provider education opportunities that result in the right people engaging with one another more often and with better effect.”
Mat Edick, Director, Midwest Genetics Network
Get Involved!
The SEE workgroup will continue to solicit feedback from stakeholders on what educational initiatives and topics are important for the MGN region. For more information about MGNs continuing education and quality improvement projects, or to join the SEE Workgroup, please contact Danielle Baumgartner at  
MGN News You Can Use - Events & Opportunities
The 2021 Midwest Genetics Network’s Annual Virtual Meeting will be held September 29-30th.
To learn more about MGN and the annual meeting, please contact us at
Register Now! The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children on May 13 & 14, 2021
This Committee advises the US Department of Health and Human Services on the most appropriate application of universal newborn screening.
Quarterly meetings are open to the public, but you must register to attend.
Register Now! 2021 Updates in Health Disparities in Medical Genetics on May 14 from 12:30-4:30pm ET
Part 1: Raising Awareness About Health Disparities in Genetics
Part 2: Opportunities to Reduce Health Disparities in Genetics Through Education and Research
This forum is offered at no charge. This activity is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
MGN ECHO Series 101 - Access to Care: The 3-Ps (Provider, Patient, Payer) of Coverage and Reimbursement for Genetic Testing
Session 1: Resources for Low Cost Genetic Testing in Plain Communities
June 3, 2021 from 11am-Noon ET
Presented by: Jess Scott-Schoerer, MGN Advisory Board Member
For more information or to join the discussion, please contact
Did you know?
The second annual Public Health Genetics Week will be held from May 24-28, 2021. The goal of PHGW is to increase awareness and celebrate the efforts of the public health genetics system.
  • **Gene Screening on PBS May 24th from 8:00-9:00 PM EST
  • PHGW Chat room on May 28th from 2:00-3:00
Did you find this e-newsletter useful? Do you have suggestions about the types of content that would be especially useful for you? Please email with your feedback and ideas.
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UH7MC30775, Midwest Genetics Network for $598,596 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHSA, or the U.S. Government

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