IOD Awarded $600,000 to Extend New England Regional Genetics Network (NERGN )

September 21, 2020

The Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire has received a four-year renewal for the New England Regional Genetics Network (NERGN) from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The New England Regional Genetics Network, which is Co-Directed by Peter Antal, Ph.D., and Dr. John Moeschler, 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. Dr. Antal explains, "We seek to improve access to genetic services across the New England region, particularly among underserved populations, by leveraging local and partner resources across a number of fronts. This includes working across genetic specialists, primary care, outreach workers, and families to provide education, training, telehealth service support, and expansion of telegenetic services."

NERGN coordinator, Karen Volle, testing telehealth equipment with a trained professionalWith this renewal, NERGN will continue to take a partnered approach to address inadequacies and barriers to obtaining and expanding essential health services. Funding will also fuel the expansion of NERGN's educational initiatives. In collaboration with regional and national partners, NERGN will soon host a wealth of additional and improved online resources, including webinars, improved interactive service locators, video tutorials, and downloadable educational guides. As a part of this effort, NERGN anticipates adding Spanish language resources to the immensely popular Genetics Education Materials for School Success (GEMSS) website by the end of the summer. "Particularly with COVID at everyone's door, it has been critically important to bolster the telehealth capacity of service providers across the region. The grant supports a new four-year cycle, enabling us to extend the work we've carried out over the past 10+ years to improve care for the region's most vulnerable populations impacted by a genetic condition," shares Dr. Antal, Co-Director of NERGN.