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Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health is hosting "Genetic Testing: From Family History to Complex Genetic Testing" on May 10, 2007 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work’s Zachs Community Room, 1798 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford.

The keynote speaker for the seminar will be Sharon Terry, President and CEO of the Genetic Alliance of Washington, D.C., a national umbrella organization of over 600 genetics advocacy groups. Her remarks will hold relevance for health and service providers, educators, public health, policy makers, social workers, advocates, students, consumers and affected families. “Genetic testing is a critical topic for our times,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H. “The information being presented in the genetic testing seminar is important because it is estimated that in a few years, sophisticated genetic testing and other related advances will dramatically change how health care is practiced.”

According to the Genetic Alliance, there are currently more than 1300 diseases for which genetic tests are clinically available, several hundred tests used in research, and even more in various stages of development. Although most often, individuals receive genetic testing services from their health care providers, some providers may or may not be trained in genetics.

Additionally, although most clinical genetic tests are offered through traditional means (e.g. health care providers), some genetic tests are now available directly to the consumer via the Internet. As the number of available genetic tests has surged, so too have issues surrounding their use. These issues include the quality of genetic tests and the promotion of genetic testing services directly to consumers.

This seminar is free; however, pre-registration is required by May 1, 2007. To register, email, or phone 860 509-7218. For more information, contact Beverly Burke, M.S.W., at DPH, 860 509-7122, or at The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.

To contact the department, please visit its website at or call (860) 509-7270.