Trained in human genetics, Dr. Willard’s career in entrepreneurial leadership in academia and healthcare has provided a foundation of experience and expertise at the intersection of genetics, genomics, and healthcare. In late 2017, he established Geisinger National as an outward-looking unit of Geisinger Health for clinically inspired research and implementation of genomic medicine, working with genomics companies, universities, medical centers, and health systems around the country. As part of decade-long efforts in genomics and medicine at Geisinger, the Geisinger team of scientists and health professionals have brought population genomics to the front lines of population-based healthcare. To build on this foundation, he and members of the Geisinger National team are now transitioning away from Geisinger to move to the commercial health sector.
Genomics is at an inflection point. Dramatic declines in sequencing costs and significant advances in our understanding of the genome means we’re moving closer to a world where genomics is the standard of care. Evidence is emerging that population-level screening drives meaningful clinical impact with ~1 in 30 people having an actionable result, but up to 90% of them are missed under current guidelines. Leading health systems are working to solve this by offering broad genetic screening to their communities. But questions remain about how to handle results when millions of people are screened. The tools and services to enable this are critical, including patient- and physician-friendly results, educational materials, and genetic counseling. In this session, healthcare leaders will discuss how they scale return of results and improve outcomes for their communities.