FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 22nd, 2016

Washington State Department of Health and Genetic Support Foundation Release Objective and Up-to-Date Prenatal Genetic Testing Video Series for Patients

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Genetic Support Foundation (GSF), an independent nonprofit, are pleased to announce the release of a series of seven videos for patients regarding the option of prenatal genetic testing. The seven videos cover the following topics: conditions that are commonly tested for during pregnancy, how to decide about prenatal testing, and the varied testing options including amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, traditional maternal serum screening, prenatal ultrasound, and cell-free DNA screening.

Prenatal genetic testing can be complex and confusing for patients. Both the Washington DOH and GSF hope that these videos will be utilized by providers in the state and throughout the country to aid in pre-test counseling, and to support patient education about prenatal testing options. DOH’s Debra Lochner Doyle states, “We hope these videos will help pregnant women of all ages in making informed decisions regarding whether or not they want to have prenatal testing, and if they do, to know what which test is right for them.” An advantage for providers is that utilization of using these videos may cut down on time spent explaining the various prenatal genetic testing options to patients during an appointment.

According to Heidi Lindh, Executive Director of GSF, “These videos come at a critical time in the prenatal genetics landscape where there is a paucity of objective and up-to-date information regarding advances in genetics and genetic testing options and the conditions that are tested for.” Neither the Washington DOH nor GSF have financial ties to the companies that sell prenatal genetic tests, so they are in a very unique position to be able to provide a resource for patients and providers that isn’t influenced by such relationships.

“We are thankful to the Washington State Department of Health for investing in a project that allows all patients free access to objective information about their prenatal testing options,” adds Katie Stoll, Director of Program Development at GSF.

All seven videos are available at both the Washington State Department of Health’s website (www.doh.wa.gov) and Genetic Support Foundation’s website (www.geneticsupportfoundation.org) and are in the public domain.