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DARYL TOL

AdventHealth researchers are hoping to find out how genomics impacts personal health decisions with a first-of-its-kind DNA study in Florida — “WholeMe” — that will empower consumers with potential lifesaving information about their heart health.

“We believe personalized medicine that focuses on the whole person is superior health care,” said Daryl Tol, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “Nothing is more personal than your DNA. If we’re going to fulfill our promise to consumers to care for them as a whole person, with an emphasis on wellness, genomics must play a role. WholeMe is an exciting first step for AdventHealth, and we’re thrilled to bring this project with Helix to Florida.”

Researchers will learn from the WholeMe study how genomics can be successfully integrated into health care to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases. The study is made possible through a new partnership between AdventHealth and California-based personal genomics company Helix.

Ten-thousand people will have the opportunity to join WholeMe, in which Helix will sequence their DNA, and every participant will be screened for the genes linked to familial hypercholesterolemia, known as “FH,” a life-threatening genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. If left untreated, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, including a heart attack, even in young adults.

AdventHealth researchers are slated to begin recruiting for WholeMe in July, and more details around participation will be shared then. Participants will also learn about other traits that may impact their health, such as lactose and gluten tolerance, magnesium and calcium levels.

While the study is open to all adults who live in Florida, the enrollment sites will be based in the Orlando area. Researchers will check in with participants six months after they receive their DNA results. There is no cost to join the study.

The genomics initiatives are made possible by the generous support of community donors, including the AdventHealth Foundation and the Ginsburg Family Foundation.

To learn more about WholeMe, visit wholemeflorida.com.