Helix & Sanford Health Launch Pioneering Genomics Program in Rural U.S.

Conal Cram
3 Min Read

In a groundbreaking initiative, Helix, a leader in population genomics, joins forces with Sanford Health, the largest rural health system in the United States, to initiate the Rural Population Genomics Program. This partnership promises to usher in a new era of preventive care and precision medicine, especially tailored for rural communities in the Upper Midwest.

Background of Helix and Sanford Health

Helix, renowned for its comprehensive genomics platform, has been at the forefront of integrating genomic data into patient care. Sanford Health, with its expansive network across rural America, is dedicated to transforming healthcare experiences, providing access to world-class health care.

Goals of the Population Genomics Program

The partnership aims to enroll 100,000 participants, leveraging Helix’s genomics platform to provide actionable, early, and preventive medical care insights. Michael LeBeau, MD, System Vice President – Health Services Operations for Sanford Health, emphasizes the importance of this initiative:

“As we work to become the premier rural health care system in the nation, we need to take genomics to the next level and integrate genomic medicine more broadly across our patient population.”

Impact on Rural Healthcare and Precision Medicine

The program builds on the success of Sanford Imagenetics, which has already served over 70,000 patients. It focuses on identifying genetic predispositions for diseases like cancer and high cholesterol. James Lu, MD, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder at Helix, highlights the significance of this collaboration:

“Through this program, Sanford Health is actively shaping the trajectory of modern medicine, empowering individuals to collaborate more closely with their providers and assume greater agency over their well-being.”

Future Prospects and Benefits

The Rural Population Genomics Program is not just about current patient care; it also aims to provide lifelong genomic information through Helix’s unique Sequence Once, Query Often® model. This approach ensures continuous access to vital genomic data, enhancing the overall health of the population served by Sanford Health.


The partnership between Helix and Sanford Health marks a significant leap in bringing precision medicine and advanced genomic care to rural communities. It stands as a beacon of hope for a future where every individual, regardless of their location, has access to personalized healthcare tailored to their genetic makeup. We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions on this innovative approach to healthcare. How do you see this impacting rural health systems? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Read more on Genomics, here.

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Conal is a seasoned tech industry professional and content writer for numerous tech publications. With a strong background in software engineering and digital media development, he's passionate about sharing the latest updates and insights in the tech industry, particularly in artificial intelligence and other disruptive trends. In his spare time he loves a mezze platter and a good film, and if he's not playing Fortnite or spending time with his daughter you can assume he's at the dry slopes!
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