Welcome to the DPH Genomics Web Pages

Genomics is an exciting field for public health because of the possibilities it holds for preventing disease and improving health. Genomic discoveries will continue to play an increasing role in disease prevention, detection, and treatment.

The Public Health Genomics Office (DPH-GO) strives to integrate developing genomic technologies into public health policy, programs, and practice. The Office also serves as a resource for health professionals and the public about the role of genomics in disease prevention and health improvement.

Since 2014, the DPH-GO Cancer Genomics Project has been supported by cooperative agreement #DP5355, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , to advance cancer genomics best practices through education, surveillance, and policy efforts. 


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 19 - 25, 2017 in National Lynch Syndrome Awareness Week

Lynch Syndrome (LS) is a hereditary condition that increases a person's risk for developing colorectal, endometrial, and several other cancers before age 50. Learn more about Lynch syndrome and ways to lower your risk for colorectal cancer today.

Close biological relatives of persons with Lynch syndrome have a 50% of having LS too. If you have Lynch syndrome, learn how to talk about it with your family.

November 2016 - Thanksgiving Day is Family Health History Day

El Día de Acción de Gracias es también el día de historia familiar

It’s Thanksgiving Day, and you and your family are gathered around the dinner table enjoying conversation and a delicious home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. As you reminisce with relatives about fond times and create new ones for future memories, you might also learn some valuable information that could help you to lead a healthier life. 

Learn more about family health history and chronic diseases this November.

My Family Health Portrait - a tool from the U.S. Surgeon General 

Family Health History Pocket Guide (PDF 1MB) 

Este Día de Acción de Gracias, tome la oportunidad para aprender mas sobre el historial de salud familiar y su importancia.

Recursos informativos

Medline Plus: Historia familiar

U.S. Surgeon General:  El Retrato de mi Salud Familiar

October 2016 - National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that your family health history may place you at high risk for breast cancer?

Know:BRCA helps you to gather important information on your breast cancer family history.

Five to ten percent of all breast cancers are hereditary.

Learn more about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) syndrome:

Information for Patients and Their Families - Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome

Síndrome de cancer hereditario de mama y de ovario

Additional Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources:

CDC Breast Cancer Facebook   page

CDC Breast Cancer on Pinterest

Share Your Story  web app for breast cancer survivors, previvors, supporters or caregivers to create shareable content for their own personal experiences with breast cancer

Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer in Connecticut women?


Learn more about breast cancer in Connecticut:

Connecticut Tumor Registry - Breast Cancer in Connecticut Fact Sheet  


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the National Cancer Institute - State Cancer Profiles

The Connecticut Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program

2016 National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week - 9/25 to 10/1/2016

May 2016:

A recording of Harry Potter and the Genetics of Wizarding , the 2016 DNA Day lecture sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute, is available for viewing online. This presentation uses knowledge of popular culture as a platform for understanding genetic inheritance.

April 2016:

April 25th is National DNA Day!

Join the celebration and learn more about genetics and genomics:

March 2016:

Updated list of Cancer Genetic Counselors in Connecticut 

Click here for information on Genetic Counselor Licensing in Connecticut

January 2016:

2015 BookletThe new 2015 version of Cancer Genomics Best Practices for Connecticut Healthcare Providers is now available. Contents include:

  • Information for providers, patients, and their families about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Syndrome and Lynch Syndrome (LS , formerly called Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer Syndrome).
  • Evidenced-based guidelines related to HBOC (due to BRCA mutations) and LS.
  • Statewide data generated by the Connecticut Tumor Registry on cancers diagnosed in patients who may be at increased risk for HBOC or Lynch Syndrome.
  • A list of cancer genetic counselors in Connecticut.

Download the complete, hyperlinked version of the booklet: Full Version

Download specific materials included in the booklet:

Provider Action Plan

Information for Patients and Their Families - Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome

Síndrome de cancer hereditario de mama y de ovario

Information for Patients and Their Families - Lynch Syndrome

Síndrome de Lynch  

Your opinion is important!

Healthcare Provider Feedback Survey

General Public Feedback Survey

Your feedback about this publication will help us to better understand the information needs of people interested in cancer genomics. Please send your comments and/or questions about this publication, Cancer Genomics Best Practices for Connecticut Healthcare Providers (2015) to:


November 2015:   Looking for Answers About Your Family History of Cancer? Poster

The Connecticut Department of Public Health Genomics Office encourages the collection of Family Health History information, and sharing it with your health care provider. This new poster,  supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addresses a family history of cancer and where to look for more information.  

September 2014:   Public Awareness of Genetic Nondiscrimination Laws in Four States and Perceived Importance of Life Insurance Protections

Connecticut and three other states used survey data from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to assess public concerns about the use of genetic information to determine insurance coverage and costs, and awareness of legal protections that exist. Only 16% of Connecticut respondents reported having heard about genetic nondiscrimination laws, such as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) passed at the federal level in 2008. However, the perceived importance of such types of laws was important, with 85% of respondents in the state rating them as very or somewhat important. Such results indicate the need for more public education to raise awareness of existing legal protections and those that may still be needed.
Results were published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling .

July 2014

The Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory Newborn Screening Program, in collaboration with the Genomics Office,  developed a new fact sheet entitled:  “Connecticut Newborn Screening Program:  Making Sure Your Baby is Healthy”.  It provides important information for parents of newborns regarding the various health conditions for which testing is being done, when testing occurs, and what happens with the results. 

Click on the link for the Newborn Screening fact sheet in English (PDF)  or in Spanish (PDF) .

May 2014

The Connecticut Department of Public Health Genomics Office and Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program, and the American Heart Association collaborated on a symposium entitled:  “Cardiovascular Disease Genomics: Getting to the heart of the matter”

WHEN:  Thursday, May 1, 2014, 9:00am – 11:30am
WHERE: Connecticut Hospital Association, 110 Barnes Road, Wallingford, CT

Click on the following link for the symposium flyer (PDF).  Note : this event was recorded, and the recording from the symposium will be posted soon.  For symposium handouts, click title:

February 2014:  Family Health History Data Collection in Connecticut

We used Connecticut data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to assess public perceptions and practices regarding family health history (FHH). Although 97% of respondents believed family history to be important for their own health, only 54% reported having collected their FHH.  The percentages of those who had collected FHH differed among demographic subgroups.  Read more in the Connecticut BRFSS Genomics Brief .

June 2013:  Family Health History Awareness - Updated 2013 Workbook Factsheets  

2013 Workbook Factsheets:
   Asthma       High Cholesterol  
   Cancer        Obesity
Your family health history holds key information about your past and clues to your future health. By collecting your family health history, you can learn about health problems for which you may be at increased risk. Then, by sharing this information with your healthcare provider, you can find out how you may reduce your risks.
Your Family Health History and Chronic Disease 2013 Workbook, Pocket Guide and Poster (suitable for placing in a waiting room, clinic, or other gathering space) are available for download (click on links above) or as printed copies.
To request copies of the Family Health History 2013 Workbook, Pocket Guide or Poster, click on "Send Feedback" at the bottom of the DPH home page, or phone 860 509-8000.
April,2013: What is High (blood) Cholesterol?  
 NEW Family Health History Factsheet on High Cholesterol  (PDF)
A family history of high cholesterol may put you at a greater than average risk of developing high cholesterol. Genetic contributions are usually due to the additive effects of multiple genes,  but occasionally may be due to a single gene defect, such as in the case of familial hypercholesterolemia. Your doctor may recommend more frequent cholesterol tests if you have a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol.
July 2012: Public Awareness and Use of Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomic Tests

Connecticut and three other states used data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to assess awareness and use of direct-to-consumer personal genomic tests. Twenty-three percent of respondents in CT reported having heard or read about such tests, but less than 1% have ever had one. Factors associated with awareness were higher education, income greater than $75,000, and ages between 50 and 74, inclusive.

Results were published in the journal Genetics in Medicine .

November 2011:  Genomics Office promotes National Family Health History Month

Join us in promoting family health history awareness in November!  Most of us know that we can reduce our risk of disease by eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and not smoking. But did you know that family history might be one of the strongest influences on your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer?

Family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments that together may influence their health and their risk of chronic disease. Most people have a family health history of some chronic diseases (e.g., cancer, coronary heart disease, and diabetes) and health conditions (e.g., high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia).  Family health history is a useful tool for understanding health risks and preventing disease in individuals and their close relatives. Family health history information may help health care providers determine which tests and screenings are recommended to help family members know their health risk.  And because 96% of Americans believe that family history is important to health, yet only about 30% have tried to collect and organize their family history information, the U.S. Surgeon General has designated November as Family History Month, and Thanksgiving as national Family Health History Day. 

The DPH Genomics Office Family Health History webpage has more information and links to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Web-based family health history collection tool called “ My Family Health Portrait ", available in multiple languages.

To send a CDC Health eCard about Family Health History, click on the following link:  Send a family health history eCard .

May 2011:  DPH Genomics Efforts Focus of Healthy People 2020 Grant Award

A DPH project focusing on two objectives in the new Genomics topic area of Healthy People 2020 has received funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The objectives reflect increasing scientific evidence of health benefits from using genetic tests and family health history to guide clinical and public health interventions. The DPH Healthy People 2020 Action Project is a collaborative effort among several DPH programs, including Genomics, Planning, Workforce Development, Cancer Control, and the Connecticut Tumor Registry.  More information ...  

November 2010:  An Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics

The Connecticut Department of Public Health-Genomics Office, in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association/CT Chapter, presented a seminar on November 19, 2010 entitled ” Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics ”. The program included a keynote address by Robert Green, M.D., M.P.H., followed by a panel presentation by Susan Capasso, Ed.D., C.G.C.,  and Harry Morgan, M.D., and a discussion session.  An on demand webcast of the event is posted on TRAIN Connecticut , by clicking the seminar title above and registering for the webcast.  ( You must first be registered and/or signed into TRAIN Connecticut  to view this webcast. )

September 2010 The 2010 State Public Health Genomics Resource Guide

The Connecticut Department of Public Health Genomics Office efforts are featured in a new resource document developed by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO).  Titled " The 2010 State Public Health Genomics Resource Guide ", this updated, 2nd edition highlights innovative approaches and challenges by states to integrate genomics into their public health programs, with the goal of helping state public health leaders and program managers identify solutions for addressing their state’s unique challenges. Included are an overview of Connecticut and other states' genomics activities, web links to toolkits, presentations and research reports.

May 2010:  Resources for Teaching Genomics

The Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Genomics Office participated in a novel program held for teachers and health educators in the spring of 2010, which had as part of its program goals greater awareness and inclusion of genetics and genomics into science and health curricula from the elementary through high school level.  The resource guide  developed for this program provides examples of sites offering actual coursework modules, lecture materials, slides or other useful information.

November 2009: DTC Personal Genomics Services

Embracing the advancements in genetic and Internet technology, a number of web-based companies have started offering personal genome profiles directly to consumers.  The companies claim to provide consumers with information about their risk of developing diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers.  The presumed goal is to empower individuals to take better control of their health.  Although commercial genetic tests may sound appealing and harmless, it is important to be aware of some of the pitfalls and limitations of such tests.  The DPH Genomics Office developed information to consider about Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomics Services .

October 2009: Genetic Privacy Laws

Genetic privacy laws now exist at both the state and federal levels to enable Connecticut's citizens to feel more secure that their genetic information will not be used against them in health insurance and employment situations.  It is important that consumers be able to use their family health history and have access to genetic testing without fear of discrimination.

At a basic level, Connecticut's genetic privacy statutes are compared to the protections and limitations found in the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 ( see comparison document ).

May 2009:  Incorporating Family Health History into Your Health Outreach Promotion Efforts

The goals of Family Health History initiatives are to provide an accessible method for easily obtaining an accurate family health history and to use that information in health promotion and disease prevention. Such information is important because, although sophisticated genetic testing and other related advances may dramatically change how health care is practiced, genetic information can be used today to improve health.  While most diseases result from the interactions of multiple genes and environmental factors, almost everyone has available now, at no cost, the family history--personalized information that captures these factors and can provide the foundation for individualized disease prevention.

The DPH Genomics Office developed a panel presentation on the promise and benefits of enhanced family health history collection, and methods currently available. The Speakers’ slide presentations from this workshop are now available.

March 2009: Colorectal Cancer Information Resource on DPH Web Site

The DPH-GO, together with the Connecticut Tumor Registry and the DPH Comprehensive Cancer Program, has created a Web-based information resource on colorectal cancer , including information about genetic testing. The new resource, released in March to mark national colorectal cancer month, includes:

October 2008: Training Opportunity for Nurse Educators

A new, online training opportunity is now available at no cost for nurse educators at TRAIN Connecticut ( http://ct.train.org ). Entitled, “Incorporating Genetics and Genomics into Your Curriculum,” the training consists of four modules:

• MODULE 1 Chromosomal Disorders
• MODULE 2 Modes of Inheritance
• MODULE 3 Family History Development
• MODULE 4 Integrating Genetics into Nursing Curricula

Upon successful completion of all modules, four CEUs will be awarded by the National League for Nursing.

This training project is a collaboration between St. Vincent’s College and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, administered through the New England Genetics Collaborative.

May 2008: Passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), is the first  federal legislation to provide protections against discrimination based on an individual’s genetic information in health insurance coverage and employment settings.  The resource, “ What Does GINA Mean? A Guide to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ,” summarizes the protections of this civil rights legislation and outlines its impact on the future of health in America.