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The Healthy Nevada Project

From Recruitment to Real-World Impact

Renown Institute for Health Innovation is partnering with Helix to carry out a large-scale genetic screening and research initiative.

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Partner Perspectives

The Healthy Nevada Project

The Healthy Nevada Project, created by the Renown Institute for Health Innovation (IHI), is a research study offering no-cost genetic screening to residents of Nevada. This study aims to create a robust set of data—genomics, medical, and environmental—that enables researchers at Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno, to advance the standard of care in Nevada and the nation. Participants in this study are given insights about their genetic ancestry and the potential influence of their DNA on certain wellness traits; among those who opt-in to receiving potentially medically relevant information, some participants will also learn about their genetic predispositions for certain diseases linked to heart disease and various cancers.

The Challenge

Renown Health strives to ensure no patient is overlooked.

As part of the Healthy Nevada Project (HNP) expansion, Renown Health Institute for Health Innovation (Renown IHI) sought to engage 40,000 Nevadans in a large-scale genomics research initiative to drive novel discoveries and improve clinical care.

This meant that besides needing participant-friendly engagement tools, they needed next-generation sequencing technology to produce clinical-grade data at scale. Historically, this would have required coordinating with multiple partners.

The Solution

A collaboration with Helix, which offered Renown healthcare expertise and an end-to-end population health solution.

Renown Health worked closely with Helix to leverage its end-to-end population health solution. Helix's participant-facing engagement tools, in-house clinical and scientific expertise, clinical-grade Exome+® assay, and next-generation sequencing lab (one of the world's largest) provided this project with powerful tools that helped it become one of the fastest-growing population sequencing initiatives in the United States.

More Than an Exome

Each participant’s DNA was sequenced using the Exome+® assay—far surpassing the amount of data collected in other comparable initiatives—enabling Renown IHI to deliver actionable insights to their patients and create a comprehensive research database that would allow them to become a leading innovator in precision health.

The Exome+® assay covers the entire exome plus more than 300,000 informative non-coding regions available to help participants (and their physicians) continue learning from their DNA over time.

20K genes sequenced per participant

One sequence equals a lifetime of insights

The Results

Renown IHI raised the standard of care in their community in under a year with one of the most extensive sets of genomic and health data.

Unprecedented Pace

Within 4 Days:


participant sign-ups

Within 6 Months:


participants recruited, sequenced, and given results


of non-Renown patients establish a relationship with Renown

Within 5 years:


participants and growing

Measurable Clinical Impact

1 in 75

were at-risk for at least one serious, actionable genetic condition across CDC Tier 1 conditions:

  • Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)
  • Lynch Syndrome (LS)
  • Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC)


of patients testing positive for one of these conditions had not been previously identified under current medical practice

Graphic showing approximately 22% of people objects filled in


had already developed indications of disease

Research Advancement

The Partnership Continues

Renown Health has increased its program goal from 40,000 to 250,000 participants in Nevada. Through collaboration with Helix, they have released research showing the positive impact of broad population preventative genetic screening and the potential for novel discoveries using the Exome+® assay.

1. Grzymski JJ, et al. Population genetic screening efficiently identifies carriers of autosomal dominant diseases. Nature Medicine. July. 27, 2020;

2. Cirulli E.T. Genome-wide rare variant analysis for thousands of phenotypes in over 70,000 exomes from two cohorts. Nature Communications. Jan. 28, 2020;

97% of participants opted-in for future research
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We quickly realized both the benefits of clinical genomics in the healthcare space and how many cases of CDC tier-one conditions were being missed. Not because providers don’t have a good grasp of risk, but because genetics is just a shaper tool for that problem...Having a partner like Helix that really works with you as you develop these programs — and that really helps you understand how you can use risk assessment to improve population health — is absolutely vital.

Joseph Grzymski

Ph.D, Chief Scientific Officer