Two Health Care Systems Join CDC & Helix Effort to Better Prepare the Nation for the Next Public Health Emergency
SAN MATEO, Calif. December 15, 2022 -- Helix, the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company in the nation, today announced a new Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) contract awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build a pan-respiratory viral surveillance program that standardizes linkage of viral sequencing data to key clinical and demographic data across a multi-site network. As part of the program, Helix will be partnering with HealthPartners, an integrated health care organization based in Bloomington, Minnesota of more than 1,800 physicians that serves more than 1.2 million patients, and Providence, a Renton, Washington-headquartered health care system of 25,000 physicians serving nearly 2 million covered lives across seven states with 28.1 million patient visits annually. This new agreement builds upon the partnership between Helix and the CDC and brings in health systems as critical partners to prepare the nation for the next public health emergency and ensure that COVID-19 never happens again.
Helix was awarded $5 million from the CDC to build a pan-respiratory viral surveillance “early warning” program that will identify and track over 30 respiratory viral variants (including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, RSV, rhinovirus, etc.) along with de-identified EHR data, for up to 16,000 samples over one year using the Company’s proprietary Viral Sequencing Respiratory Panel.
“The devastating impact of COVID-19 has highlighted the critical importance of preparing for novel pathogens that may give rise to future pandemics or the next inevitable ‘Disease X,’” said Helix SVP of Life Sciences & Growth Daniel Lee. “The CDC and Helix, working with health care systems, are leading the way to monitor viral outbreaks and improve national pandemic readiness.”
Helix will also create infrastructure to standardize the processes for consent, sample selection and transfer, and data reporting. These processes include returning data back to participating health system sites to inform their analyses and decisions with locally gathered information.
“Hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers continue to be on the front lines of the public health response to COVID-19 and must have information available to help us more readily prepare for future pandemics,” stated Leslie Dockan, Vice President, Primary Care, Clinic Operations and Laboratories of HealthPartners said. “As part of Helix’s multi-site viral monitoring network, it allows health systems like ours to horizon scan and study our regional data to watch for growing variant trends and more effectively manage disease risk for our communities.”
Collectively, Helix’s genomic sequencing efforts have saved countless lives by helping our nation’s health systems and first responders prepare for and respond more effectively to new COVID variants. Helix regularly provides insights to state public health, health systems and other health care institutions.
David Kim, MD, Chief Executive, Providence Clinic Network, added: “The Providence family of organizations plays a significant role in safeguarding the health of communities across seven states in the western U.S. As a Helix viral surveillance partner, we will help power scientific research related to answering critical questions around COVID and other respiratory diseases that will aid the ongoing response while also better preparing our nation for future public health emergencies.”
Today’s announcement is the latest in Helix’s proven public-private partnership with the CDC since January 2021, when Helix and Illumina established the first public-private partnership with the CDC to launch SARS-CoV-2 variant sequencing as part of national surveillance efforts. As a result, Helix was one of the first companies to accurately identify Alpha-variant cases nationally and predict the timing of the Delta variant’s dominance in the summer of 2021. Helix recently announced an extended agreement with the CDC to provide over 3,000 SARS-CoV-2 sequenced samples per week for the next year, with the option to double the number of samples during “surge” moments for the Center.
Helix is the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company operating at the intersection of clinical care, research, and data analytics. Helix enables health systems, life sciences companies, payers, and government partners to accelerate the integration of genomic data into patient care and public health decision making. Learn more at www.helix.com.
HealthPartners is dedicated to improving health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. As an integrated health system, it provides care to more than one million patients and coverage to more than 1.8 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. HealthPartners also provides medical education and conducts research through HealthPartners Institute. For more information, visit healthpartners.com..
Providence is a national, not-for-profit Catholic health system comprising a diverse family of organizations and driven by a belief that health is a human right. With 52 hospitals, over 900 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing, and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ more than 120,000 caregivers serving communities across seven states – Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, with system offices in Renton, Wash., and Irvine, Calif. Learn about our vision of health for a better world at Providence.org..