The Department of Medical Genetics at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is one of five departments in Quebec whose mission is to diagnose, treat and/or prevent genetic illnesses, which are often rare diseases. Some of these genetic illnesses have a higher prevalence in the Ashkenazi Jewish population than in the general population. For each of these illnesses, two carrier spouses in good health have a 1 in 4 (25%) risk in each pregnancy of having an affected child (for more information, see supporting document 1).
In order to facilitate accessibility to the genetic screening service of carriers in the AJ population in Montreal, and to enable the screening of a large number of people while retaining optimal service quality, the Department of Medical Genetics of the McGill University Health Centre has set up an online interactive education module (https://cusm.ca/med-genetics-ajprogram) and an innovative clinical protocol. This new clinical service enables patients to easily receive all the necessary information prior to giving a blood sample for a genetic test.
This initiative has come into being thanks to the partnership with the AJ community, the Department of Medical Genetics’ wish to meet their needs and the support of the McGill University Health Centre.
This project shows that the Department of Medical Genetics of the McGill University Health Centre is committed to finding new solutions to facilitate accessibility to medical genetic services faced with limited human resources while continuing to offer quality services.