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September 27, 2017 06:44 AM

Genetics-Based Health Care Center To Host Ribbon Cutting

Sioux Falls

A ribbon cutting later today will mark the completion of Sioux Falls' newest medical building.

The name of this building — Imagenetics — stands for internal medicine and genetics and is the first of its kind in the nation to combine DNA-based medicine and primary care.

Dr. Cassie Hajek will begin seeing patients in the Sanford Imagenetics building this October. She's excited to be a part of a program that's the first of its kind. 

"As we start to learn more about how to use genetics in medicine, we can start to pull that into the care of our patients in the primary care setting," says Hajek. 

Genetics may seem complex, but Hajek says it is a vital part to understanding more about our health.

"With genetics, you know are you at risk for a typical condition. Say — for example — heart disease because it runs in your family, or do you respond differently to medication?" Hajek said. 

Doctors behind the project say education is the key to making genetics easy for patients to understand. A social stairway will be a gathering place for the community and medical professionals at least once a month to find out how genetics play a role in primary care. 

"We know genetics can be very scary to people and we want to be transparent," Joe Kippley, director of initatives at Sanford Imagenetics, said. "They're providing precise care to you as a person. But genetics will just be one more tool in their toolkit to make it that much more precise for you and give you the care you need in particular."

The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. An open house is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

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