Credentialing Process for New FacultyWith the new academic year starting, we want to remind faculty and section chiefs about the credentialing process for new staff and the typical timeline associated with credentials being approved.Credentialing process is completed in three steps:
Once Medical Staff Services receives a complete packet the process may take 60-90 days. To avoid delays:
For Initial Request of Privileges email: HarrisHealthCredentialingOffice@harrishealth.org
UT Gyn-Onc researcher working to increase genetic testing in medically underserved to decrease mortality from hereditary cancers (Dr. J Alejandro Rauh-Hain)
Identification of patients with inherited gynecologic/breast cancer syndromes is critical for tailored cancer treatment and prevention for both patients and their relatives. Despite increases in the rate of testing for BRCA mutations and Lynch syndrome, many high-risk individuals remain unidentified. Underuse of genetic testing is a significant concern among medically underserved and racial/ethnic minorities. Lack of access to genetic services, socioeconomic factors, lack of health insurance coverage, health care provider-patient communication, patient-family communication, and concerns about misuse of genetic information contribute to poor understanding—and thus use—of genetic services related to cancer. Family implications are particularly important, as the detection of patients with hereditary cancer syndromes provides a unique opportunity to identify family members with these mutations via cascade testing. This process involves offering genetic counseling and testing to at-risk relatives of an index patient (proband) in a sequential manner based on the likelihood of positive results. At present, effective interventions to overcome barriers to cascade testing among at-risk relatives from medically underserved and vulnerable populations are not widely available, including urban low-income individuals, rural residents and racial/ethnic minorities. Our research is designed to address that disparity.
We will use a creative mixed methods approach to address the following question: “How do we increase the use of genetic testing in medically underserved communities to decrease the mortality from hereditary cancers?” In Aim 1, we will perform in-depth interviews at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital (LBJ) in Houston to reach primarily low-income urban residents and Latinos, the Gynecologic Oncology Clinic at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine to reach primarily low-income rural residents and Latinos, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to reach primarily low-income rural residents and African Americans. In Aim 2, we will survey patients with hereditary gynecologic/breast cancer syndromes at MD Anderson, LBJ, UTRGV, UAB, as well as their adult first-degree relatives, to compare the rates of cascade testing and identify facilitators and barriers to testing to quantitatively confirm the qualitative findings obtained in Aim 1. Guided by our theoretical framework (PEN-3 and Health Belief Model), formative research, survey results and community stakeholder feedback, we will then identify the most relevant and modifiable factors that are associated with genetic testing in the study population, with the goal of informing the development of a theory-based, multilevel intervention considering social determinants of health (Aim 3). By understanding barriers and facilitators to cascade testing, we can distill complex disparities in the use of genetic testing into novel programs that could yield great potential public health benefits.