BOCA RATON, Fla. – (September 20, 2007) – The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) will hold its Fifth Annual South Florida Genetic Testing and Education Fair on Sunday, October 14 at Florida Atlantic University’s state-of-the art Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tenet Healthcare Foundation/West Boca Medical Center continues as a charter lead sponsor for the event and Boca Raton Mayor Steven Abrams will serve as Honorary Chairman of the event.
Potential parents throughout South Florida will be offered free carrier screening for six fatal children’s genetic brain diseases including Tay-Sachs, Canavan, Cystic Fibrosis, Familial Dysautonomia, Gaucher and Niemann-Pick.
The free screening (a $600 value) involves a simple blood test administered by West Boca Medical Center’s professional staff. Participants will also have access to medical experts, genetic counselors and affected families and enjoy a multimedia educational presentation. The tests will be analyzed and evaluated by Genzyme Genetics utilizing its world class genetic testing labs. The results will remain confidential between the participants and their healthcare service providers.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, West Boca Medical Center and Genzyme to make it as easy as possible for potential parents to receive this important genetic testing free of charge,” said MFRF President Kevin Romer. “Appointments are limited however, so we encourage potential parents to register as soon as possible for one of the available spots”.
In the past four years, the Fair has provided screening for nearly 400 participants. More than 20% of those tested from all backgrounds were found to be carriers of the gene for at least one of these fatal diseases.
“We welcome potential parents to our state-of-the art facilities at Florida Atlantic University to take advantage of this important genetic testing opportunity,” said Dr. Anne Boykin, Dean of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Our mission is to provide nursing education with a caring philosophy and to reach into our community to make a difference in the health of others.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued opinions stating that potential parents of Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European) descent should be offered carrier screening for Tay-Sachs, Canavan, Cystic Fibrosis and Familial Dysautonomia.
Additional groups at risk include Hispanics, Haitians, Irish Americans, French Canadians, Cajuns, Orientals, South Africans, and those of British and Middle Eastern descent according to Genzyme Genetics and our network of affected families.
“This is our fifth year supporting the South Florida Genetic Testing and Education
Fair, and we believe it is an important community outreach that compliments the outstanding maternity services that we provide at our hospital,” said Walt Mickens, CEO of West Boca Medical Center.
Other generous sponsors of the Genetic Testing and Education Fair include Judy Levis Markhoff, The Lipson Family, Genzyme Genetics, Akerman Senterfitt and Baron Delivers.
“I’m pleased that The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation has brought together many organizations in the community to support this important healthcare initiative,” said Boca Raton Mayor Steven Abrams, Honorary Chairman of the event. “We welcome potential parents throughout the tri-county area to come to the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing in Boca Raton to take advantage of these free genetic testing services.”
In Broward County, the South Florida Genetic Testing and Education Fair will be held Sunday, October 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Broward General Medical Center, 1600 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.
Appointments for tests at both locations are limited and participants must pre-register.
For more information or to register, call The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation at (561) 477-0337 or visit .
About The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation
The Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation, established in 1998, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS code that supports education and research of children’s genetics diseases of the brain, and is the South Florida affiliate of National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, the oldest genetics organization in the country. The foundation, now celebrating its eighth anniversary, is committed to increasing access to quality genetic testing, facilitating research of genetic diseases and bringing diagnostic and treatment options to South Florida.
About The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing
Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is as an integral part of Florida Atlantic University and is committed to the pursuit of higher education grounded in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Faculty of the College support the University mission of education, scholarship, and service.
About West Boca Medical Center
West Boca Medical Center, part of Tenet South Florida, is a 185-bed acute care hospital located at 21644 State Road 7 in Boca Raton, Fla. The hospital has been serving the medical and health care needs of its community and surrounding areas for more than18 years. West Boca Medical Center offers a broad array of services, including general medical and surgical care, cardiac and surgical intensive care, outpatient surgery services, 24-hour emergency services for adults and children, diabetes education, a cystic fibrosis program for adults and children and outpatient rehabilitation services. The hospital also offers several specialties, including a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the BirthCare Pavilion, a Pediatric Unit and a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. West Boca Medical Center is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency. In 2005, the hospital was honored with the prestigious Tenet Circle of Excellence award for outstanding performance.