Project Baby Bear is a $2 million Medi-Cal pilot program that will provide access to whole genome sequencing (WGS) for critically ill infants and children with undiagnosed diseases that have either remained undiagnosed or had multiple incorrect diagnoses. Valley Children’s is honored to be one of only four hospitals statewide that have been selected to participate in Project Baby Bear which provides Valley residents with access to this comprehensive healthcare service.
The purpose of WGS is to find genetic variations that are associated with a child’s health condition. DNA, which makes up our genetic code, is found in most cells of a person’s body. By sequencing an individual’s DNA, a geneticist will look for changes in the “spelling” of genes. Genes provide the specific instructions needed to tell our bodies how to grow and develop. When a gene contains a spelling error or variant, it may not work properly and can lead to a genetic disorder. This process is how a critically ill infant will be able to be properly diagnosed and cared for accordingly.
As a participating hospital that is able to refer a patient for sequencing, Valley Children’s is thrilled to collaborate with peer specialists throughout California in order to more precisely manage the best care for a child.