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Genetics Education

Genetics Education Canada – Knowledge Organization (GEC-KO)

Genetics and genomics education for non-genetics health professionals #UntanglingTheHelix @GECKOgenetics

Our understanding of the contribution of genetics to ill-health and disease is growing exponentially, providing many examples of the use of genetics knowledge and genetic tests in mainstream healthcare. These scientific and technological advances have changed the needs of practitioners, patients and the public. The growing number of genetic tests places increased demands on practitioners to provide up-to-date and relevant information to patients. While regional genetics centres provide genetic counselling and education, a single comprehensive genetics institute or knowledge management centre does not exist in Canada.

In early 2011, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Department of Genetics made a commitment to enhance the genetics and genomics literacy of healthcare providers across Ontario and Canada by funding the Genetics Education Canada – Knowledge Organization (GEC-KO). GEC-KO also receives in-kind support from Mount Sinai Hospital Sinai Health System.

GEC-KO enables the development, collection, dissemination and evaluation of genetics and genomics educational materials. As a supporting infrastructure for genetics and genomics education, GEC-KO facilitates translation of research. Most importantly, for the first time in Canada, GEC-KO provides a concerted effort to build genetics competencies in primary care, specialty medicine, and other health professions.

The GECKO website has many resources for primary care providers and other non-genetics health professionals. All products are expert reviewed, up-to-date and evidence-based.
Some main resources are:

On the run

  • GEC-KO on the run: These resources are concise summaries for healthcare providers on genetic disorders, technologies or topics. All feature a Bottom line written with the awareness that the busy healthcare provider may not have time read through the entire resource when accessing information to answer a specific clinical question, so the really key messages are found here. Often the Bottom line will include a brief summary of the topic, Red Flags and recommendations, and the benefit of genetic testing/consultation for your patient. They were developed as a ‘spin-off’ of the successful Gene Messengers for the busy practitioner. Generally these on the runs are 2-3 pages in length and are meant to contain the key clinical information for a healthcare provider.

Some frequently accessed topics are:

Point of Care

  • Point of Care tools: In this section we have downloadable tools on a variety of genomic topics ready to use at the point of care. These resources are intended to help identify and appropriately refer patients who may benefit from genetic services and reassure those at population risk.

Some frequently accessed tools are:


Frequently accessed topics are:

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