Genetics team offers expertise to Israeli health professionals

Genetics specialists from Plymouth University have travelled to Israel after being selected to offer their expertise to the country’s health professionals.

Professor Heather Skirton, Dr Leigh Jackson, Dr Peter Lunt and Selina Goodman, from the University’s Applied Health Genetics research group, visited the country last month to provide workshops on genetic counselling.

The trip was undertaken as part of an EU Tempus grant, called MedGen, the aim of which is to improve the education of genetics health professionals in Israel and Armenia. The Plymouth team was chosen as a partner due to its strong record of delivering genetic education to health professionals in UK and Europe. 

The team will be travelling to Armenia in April to roll out the second phase of training.

This initiative follows a similar Train the Trainers workshop held last summer in Plymouth, and around 60 health professionals benefitted from the sessions given on the team’s Israeli trip. 

They visited northern Israel before running two more workshops in Tel Aviv, and Professor Skirton, from the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, explained why the visit was so important.

“Through MedGen the partner countries will obtain highly required capacity to train their own experts,” she said. “And also be able to increasingly utilise the tools of medical genetics for effective patient-oriented care and service to a diverse population.
“By giving them the information and skills they need to teach medical genetics effectively, it makes the system more sustainable and improves the quality of the care delivered throughout the country. We were very pleased to have been chosen to deliver this programme and look forward to travelling to Armenia next month.”