ESTHER BUSH

This month, the “Take Charge of Your Health Today” page focuses on a new area of research—precision medicine. Jennifer R. Jones, MPH, CTSI community engagement senior coordinator, and Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, discussed this topic.

JJ: Good morning, Ms. Bush. Today we’re discussing an exciting new concept of health care called “precision medicine.” You and I have already had many conversations about this. I’m looking forward to sharing information with our Courier readers. I’m sure many people are wondering what we mean by “precision medicine.”

EB: You’re probably right, Jennifer. I know that at first, I didn’t quite understand precision medicine and its long-term goals. After many enlightening conversations and presentations, I boil it down to this—the medical community providing the best possible care for each person. Care that is based on all the things that make us unique. Our genetics. Our family health history. Our daily behaviors. Our lifestyles. The medicine we take. What we put into our body. How we treat our body as we age.

JJ: Yes, Esther. Our bodies are complex. There’s still so much to learn. Our health is an overall expression of all the internal and external factors you have just outlined. Some of the factors that influence our health we can change; unfortunately, some of them we cannot. Dr. Massart really does a great job detailing the main points of precision medicine in the overview section below. Precision medicine is care that is tailored to you as an individual. It aims to have your care provider understand and treat you based on your genetics and your environment.

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