It might be easier to describe what the New England Regional Genetics Group (NERGG, Inc.) and the New England Regional Genetics Network (NERGN) have in common. Certainly we share many of the same people, values, and goals.
In a nutshell, NERGG promotes awareness, understanding, and access to genetic services. This is accomplished through education on a wide variety of genetic topics and emerging issues, as well as collaboration among providers and consumers. NERGN aims to improve the quality of coordinated and comprehensive services to children with or at risk for genetic conditions and their families. If you’re thinking that these groups should work together, we agree! NERGG and NERGN stakeholders serve on each other’s boards and advisory committees, sharing their ideas and experiences.
NERGG, Inc. began in 1977 as vehicle for education and collaboration of geneticists, metabolic physicians, genetic counselors, and other clinicians from New England and Canada. Over the years, NERGG has broadened its approach to include the voices of families and public health professionals. NERGG began as a Federally-funded group of similar organizations throughout the country, connecting providers in the expanding field of genetics. In 1999, NERGG incorporated as a non-profit organization. When Federal funding was no longer available, NERGG, Inc. members continued collaboration through a variety of fund-raising efforts and sponsorship opportunities. For more than forty years, NERGG has hosted annual educational conferences, committee projects, and small grants to support family education.
NERGN started as the New England Genetics Collaborative (NEGC — more acronyms!) in 2007 as one of seven Regional Genetics Networks across the nation, funded by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). NEGC was restructured as NERGN in 2017. NERGN’s HRSA-funded workplan focuses on achieving specific, measurable goals related to the following activities: supporting families and partnering with family-led organizations, educating non-genetic providers about genetics to improve coordinated care, and connecting people, especially medically underserved communities, with genetic services. NERGN also works to expand the provision of genetic care through telehealth, a rapidly-expanding field, especially important since the pandemic. A wealth of genetic resources is available at NERGN’s website, Genetics Education Materials for School Success (GEMSS), which has been well-received all over the world for its practical and inclusive tone.
So, now you know the difference between NERGG and NERGN! We have enjoyed collaborating since 2007 and look forward to continuing this mutually beneficial relationship. You are invited to learn more about us and to sign up for our free newsletters, by visiting us at the New England Regional Genetics Group (NERGG, Inc.) and the New England Regional Genetics Network (NERGN).
— Cynthia Ingham, Executive Director, NERGG, Inc.
— Karen Volle, Project Manager, NERGN
NERGN is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UH7MC30778. This article is the responsibility of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HSS, or the U.S. Government.