Entering the Public Health Genomics Era: Why Must Health Educators Develop Genomic Competencies? Academic Article uri icon


  • Although the completion of the Human Genome Project will offer new insight into diseases and help develop efficient, personalized treatment or prevention programs, it will also raise new and non-trivial public health issues. Many of these issues fall under the professional purview of public health workers. As members of the public health workforce, health educators are being called upon to deal with genomic-related public health topics. Thus, we propose five arguments supporting the need for health educators to develop their genomic competencies and integrate public health genomics (PHG) into health promotion. These arguments highlight various dimensions of health educators' professional goals and range from professional responsibilities and competencies to the availability of funding for genomic-related research or interventions and opportunities for future employment. Alongside these arguments, we present key PHG terms to facilitate understanding and to establish a common set of meanings for readers. Moreover, we discuss the current efforts being made by the field of health education to integrate genomics into research and practice, as well as implications and next steps required to optimize this integration. 2007 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, L., & Goodson, P.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Lei-Shih||Goodson, Patricia

publication date

  • May 2007