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Families and caregivers are invited to attend an open forum on local resources and initiatives on World Down Syndrome Day, Monday, March 21. The forum will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Geisinger Health System Genomic Medicine Institute Precision Health Center, 190 Welles St., Suite 128, Forty Fort.

Murugu Manickam, M.D., and Brenda Finucane, MS, LGC, will discuss the needs of individuals with Down Syndrome and present information about upcoming services by Geisinger and its Genomic Medicine Institute and Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute (ADMI).

“World Down Syndrome Day is a great opportunity to recognize the strengths and abilities of those with Down Syndrome,” Dr. Manickam said. “Here in Forty Fort, we are putting together preliminary plans to launch a Down Syndrome clinic in the next year, and we’re seeking input from the community.”

Dr. Manickam will also discuss the Down Syndrome Registry and MyCode, both Geisinger research studies, and an adaptive tennis program for those with Down Syndrome.

The Arc of Luzerne County coordinated the event to be held in March, during Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Month, specifically on World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), as part of a month-long calendar of events in Luzerne County, across the Commonwealth and nation.

“What better way to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day than to share information and local resources with our community,” said Pamela Zotynia, Executive Director, The Arc of Luzerne County. “This clinic will be a wonderful resource to the individuals and families served by The Arc. We applaud Geisinger for recognizing the need and providing this much needed resource to our community.”

Individuals interested in attending the no-cost NEPA Regional Down Syndrome Forum may RSVP by calling The Arc of Luzerne County at 570-970-7739.

The annual date for WDSD, the 21st day of the third month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down Syndrome. The United Nations General Assembly designated March 21 as WDSD, to be observed every year beginning in 2012, in order to raise public awareness of Down Syndrome.

Follow World Down Syndrome Day activities on social media with the hashtag #WDSD.

The Arc of Luzerne County, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and their families through advocacy, resources, and community education.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes nine hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.