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FORTY FORT, Pa. -- 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 Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey with the addition of AtlantiCare, a National Malcolm Baldrige Award recipient. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 12 hospital campuses, two research centers and a 510,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $8.9 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and Facebook.


CONTACTS: Alysha Davis, 570-808-3652,; Pamela Zotynia, The Arc of Luzerne County, 570-970-7739 ext. 309