Many genetic tests are not covered by insurance. So, when families struggle to find answers for their child’s undiagnosed medical problems, the journey can be difficult and genetic testing is not always feasible. Thanks to a recent grant from the Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation, more families will be able to find answers through the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine.

Because of the Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation’s generosity, families with limited resources are able to access cutting-edge genomic medicine technologies such as whole-genome sequencing, epilepsy genetic testing, microarray tests, neuromuscular panel tests, chromosomal tests, and specific genomic tests looking for a single disorder. For many of these families, these tools would otherwise be cost-prohibitive

Leveling the playing field for Alabama’s children

In 1939 the Monday Morning Quarterback Club of Birmingham, Ala. was organized. The club was established for football lovers to share fellowship. Led by Zipp Newman, then Sports Editor of The Birmingham News, the club looked beyond football and turned their attention to the number one medical concern in the U.S. at that time – polio. In those days, the disease affected thousands, most of whom were children. So, the club sponsored an annual high school football game to raise money to build a hospital to care for affected children.

Today, the Monday Morning Quarterback Club is celebrating its 83rd year and over that time the group has become known across the country as one of the preeminent clubs in the nation. The club has a strong philanthropic mission but also offers high-quality speakers at its fall meetings. Unfortunately, the medical needs of children and youth in Alabama continue to grow, so the club and the Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation are committed to continually increase their support to help meet these needs.

“HudsonAlpha’s Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine fits our philanthropic mission by providing life-changing genomic testing and diagnostic services for children with difficult-to-diagnose diseases,” said Stan Starnes, Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation Board President. “Although treating symptoms is important, finding answers for the underlying cause of the disease is critical to understanding the best course of treatment for these children.”

Giving hope, finding answers

Since the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology’s childhood genomics program began, more than 900 children have received genomic sequencing through multiple research initiatives and through the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine. Many of these children now have a definitive diagnosis for their condition and more answers will come as our scientific knowledge grows. The gift from the Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation allows more patients and families to find answers.

“The support from the Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation is making a real impact for Alabama children and families,” said Alissa Mackiewicz, HudsonAlpha Foundation Relations Manager. “Their gift allows the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine to see patients who otherwise may not receive genomic testing due to financial limitations. They are making an enormous difference in these lives.”

To learn more about how to get involved with the club, visit To make a gift to support patients in need at the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, click here to donate to the Hero Fund.