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Recognizing the Important Role of Genetic Counselors

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Genetic Counselors 2019

Nov. 14, 2019 recognizes Genetic Counselor Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Genetic Counselor Awareness Day is dedicated to raising awareness and utilization of genetic counselors in communities and institutions.  It is also our goal to help consumers understand the importance of the supportive roles of genetic counselors in health care.

Genetic counselors are healthcare professionals with advanced training in medical genetics and psychosocial counseling who partner with patients seeking information about inherited conditions affecting them or their families. Genetic counselors work with patients and their physicians to understand family history, discuss the risks, benefits and limitations of genetic testing, interpret results and implications of genetic testing, and help communicate this information to family members.

Over 5,000 certified genetic counselors (CGC) practice in a variety of healthcare settings in the United States, including but not limited to prenatal, fertility, pediatrics, metabolic, cardiovascular, neurology, and cancer care. Genetic testing has become an integral part of patient care, and partnering with genetic counselors has never been more important than now.

Genetic Counselor Awareness Day is a great opportunity to highlight the value of the genetic counselors in our Department in promoting patient care and ensuring that physicians and patients have access to genetic counseling and testing at our institution.

The Department of Ob/Gyn, together with the Department of Women and Children’s Services, are fortunate to have six certified genetic counselors who see patients in one of five clinical locations:  Fetal Diagnostic Center, Duke Perinatal Durham, Duke Perinatal Burlington (at Alamance Regional), Duke Perinatal Cary and Duke Perinatal Raleigh.  We welcome the opportunity to assist you with your patients and to be available to you as questions arise.  Please join us in celebrating our Department’s accomplished Genetic Counselors:

Michelle Baric Humphries, MS, CGC:  6 years of clinical practice.  Specializes in prenatal and preconception genetics.  Sees patients at Fetal Diagnostic Center and provides additional coverage to Alamance Regional.

Regan Challinor Matthews, MS, CGC:  21 years of experience.  6 years of clinical practice.  Specializes in prenatal and preconception genetics.  Sees patients at Fetal Diagnostic Center.

Kristin Paulyson Nuñez, MS, CGC:  25 years of experience.  Specializes in preconception and prenatal, blood disorders and teratology.  2020 President-Elect of American Board of Genetic Counseling.  Sees patients at Fetal Diagnostic Center, Duke Perinatal Durham and provides additional coverage to Alamance Regional.

Amanda Padro, MS, CGC:  12 years of experience.  Specializes in preconception and prenatal.  Sees patients at Duke Perinatal Raleigh and Duke Perinatal Cary

Patricia “Trish” Thompson, MS, CGC: 6 months of experience. Specializes in preconception and prenatal. Sees patients at Duke Perinatal Cary and Duke Perinatal Raleigh.

Deborah Franks Wells, MS, CGC:  22 years of clinic experience. Provides counseling at Duke Perinatal Burlington for prenatal and preconception indications.