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Audrey Heimler Special Projects Award

The Audrey Heimler Special Project Award (AHSPA) provides an annual award of $10,000 to one or more genetic counselors for a project(s) that focuses on the future of the genetic counseling profession and/or the provision of genetic services. Past projects have included resources for genetic counselors to use with patients, research to help advance the profession and innovative continuing education resources for genetic counselors in current practice.

2021 Applications

Click here to submit an AHSPA application. To access the application, login with your NSGC credentials. Applications are due by 11:59 PM CT on Monday, May 17, 2021. Please click here to review the application instructions and budget guidelines.

About Audrey Heimler

3. Audrey Heimler Picture.png

Audrey has had a long and distinguished history of leadership in NSGC and in the genetic counseling profession. Audrey graduated in 1971 from Sarah Lawrence College, the first genetic counseling graduate program in the United States. She went on to help establish the National Society of Genetic Counselors, serving as a member of the founding Board and being elected as NSGC’s first president. Audrey’s pivotal role in NSGC continued over many years. In 1989, a donation to NSGC established the Audrey Heimler Special Project Award (AHSPA) in her honor, in recognition of Audrey's leading role in promoting the profession of genetic counseling and in establishing NSGC as the professional organization for genetic counselors. Audrey was awarded NSGC’s highest professional honor, the Natalie Weissberger Paul National Achievement Award in 1998, and was instrumental in establishing the Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF).  

Early on, Audrey set standards for the practice of genetic counseling, she trained and served as a role model for the next generation of counselors, advocating for the integration of genetics into healthcare. Audrey contributed to the genetic counseling literature, authoring many publications on Huntington disease, various psychosocial aspects of genetic counseling. In 1991, one of these publications identified a syndrome later named Heimler syndrome in recognition of her discovery.

In May 2019, Audrey Heimler was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Public Health degree by the University of South Florida.

2020-2021 AHSPA Committee

  • Katie Wusik, Chair
  • Megan McKenna, Vice Chair
  • Megan D. Maxwell, Immediate Past Chair
  • Emily Fassi
  • Samuel Hyde
  • Sarah Spinette
  • Shannon Mulligan
  • Jodie Vento, NSGC Board Liaison 

Donations

To make a charitable donation to the AHSPA, please click here. To donate by mail with a check, please download and complete a donation form by clicking here. Your donation will provide support for innovative projects that advance the genetic counseling profession. 

Past AHSPA Recipients

2020

Recipents

Lila Aiyar, MSc, CGC, CCGC; Tala Berro, MS, CGC; Nadine N. Channaoui, MS, LCGC; Michelle Takemoto, MS, CGC

Project Topic/Title

Development of Outcome Evaluation Framework for Diversity-Related Projects in Genetic Counseling


2019

Recipents

Angela Krutish, MSc; Jessica Hartley, MS, CGC

Project Topic/Title

The Impact of the Genetic Assistant Position on Genetic Counselor Productivity: A Time-Series Analysis

User Instructions for ClinMix: A Genetics Staff Mix Planning Tool

ClinMix: A Genetics Staff Mix Planning Tool


2018

Recipents

Andrea Durst, MS, DrPH, LCGC; Kunal Sanghavi, MBBS, MS, LCGC; Rebecca Vanderwall, MS, MPH, LCGC; Raluca Kurz, MS, LCGC

Project Topic/Title

Genetic Counseling in the Genomic Era - A Fellowship Program to Promote Public Health and Precision Medicine Roles


2017

Recipents

Carrie Atzinger, MS, LGC; and Katie Wusik, LGC

Project Topic/Title

Supervision Models in Current Genetic Counseling Supervision Practice


2016

Recipent

Priscila Delgado Hodges

Project Topic/Title

"Development of Spanish Genetic Counseling Lexicon”

Lexigene® is a trilingual online lexicon tailored to the field of genetic counseling. It boasts over 3600 genetics-related terms that can be searched in English, Spanish and French.


2014

Recipents

Kara Anstett, BSc and Sharon Chen, BA

Project Topic/Title

"Development of a Website to Facilitate the Recruitment of African Americans and Latinos into the field of Genetic Counseling"


2014

Recipents

Beth Crawford, MS, CGC, Linda Robinson, MS, CGC, and Sara Pirzadeh-Miller, MS, CGC

Project Topic/Title

"Genetic Counseling Assistants: An Integral Piece of the Evolving Genetic Counseling ServiceDelivery Model”


2013

Recipents

Heather Zierhut, Stephanie Cohen; Submitted on behalf of the   Genetic Counseling Outcomes Working Committee

Project Topic/Title

"Identification of Patient-Centered Outcome Measures in Genetic Counseling"


2012

Recipent

Heidi Cope

Project Topic/Title

"The psychological impact of pregnancy loss due to prenatally diagnosed lethal fetal conditions: Gender differences and predictors of poor outcome"


2011

Recipents

Sara Riordan and Shannon Kieran 

Project Topic/Title

"Expanding the Practice of Genomic Counseling in Personalized Medicine: Tools for Genetic Counselors"


2010

Recipent

Kathleen Valverde

Project Topic/Title

“Will Employers Hire Genetic Counselors with a Clinical Doctorate?”


2007

Recipent

Catherine Reiser

Project Topic/Title

Development of a Training Program for Clinical Supervisors of Genetic Counseling Students Using the Standardized Student Method


2005

Recipents

Robin Bennett and Joseph D. McInerney

Project Topic/Title

Development of a Power Point Slide Set on Family HistoryNSGC Regional RepresentativesThe Path to Leadership: Strategy to Enhance Student Experience and Member Participation in NSGC


2004

Recipents

Logan Karns, Myra Roche and Beverly Yashar

Project Topic/Title

Development of 2nd edition, Ethics in Genetic Counseling: an ethics casebook for genetic counselors


2003

Recipents

Sumedha Ghate, Cindy Hoyle Solomon, Anna Leininger, Nicole Teed, Jill Brensinger Trimbath 

Project Topic/Title

Child's Guide to Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)


2002

Recipents

Beth Billings, Sara Goldman and Vicki Venne

Project Topic/Title

Genetic Counselor Licensure: Experiences and Opportunities


2001

Recipent

Barbara Lerner

Project Topic/Title

Current Issues in Genetic Counseling: Interactive Internet Based Counseling


2000

Recipent

Robin Bennett

Project Topic/Title

Recommendations for Genetic Counseling and Screening of Consanguineous Couples and Their Offspring


1999

Recipent

Julia Habecker-Green

Project Topic/Title

Study of Attitudes toward Diagnosis in Pediatric Genetic Counseling. The study examined the psychosocial implications of genetic counseling on patient satisfaction with genetic services


1998

Recipent

Ellen Matloff

Project Topic/Title

The Impact of Cancer Genetic Counseling on Providers. The study explored the impact of cancer genetic counseling on the counselors who provide these services, specifically their attitudes, personal cancer surveillance behaviors and levels of stress.


1997

Recipents

Jennifer Fitzpatrick  and Marlene Huggins

Project Topic/Title

Duty to Recontact: A Survey of the Attitudes of Genetics Service Providers, A project designed to lay the ground-work in preparation for clinical guidelines regarding duty to recontact patients when new developments in clinical genetics are identified.


1996

Recipent

Jamie Israel

Project Topic/Title

An Introduction to Deafness: A Manual for Genetic Counselors,a comprehensive manual developed to provide genetic counselors with information about various aspects of deafness. The manual was distributed to all graduate programs in genetic counseling and has become a publication distributed through NSGC.


1995

Recipent

Diane Baker

Project Topic/Title

The goal of this project was to define elements and develop guidelines for patient letter writing for genetic counseling students.


1994

Recipents

Kathy Delp and Molly Minnick

Project Topic/Title

The goal of this project was to develop a manual for conducting support groups for parents who have chosen to interrupt pregnancies secondary to fetal anomalies.


1994

Recipents

Kathy Delp and Molly Minnick

Project Topic/Title

The goal of this project was to develop a manual for conducting support groups for parents who have chosen to interrupt pregnancies secondary to fetal anomalies.


1993

Recipent

Vivian Wang

Project Topic/Title

She developed a training handbook about cross-cultural genetic counseling which has been field tested and incorporated in several genetic counseling training program curricula. The self-contained, easily updated handbook includes material about basic cross-cultural counseling theory as well as case vignettes, roleplaying and role analysis. Audiovisual slides and references accompany the handbook. These tools will help sensitize students to culturally distinct populations. The handbook has been made available to genetic counseling training programs free of charge.

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