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Thursday, October 19

Please note that all times are listed in Central Standard Time (CST) and that the schedule is subject to change.

7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration Open

7:45 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Sponsored Breakfast Symposia*

GeneDX - Clinical Integration of Genome Sequencing as a First Tier Test

Participants: Dr. Monica Hsiung Wojcik

Session Summary: The majority of rare diseases are genetic with onset primarily in infancy and childhood. Clinical presentations of genetic disorders are often undifferentiated at birth and can have a non-specific phenotype in young children who present with signs of neurodevelopmental delay. Despite the availability of genomic sequencing, a lengthy diagnostic odyssey still exists for many patients in these niche populations. This session will provide case examples, evidence-based recommendations, and clinical insight into the diagnostic utility of genomic sequencing and will highlight possible solutions to move toward medical equity within these patient populations.

Horizon Therapeutics - The Metabolic Team: Working Together to Optimize Patient Outcomes

Participants​: Abby Hata, MS, CGC, Chanel Suares, RD; Erika Vucko, MSN, FNP-BC, AGN-BC; Gailon Wixson, MSW, LICSW

Session Summary: Join us for a case-based breakfast symposium in conjunction with the NSGC Annual Conference, highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration within the metabolic clinic to optimize the care of patients with inborn errors of metabolism (IEM).

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

2023 Janus Lecture - Family History: Exploring the Roots and Branches

Participant​: Robin L. Bennett, MS, CGC, ScD Hon

Session Summary: The language of the pedigree and family history is firmly rooted in genetic counseling practice. How has the art of recording family history evolved through the years?  What are some of the ways that we can be more inclusive in our practice as it relates to the symbols we use and the words we chose to document family history?  This session will explore the journey of family history as a tool in genetic counseling, and challenge each of us to consider how we can view family history through an anti-racist, inclusive, and equitable lens.

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

2023 NSGC Professional Issues Panel: How to “Widen the Frame” and Bring Intersectionality to Your Genetic Counseling Practice

Participants​: Deepti Babu, MS, CGC; Daphne Jefferson, MPA, PCC; Andrea Schelhaas, MS, CGC; Aarin Ables Williams, MS, CGC

Session Summary: The objectives of this workshop held in a hybrid live/virtual format are to 1) raise awareness and foster a deeper understanding of intersectionality, and to 2) apply the concept directly to the practice of genetic counseling. Kimberlé Crenshaw originated the term, “Intersectionality”, in 1989 as a way to describe the way people’s social and personal identities can overlap. She noted that, “Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects.” The Center for Intersectional Justice describes the ways in which systems of inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class, and other forms of discrimination “intersect” to create unique dynamics and effects. This presentation will provide an overview by Ms. Jefferson of intersectionality and how it may impact patients as well as genetic counselors. It will include a moderated discussion with panelists (Ms. Jefferson and genetic counselors), which will explore how intersectionality can be embedded and applied “on the ground” in the practice of genetic counseling. Concepts of intersectionality, social justice, health equity, and the social determinants of health will be discussed.

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Refreshment Break in Exhibit Hall

10:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

Exhibit Hall Open (lunch options available for purchase from 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Educational Breakout Sessions (EBS)

Increasing Access to Hereditary Cancer Screening in Non-Oncology Settings: Emerging Evidence on the Use of Digital Tools for Ascertainment of Individuals at Risk and Considerations for Care Delivery

Participants​:: Shivani Nazareth, MS, CGC; Colleen Caleshu, MS, CGC; Vera Cherepakho, LCGC; Sarah Savage, MS, CGC; Catharine Wang, PhD; Wendy Kohlmann, MS, CGC ; Meredith Gerhart, MS, CGC; Sarah Knerr, PhD; Rebecca Carr, MS, CGC; Jenna Petersen, MS, CGC

Session Summary: Non-oncology settings offer a valuable opportunity to identify hereditary cancer risk before cancer occurs. The vast majority of patients with such risk continue to be unidentified. Digital tools (ex. EHR algorithms, patient-facing web-based tools) are increasingly being studied as scalable ways to help identify these patients. We will explore emerging evidence on a variety of digital tools used in a myriad of non-oncology clinical settings. We will cover data generated in large PCORI or NIH-funded RCTs as well as real-world evidence generated from clinics already using these tools. Presenters will discuss not just the technology solution used, but also the surrounding care delivery model (e.g., assessment, testing, follow up care).

Telehealth Genomics Services in the NICU: How, Where, and Why?

Participants​: Rachel Bellanger, MS, CGC; Danielle Lemke, MS, CGC; Kristen Fishler, MS, CGC; Pankaj Agrawal, MD, MMSc; Katie Swade, MS, CGC

Session Summary: This educational breakout session aims to discuss approaches and perspectives regarding telehealth services for families with children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). There are a number of genetic counseling companies and hospital systems that offer telehealth services for a range of clinical indications; however, this service delivery model is less commonly utilized in the NICU setting. In this session, parents will provide their perspective on their own experiences with genomics services in the NICU; and clinicians will present their experiences with telehealth as a service delivery model in the NICU, including a discussion of the ethical, legal, and social implications of this model on underserved patient populations.

Genetic Counselors Growing Influence In Insurance: Why Our Voice is Vital to Advocate for Equitable and Sustainable Genetic Testing

Participants​: Lindsay Zetzsche, MBA, MS, LCGC; Serenedy Smith, MS, CGC; Stephanie Gandomi, MBA, MS, CGC, CPC, CPCO; Megan Scarff, MS, CGC; Christy Moore, MS, CGC; Romela Paison, MS, CGC

Session Summary: The genetic counselors' (GCs) perspective in the payer space is critical for coverage for GC services & to support & advance ethical, equitable, & sustainable genetic testing policies. Also, GCs need more education in insurance to provide transparent options to their patients & have strategies for coverage. Partnerships between payers & labs are also vital to advocate for patient care & create sustainable & medically appropriate genetic testing paradigms. The session would highlight the work GCs are doing that impact payer medical policies & coverage of tests & services as benefit managers in labs, in payers & GCs that work in a company interfacing the payer/lab/MDs. The speakers would also showcase the GC opportunities in this industry. Learn more here.

Not All Actionable Variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Are Created Equal: Challenges of Classifying and Interpreting Reduced-Penetrance Variants

Participants​: Erin Mundt, MS, CGC; Marcy Richardson, PhD; Tuya Pal, MD; Yeni Rodríguez Sanabria, MD; Matthew Lebo, PhD; Susana San Roman, MS, CGC

Session Summary: The main goals of this session are to illustrate the complexities of classifying and reporting reduced-penetrance variants in BRCA1/2, and to explore the effectiveness of the current reporting of these variants. Speakers will explain rationale for reporting a variant as reduced-penetrance, illustrate the challenges that healthcare providers face when interpreting these results through case reports, and highlight the support that laboratory genetic counselors can provide to those taking care of patients. Finally, we will explore the need for and efforts around unifying language and medical management guidelines around reduced-penetrance variants in the hereditary cancer field

Translating Polygenic Scores into Clinical Practice: Insights from Genetic Counselors

Participants​: Emily Brown, MGC, CGC; Deanna Brockman, MS, CGC; Sarah Kalia, ScM, CGC; Hannah Wand, MS, CGC; Benjamin Helm, MS, CGC; Amy Curry Sturm, MS, CGC; Courtney Wallingford, MSc; Jehannine C. Austin PhD FCAHS CGC; Brad Rolf, MS, CGC; Elizabeth Jordan, MMSc, LCGC

Session Summary: Genetic counseling practice has been built around Mendelian disease, where clinical utility and validity of testing is established.  Recently, polygenic scores (PGS) have been developed to predict variability and risk in complex diseases, and there is growing evidence supporting their clinical utility. Although a promising tool, broad clinical implementation of PGS should be carefully integrated, as detailed in the recently published NSGC PGS practice resource by Wand et al (2023, JoGC). This session provides a primer on the development and validation of PGS, highlights key points from the PGS practice resource, and demonstrates how PGS may be integrated into care in various clinical domains through a rapid case series.

12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

Sponsored Lunch Symposia*

Myriad - Patients, Purpose, and Partnership: A Panel Discussion

Participants​: Susan Manley, Dale Muzzey, Sara Rhode, Marie Ellison, Lisa Wade, Katya Lezin

Session Summary: Cancer and prenatal patients share their experience with genetic testing and screening alongside genetic counselors and scientists discussing the clinical details and the technology that made it possible

Invitae - Charting Your Professional Journey: Navigating with Purpose and Vision

Participants​: Ana Morales, MS CGC; Jennifer Young, PhD

Session Summary: In the ever-evolving field of genetic counseling it’s crucial that we have the tools to navigate change. In the past five years alone, genetic counselors have faced a global pandemic, economic instability, legislative changes, and guideline updates. Join us for an interactive workshop using the odyssey planning framework to explore how we each approach change and use our strengths to refocus ourselves in the face of uncertainty.

2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 

Janus Lecture Encore Chat with Robin Bennett, MS, CGC, ScD Hon

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

NSGC State of the Society and Annual Business Meeting

Participant​: Deepti Babu, MS, CGC

Session Summary: NSGC President, Deepti Babu, MS, CGC, provides an update to attendees on NSGC and what the future holds.

4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Incoming Presidential Address

Participant: Colleen Campbell, PhD, MS, LGC

Session Summary: NSGC President-Elect, Colleen Campbell, PhD, MS, LGC, shares her vision for NSGC in 2024

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Exhibit Hall and Poster Reception

4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Platform Presentations

6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Learning Lounge

6:30 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

Social Networking Function in Chicago Sponsored By Invitae

Take some time to enjoy the excitement of Chicago. Let loose, connect, and have fun with your colleagues and Invitae at the Builders BLDG for food, drinks, and more. Click here to RSVP

Location: Builders BLDG | 222 N La Salle St #1, Chicago, IL 60601

8:00 P.M. - 11:00 P.M.

Ambry Genetics presents “A Night Among the Stars” networking event*

Join Ambry as we celebrate the GC community at the iconic Adler Planetarium. Enjoy unparalleled skyline and lake views, appetizers, dancing, music, exhibit access and more! Click here to RSVP.

Location: Adler Planetarium

*Requires pre-registration