By Molly Giammarco, NSGC Manager of Policy and Government Relations
Volunteer-run committees are the driving force behind NSGC’s many member resources and initiatives: ranging from position statements, clinical manuscripts, professional toolkits, payer resources and webinars. While members benefit from these resources every day, I want to bring your attention to some exciting resources our committees recently created or are in the process of creating. This month, I’m highlighting the recent efforts of the Access & Service Delivery (ASD) and Education Committee.
The ASD Committee, led by Laura Panos Smith, consists of dedicated and talented volunteers who help advance some of NSGC’s most critical initiatives focused on improving genetic counselor access, reimbursement and efficiency. The committee is made up of four dedicated subcommittees:
- Efficiency Subcommittee, led by Joy Larsen Haidle
- Licensure Subcommittee, led by Angie Trepanier
- Payer Subcommittee, led by Vivian Pan
- Service Delivery Models Subcommittee, led by Stephanie Cohen
Each year, the ASD Committee takes on an ambitious list of charges that are critical to advancing progress toward NSGC’s short and long-term goals. This year is no different as the committee has already met some significant charges and produced several member resources around access, cost and efficiency.
The Efficiency subcommittee is a new subcommittee focused on increasing workplace efficiency for genetic counselors. They have helped to promote a number of workplace resources, including:
- HIT SIG’s Health IT Resource Repository: A reference guide for IT applications, from variant annotation tools to pedigree tools
- Member Needs Survey: A member survey to identify resources and initiatives that would help improved workplace efficiency
- Employee Toolkit and Discussion Guide: To help genetic counselors discuss efficiency efforts with employers
The Licensure subcommittee is a long-standing subcommittee that works closely with John Richardson, NSGC’s Director of Policy and Government Relations. In a little over a year, the Subcommittee has developed resources to assist state licensure efforts including:
- The State Licensure Checklist: A spreadsheet with information about state licensure application requirements and fees
- Licensure Grant Awards: Grants that can be used to offset the costs of pursuing licensure
- Guiding Principles for State Licensure: A comprehensive document that outlines the critical elements of a state licensure bill
- Model Legislative Provisions: Provides model language for drafting a licensure bill
- Multistate Licensure Webinar and Q&A: On demand webinar geared toward genetic counselors seeking multi-state licensure, this webinar includes tips from genetic counselors on navigating the process
The following resources are also available by request:
- Genetic Counselor Licensure Overview: Information about how to organize licensure efforts
- Licensure Support Letter templates
- Genetic Counselor Licensure Testimony: For individuals who testify on behalf of their bill in front of House or Senate committees
- Genetic Counselor Cases of Harm talking points and references
The Payer subcommittee continues to work closely with NSGC leadership and the government relations team to establish and strengthen payer relations as well as develop and improve membership resources. This year, the Subcommittee has devoted much of its energy to revising NSGC’s payer bibliography, a clearinghouse with over 400 articles on the value of genetic counselors. The subcommittee is working to transform the resource from the current format to an interactive and searchable resource on the NSGC website.
The Service Delivery Model subcommittee is another new ASD subcommittee that highlights and analyzes new and/or alternative service delivery models (SDMs). The subcommittee is currently working with a statistician and analyst to analyze data from the 2017 SDM focus groups held remotely and at the 2017 Annual Conference, and plans to publish to findings next year.
The Education Committee, led by Kate Wilson, brings countless educational content to members ranging from webinars to the Annual Conference. The Committee recently introduced the Online Education Center, a resource to help members find educational offerings, including both CEU and non-CEU education. The webpage includes Annual Conference recordings, online courses covering medical genetic topics, webinars on professional issues and the Journal of Genetic Counseling CEU Program.
This past summer they also helped NSGC to launch two exciting new offerings. The NSGC CEU Portal, a convenient online education portal where you can submit applications and view your CEU credits, and the bi-monthly NSGC Podcast Series that explores leading voices and best practices in genetic counseling in an easy, on-the-go format for NSGC members. You can access the Podcast Series on NSGC’s website or by searching “NSGC Podcast Series” in the iTunes Store or Google Play Music.
This is just a sample of all the exciting and innovative initiatives your fellow members have helped create. Stay tuned to learn more about these initiatives, as well as project updates from some of our other committees in future issues of the Advocate. In the meantime, our committees are always eager to hear from you, so feel free to contact committee chairs here.
This article was published in the August 2018 Advocate Newsletter.