What a very exciting day today is! Genetic counseling graduate training programs across the country have matched with their next class of incoming students! A new generation of genetic counselors are finding out where they’ll spend the next couple years of their life, learning the art, the joy, of genetic counseling as a career. Onward and upward, indeed!
Earlier this month, I was able to attend the annual American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) meeting on behalf of NSGC. It is amazing to see the sheer number of genetic counselors at this meeting, how genetic counselors’ research is highlighted, and to be able to sit in the massive room needed to hold all of us for the annual genetic counselor’s luncheon! Meghan Carey, NSGC’s Executive Director, and I were able to sit down with the leadership of ACMG, ABGC and ACGC during our time in Seattle, and several productive and collaborative discussions were had. This includes ongoing and potentially new collaborations with ACMG regarding policy statements, practice guidelines and committee work. In addition, we committed to in-person meetings with ABGC and ACGC leadership at each of the large annual genetics and genomics meetings, so we can continue discussing ways in which we all work together to ensure genetic counselors are able to practice at the top of our scope of practice.
NSGC, the Board of Directors, Committees and Task Forces continue to work on behalf of the membership to ensure genetic counselors are leading the integration of genetics and genomics for all. To this end, two Request for Proposals (RFP) have been generated for specific work related to the NSGC Strategic Plan; one from the Access and Service Delivery Committee and the other from the Outcomes Committee. You can learn more about these in Molly Giammarco’s Advocate article this month, and I will provide highlights here.
Promoting the delivery of individualized high-value genetic services to consumers is one of NSGC’s 2019-2021 strategic initiatives. To reach this goal, the Board charged the Access & Service Delivery Committee with developing an RFP for a health economist, or other expert or team of experts to develop business cases and value-based models for hiring, utilizing and retaining genetic counselors in diverse work settings. In addition, the Outcomes Committee was charged with developing an RFP for a health services researcher and/or measure developer to facilitate the groundwork for developing, testing, endorsing and implementing patient-reported outcomes measures. This will allow for successful National Quality Foundation (NQF) endorsement for patient-reported outcomes measures for genetic counseling. In addition, this work will document improved health outcomes because of genetic counseling services and will recommend steps to achieve broad implementation of appropriate NQF-endorsed measures.
Also, as mentioned in last month’s Advocate, the Pathways to Genetic Counselors Task Force charter and charges were approved by the Board of Directors, and this month during our April Board meeting, the members were approved. We are excited to announce the names of the members of this Task Force: Jehannine Austin (Chair), Barb Biesecker, Adam Buchanan, Stephanie Cohen, Deborah Cragun, Emily Edelman, Altovise Ewing, Kiley Johnson, Maggie Miller, Melanie Myers, Randa Newman, Hetal Sheth, Cathy Wicklund and Heather Shappell (Board Liaison).
I hope you all continue to enjoy the fresh perspective spring brings to us all.
Amy Curry Sturm
2019 NSGC President
This article was published in the April 2019 Advocate Newsletter.