It’s been hot, hot, hot during this month of July! Both across the country, and in the NSGC board room! The NSGC Board of Directors held our in-person summer meeting last week in Chicago. During our two days together, we dedicated significant time and energy into the overarching topics of access, service delivery, value and outcomes of genetic counseling services, and diversity and inclusion in our profession and of the individuals we serve. Related to access, on the morning of day one of the board meeting, NSGC Director of Government Relations, John Richardson, and Capitol Counsel, the advocacy firm hired by NSGC to accelerate our efforts on the Hill, spent time updating the board on progress to date and next steps. Specifically, we learned that only 25% of our NSGC members have reached out to their members of Congress regarding H.R. 3235, the “Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act of 2019!” Now, I am a “glass half full” type of person, but for our very engaged genetic counseling community, this glass is not full enough and we can, and need to, do better! Please take a few minutes to reach out to your member of Congress. NSGC has made contacting your Congress member easy by utilizing the GovPredict platform. Let’s get that number to 80% or higher!
During the afternoon of the first day of the board meeting, we took a bird’s-eye view of NSGC, where we are now as a society and profession, where we want to be and what we’ll need to do to take us there. Discussions focused on big topics like the forthcoming NSGC Research Agenda, the current status of service delivery models being utilized by clinical genetic counselors and barriers faced when developing and/or implementing novel models, strategic efforts NSGC can embark on with payers, and how best to invest in, and sustain all of this work in the next several years, so NSGC can continue to be the leading voice advocating for genetic counselors. This two-hour brainstorming and discussion session, also included an update from NSGC’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Jennifer Kasowicz, on the NSGC brand initiative and refreshing our brand identity. This discussion set the board up well to discuss the 2020 budget strategy the morning of day two of the meeting. As I’ve communicated in past Advocate articles, NSGC currently has many ongoing task forces, including those focused on research, diversity and inclusion, payer efforts, and the new NSGCares, as well as recently closed RFPs related to NSGC committee work to develop outcome measures and business cases for genetic counselors. How best to align the NSGC budget with these ongoing efforts was front and center during the board discussions. The board will finalize the 2020 budget this fall during our in-person meeting preceding the 38th Annual Conference. You will hear updates about the progress of all these efforts during our conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, and during the NSGC Business Meeting in December.
As you can see, there is no lack of moving parts, excitement and progress – making for one hot July! Please keep the momentum going and use GovPredict to contact your member of Congress today!
Amy Curry Sturm
2019 NSGC President
This article was published in the July 2019 Advocate Newsletter.