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Genomic Medicine Assistant Program

Genetic counselors are in high demand at Geisinger and in healthcare settings across the country. And already competitive genetic counseling training programs have gotten even more selective. To help prospective genetic counselors strengthen their applications to training programs and bring them back to Geisinger once they are trained, the Genomic Medicine Institute began the Genetic Counseling Assistant (GCA) program in 2015. The program is overseen by Miranda Hallquist, genetic counselor at the Genomic Medicine Institute. GCAs have dual roles in assisting genetic counselors and with research projects such as the MyCode Community Health Initiative. GCAs’ duties include triaging patient phone calls and patient referrals, gathering family histories, and tracking genetic testing and insurance information. Early data on the program has found that GCAs allow the cancer genetic counselors to spend more time on patient care. And the program has had success with GCAs being accepted to genetic counseling programs. This success has led to several other GCAs becoming part of the Geisinger family, both within the Oncology Department and Maternal Fetal Medicine Department.

Learn more about genetic counseling

In 2020, our genetic counselors hosted a virtual genetic counselor open house for individuals interested in learning more about the genetic counseling profession. Below are links to recordings from that event: 

Genetic counselor and genetic counseling assistant discipline overview/case presentations:

GMA Assistant Program
"The education and experience that Geisinger has provided me with inspires me and motivates me to not just obtain a degree in genetic counseling, but to become a genetic counselor that Geisinger would be proud of."