Four of the first five students to graduate from the master’s degree program in genetic counseling at LIU Post have accepted positions at prominent clinics in Texas, Hawaii, California and Florida, while a first-year student has been accepted in a highly competitive internship at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
The program’ next cohort began in September 2012. Seventeen students interviewed for the six available slots.
The genetic counseling program at LIU Post (formerly known as the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University) is the only program of its kind on Long Island and one of only 31 in the country. Genetic counselors help individuals and families at risk of genetic health problems decide on testing, interpret the results of tests and decide on courses of action to minimize their risks.
“Because of advances in the science of genetics, patients today have more information about their health risks than ever before. But this knowledge often has serious consequences,” said Anne E. Greb, M.S., CGC, director of the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program and Clinical Genetics Education. “Our students know more about the science of genetics than any other health care providers, including physicians themselves, and as trained counselors they have the time and the skill to help patients work through their options and achieve the best outcomes.”
Genetic counseling students at LIU Post study in a state-of-the-art laboratory funded by The Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation, the region’s premier organization dedicated to cancer research, education, patient care and fellowship.
Amanda Brosseau of Olathe, Kansas became the director of genetic counseling services at The Fetal Care Center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas in June. “I’m very excited. It’s a great opportunity,” she said.
Calvin Chan of Vancouver, British Columbia, has accepted a position in Los Angeles as a regional medical specialist for Myriad Genetics, Inc.
Veena Ganesh of Nigeria has accepted a position in the Cancer Center at St. Vincent’s Health Care in Jacksonville, Florida.
Virginia Sack of Burnt Hills, N.Y. has had several interviews and continues her search for the right position.
Meanwhile, first-year student Julie Handy of Syosset, N.Y. will be among six students nationwide selected to participate in the Genetic Counseling Laboratory Internship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
“I’ve always been interested in science and genetics,” Handy said. “One of the hardest and most important parts of what we do is explaining genetics and how it matters. Genetic counseling is a great way to be there for patients.”
People most commonly referred to genetic counselors include pregnant women 35 or older, who face a higher risk of giving birth to children with chromosome irregularities; people with family histories of cancer, developmental disabilities or other conditions; parents of newborns known or thought to have a birth defect, and patients who have been identified in screenings as being at risk.
The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling was established in September 2010 and is accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. The Joseph, Tita and Don Monti Genetics and Human Development Laboratory, made possible through a $500,000 gift from the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation, opened Oct. 1, 2010.