Genetic counselors Jessica Aram and Tina Liu are part of our multidisciplinary team, helping to provide care for the genetic health of your child as well as your family within the Division of Medical Genetics. They are trained specialists in the field of medical genetics and expert educators, skilled in translating the complex language of genomic medicine into terms that are easy to understand.
What is Genetic Counseling? From National Society of Genetic Counselors:
Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. This process integrates:
- Interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence
- Education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research
- Counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition
In addition to helping patients and families to understand complex genetic information, our genetic counselors also perform test coordination and case management. Most importantly, our genetic counselors are here to support and empower patients and families through education and counseling about their genetic health.
- Diet assessment and analysis, interpretation of diet related lab results and calculation of disorder specific diet and formulas
- General pediatric nutritional evaluations
- Diet assessment and analysis, interpretation of diet related labs and design of pediatric diet specific to disorder or diagnosis
As the clinic social worker, I meet patients and families where they are at in the process of managing complicated genetic conditions that are often accompanied by a staggering amount of different thoughts and feelings. I strive to help patients and families process those feelings and their hospital experience by creating a space where they can talk openly in a non-judgmental environment. I aim to facilitate adjustment and coping to these conditions by providing brief therapeutic intervention, information from a psychosocial perspective and referrals to strategic community resources.
Sometimes extra advocacy is needed with some of those resources such as in the school setting or with state developmental therapy providers. It is important to create a dialogue and partnership with families as they navigate initially receiving a diagnosis, incorporate treatment into their lifestyles as the child grows and eventually work towards transition to adult health care. I hope to increase adjustment to the challenges created by caring for a child with a medical condition as well as provide helpful tools to cope with and overcome those challenges along the way.