HCN News & Notes

Bay Path Launches Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling

LONGMEADOW — The need for genetic counselors keeps growing; there are just 4,000 certified genetic counselors in the country today, or one for every 80,000 Americans. To respond to this need, Bay Path University has launched a new master of science program in genetic counseling, naming Nancy Steinberg Warren program director.

“I am excited to help launch Bay Path’s genetic counseling graduate program,” Warren said. “By taking advantage of current instructional technology through hybrid course delivery, students from varied backgrounds will have maximum accessibility and flexibility to become genetic counselors in 21 months. Graduates will be poised to fill future clinical, research, and laboratory-based roles in this growing field.”

The program is a hybrid of on-ground and online learning that will prepare graduates for careers in the burgeoning field of genetic counseling. As a profession, genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.

The program will accommodate students in the university’s East Longmeadow graduate health science facility, the Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center. Online courses and hands-on field-work experience in nearby genomic laboratories will further prepare students for the growing list of jobs available in the industry.

Warren comes to Bay Path with more than 30 years of experience in genetic counseling. Her primary expertise has been in education and training of students, healthcare professionals, and the public. She developed and directed the genetic-counseling graduate program at the University of Cincinnati for two decades, and she was interim director of the Long Island University Genetic Counseling Program in 2013. She has held many leadership roles in the field, including serving on the board of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and the American Board of Genetic Counseling.

Warren is credited with developing a web-based cultural and linguistic competence toolkit for the genetic-counseling profession and an online case-module series approved for continuing education, the Genetic Counseling Cultural Competence Toolkit, available at geneticcounselingtookit.com. In 2013, she was further recognized as a thought leader in the field as the first recipient of the NSGC Cultural Competency Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a master’s degree in human genetics from Sarah Lawrence College.

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