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Genetic Counseling Licensing Legislation Advances

Anne Kitzman - 123rf Stock Photo

Legislation to pave the way for licensing genetic counselors is before the Kentucky House. The senate last week unanimously approved the measure.

University of Louisville genetic counselor Kathryn Platky Warren says those in her profession talk with patients about a number of serious health issues.

“Help to diagnose anything from potential cancers to neurologic disorders to diagnosis that might affect children or pregnancies and help point out ways that a person could manage those issues,” Platky said.

Norton Cancer Institute geneticist Kara Goodwin says licensing would increase access to genetic counseling by attracting more professions to the Commonwealth. She says that, in turn, could free up counselors to see more patients.

“Our goal is to be non-directive," Goodwin said. "We seek to inform patients about what testing could or could not mean for them. In addition, testing is not necessarily appropriate for every patient that we do see.”

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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