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Monday, April 22, 2013 - 1:37am

Genetic Counselors Want Ga. Licensure

Genetic counselors have formed a statewide association aimed at getting their emerging field greater recognition in Georgia. About 60 attendees at the first ever statewide conference of their field at the Medical Center of Central Georgia on Friday formed the Georgia Society of Genetic Counselors.

Genetic counselors are health care professionals who help patients understand and manage their genetic risk of disease. They’re nationally certified but Georgia doesn’t offer them a state license, said conference attendee Kimberly Lewis.

"Licensure will help patients get genetic counseling and testing paid for," Lewis said. "One of the issues that we have is that insurance companies aren’t recognizing it."

MCCG genetic counselor Christine Delaney called the conference in part to raise awareness of the problem.

"A lot of other states already have licensure, and a lot of the remaining states are actively working already working toward licensure and Georgia hasn’t done anything towards it yet," Delaney said.