Arcadia University’s Director of Genetic Counseling: Professional Licensure Would Protect Public
PA House of Representatives Bill Requires Licensing of Genetic Counselors
Glenside, Pa.—Oct. 11, 2010—Arcadia University’s Director of the M.S. in Genetic Counseling Kathleen Valverde, has spoken before the PA House on two bills sponsored by Rep. Thomas Killion (R-Delaware/Chester) licensure for genetic counselors. Rep. Killion’s two bills passed the House on Oct. 5. If passed, Pennsylvania will be the 14th state to mandate genetic counseling licensure.
“This is a very big step for our profession,” says Valverde. “The most important benefit of passing licensure is that the public will be protected.” Her dedication and active involvement has been crucial to the state’s ongoing endorsement of this important legislation.
Valverde with more than 20 years of experience as a genetic counselor has witnessed the evolution of the field she describes as “a medical subspecialty that helps individuals adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.” As the Director of the Genetic Counseling master’s program, Valverde says is vital to establish minimum competency requirements for those individuals who practice as genetic counselors.
“There are many direct-to-consumer genetic tests being offered today, and unfortunately there is a great deal of confusion with regard to interpreting the results,” says Valverde. “Once genetic counselors are licensed, there will be a state directory of providers. Consumers will then have the ability to verify that they are seeing qualified, licensed professionals.”
Arcadia is home to one of only two genetic counseling programs in Pennsylvania accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. It is the second largest program in the United States. Approximately 150 students have graduated since the program was established in 1995.
About Arcadia University: Arcadia University is a top-ranked private university in metropolitan Philadelphia and a national leader in study abroad, ranked #1 in undergraduate participation in study abroad (Open Doors 2009). Arcadia University promises a distinctively global, integrative and personal learning experience that prepares students to contribute and prosper in a diverse and dynamic world. U.S. News & World Report ranks Arcadia University among the top regional universities in the North, as one of the top study abroad programs in the nation, and as a “top up-and-coming school.” The Physical Therapy program is ranked 7th in the nation