Please join us for this hybrid conference to further professional development in the field of genetic counseling and genetics/genomics.
Luella Benn (she/her) is the Director of Accessibility Resource and Wellness at MGH Institute of Health Professions.
In her career Luella has worked in both K-12 and Post-Secondary Education; much of her work has centered around ensuring equitable access for students with disabilities, as well as working directly with students on skill-building. Growing up in a family with multiple siblings with significant disabilities she witnessed the impact of both challenges and opportunities within school systems. Her passion in advocating for equitable access in education is personal aligning with her belief that education has the power to change and interrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty, trauma, and abuse.
A first-generation college student, Luella earned her B.A. in Psychology from Boston University and her M. Ed. in School Counseling from Suffolk University.
Gayun Chan-Smutko, MS, CGC, is an Associate Professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and Associate Chair of the Genetic Counseling department at MGH Institute of Health Professions. She serves on the IHP Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion or JEDI Council, the Racial Equity, Justice and Inclusion “Leading for Change” Taskforce, and is a member of the JEDI Community of Practice.
Prior to joining the IHP, Ms. Chan-Smutko was a senior genetic counselor in the Center for Cancer Risk Assessment, where she provided genetic counseling services to patients within the diverse clinical programs at the MGH Cancer Center and Outreach clinics from 2002-2018. Her clinical and academic work focused on hereditary renal cell carcinoma syndromes. She was also Assistant Director of the MS in Genetic Counseling Program at Brandeis University from 2014-2018 and was part of the Brandeis Class of 2002.
Ms. Chan-Smutko has served on work groups and sub-committees for the VHL Alliance, National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) including the NSGC J.E.D.I. Action Planning Taskforce, and Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD). She is a founding member of the AGCPD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce.
Allison Cirino, MS, CGC, is an Associate Professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and Director of Student Research in the Master of Science in the Genetic Counseling program at MGH Institute of Health Professions. Since 2004 she has been a genetic counselor in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Cardiovascular Genetics Center where she is involved in both patient care and ongoing clinical research activities in inherited heart disease.
She is currently a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Conference Planning Committee, the NSGC Abstract Workgroup, the NSGC Cardiovascular special interest group (SIG) Education committee, and the NSGC Research SIG Grant Award Committee. She also serves as the NSGC Liaison to the American Heart Association (AHA) Genomics and Precision Medicine (GPM) Council and is a member of the AHA GPM Professional Education and Publications Committee. She is the Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Genetic Counselors.
Joselyn Sáenz Díaz (she/her/ella) is a genetic counselor in the Antenatal Testing Unit and Cancer Center at Boston Medical Center. She is a bilingual provider and counsels in Spanish and English. Joselyn is an alumna of the IHP's MS in Genetic Counseling program and was part of the program's first cohort. She is a term lecturer at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Her interests include advocating for reproductive justice and addressing racial/ethnic disparities in the access and uptake of genetic services.
Elizabeth Fieg, MS, CGC, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Genetic Counseling program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. She is also a senior genetic counselor at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH), where she sees patients in various clinical settings, including general adult genetics, endocrine genetics, and pharmacogenomics.
In addition to her clinical roles, Elizabeth is the program manager of a novel gene discovery research initiative called Brigham Genomic Medicine (BGM). She is also the BWH site coordinator and genetic counselor for the Harvard clinical site of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN), a clinical research program through the NIH designed to diagnose rare diseases through clinical phenotyping and genomic sequencing.
Dr. Nina Gold (she/her) is a physician board-certified in pediatrics, medical genetics, and medical biochemical genetics. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, an attending physician in the Division of Medical Genetics and Metabolism at Mass General for Children, and serves as the Director of Prenatal Medical Genetics and an Associate Director of Research for the Mass General Brigham hospital-based biobank. Her research focuses on the ascertainment of undiagnosed individuals with genotypes associated with inherited metabolic disorders. Her work is funded by a KO8 award from NHGRI and she is also a co-investigator on the BabySeq 2 project, a randomized controlled trial of whole genome sequencing in a diverse cohort of healthy newborns.
Helen (she/her) is a chronically ill and queer genetic counselor. She is an educator and public engagement associate at the Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd) at Harvard Medical School. She is expanding pgEd's grassroots adult education initiative to Los Angeles, CA, where she is working to foster conversations around ethical and societal implications of genetic technologies with minoritized communities. Outside of genetic counseling, Helen is a vocal opponent of war and Western imperialism, and part of an action network for Women Cross DMZ, an organization dedicated to mobilizing women globally to end the 70-year Korean war and reunify separated families in the peninsula.
Dr. Keshrie Naidoo (she/her) is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Academic Curriculum in the Physical Therapy Department at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. She is also the Director of the MGH Institute Clinical Residency in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and faculty in the Massachusetts General Hospital Physical Therapy Neurologic Residency. Dr. Naidoo earned her Doctorate in Education from Johns Hopkins School of Education with a focus on entrepreneurial leadership in education. Her research focuses on social belonging, culturally responsive pedagogy, and equity in health professions education. Dr. Naidoo is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Physical Therapy Education.
Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker (she/her) and Dr. Lauren Wadsworth (she/her) are Harvard affiliated licensed clinical psychologists and authors of the top rated HR and business book, Did That Just Happen?! Beyond Diversity-Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations. They co-founded Twin Star Diversity Intersectional Trainers through which they consult globally to organizations seeking practical solutions to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
Ann Seman, MS, CGC is Assistant Professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and Director of Clinical Education for the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. As the Director of Clinical Education, Ann teaches Fieldwork I and II, coordinates genetic counseling standardized patient encounters at the IMPACT Practice Center, and coordinates observations and participatory clinical and nonclinical rotations. She enjoys sharing with students how to put together the components of a genetic counseling session, encouraging and witnessing their growth over the course of the program, and welcoming their insights into the counseling process. She feels that learning from the students is just as important as teaching them. Ann also instructs the Embryology and Teratology team-based learning course, where she thrives on the challenge of how to break down and teach the complex concept of the development of each organ system in a way that is relatable to the needs of a genetic counselor. Additionally, Ann participates in the Capstone-related portion of the program by serving on student research committees particularly those focused on pediatrics, laboratory, education, and/or JEDI.
In line with the mission of the IHP, Ann believes in the importance of service and giving back to one's profession. She serves as an Equity Advocate on the School of Nursing Search Committee and is a member of the Program Review Committee for the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. She also is a member of the Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O.), which supports women's education through loans, grants, scholarships, awards, and stewardship of Cottey College.
Malika Sud (she/her) is a genetic counselor in Boston, MA specializing in high-risk pregnancy care. She served as a community organizer and medical advocate with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center for four years, working toward a restorative justice approach for survivors of sexual violence. She has been volunteering with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated folks for three years. She also serves on the NSGC J.E.D.I. Stewardship Committee and has facilitated programming on anti-racism, health equity, and abolition medicine for genetic counseling students and medical professionals.
Jessica Waxler (she/her) is Assistant Professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and teaches in the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program at MGH Institute of Health Professions. She currently works at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) seeing both pediatric and adult patients in the Medical Genetics and Metabolism division. She serves as the GC team lead and practice manager for the department. Over the years, she has been involved in various clinical research projects including the Williams Syndrome Registry and a departmental biorepository.
Stephanie graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She received her MS in Genetic Counseling from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2022. In August 2022, she moved to Seattle, WA and joined the Hereditary Cancer Clinic genetic counseling team at Swedish Cancer Institute. Her goal is to help patients make personalized and meaningful choices regarding hereditary cancer genetic testing. Stephanie is passionate about increasing access to equitable genetic counseling services.
Kim Zayhowski (she/her) is a research genetic counselor and Assistant Professor at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. A queer, multiracial genetic counselor, Kim’s work within genetic counseling has primarily focused on improving equity in care for communities that continue to be marginalized. She dedicates much of her time to advocating for LGBTQIA+ justice in healthcare through talks, blogs, and research.
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM: Check-in/Breakfast
8:30 AM – 8:45 AM: Introduction and Welcome
Ann Seman, MS, CGC
8:45 AM – 9:45 AM: "Refusal, Care, and Collectivity”: an Abolitionist Approach to Anti-oppressive Genetic Counseling (in-person)
Malika Sud, MS, CGC
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Break
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM: Clinical Dysmorphology: What Utilization and Impact Does It Have Today? (in-person)
Ann Seman, MS, CGC; Stephanie Woo, MS, CGC; Elizabeth Fieg, MS, CGC; Nina Gold, MD; Jessica Waxler, MS, CGC
10:45 AM – 11:45 AM: Leading Through Empowering Listening (virtual)
Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, PhD and Lauren Wadsworth, PhD, ABPP
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM: Lunch
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Disability: Not What You Think It Is (in-person)
Luella Benn, MEd
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Addressing Race and Ethnicity in Supervision and Promoting Belonging in the Clinical Environment
Keshrie Naidoo, PT, DPT, EdD
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM: Break
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM: From Disability to Militarism: A Global and Intersectional Analysis (virtual)
Helen Kim, MA, MS, CGC
3:45 PM – 4:30 PM: Now What? Reflections on the Actionability of an Anti-oppressive Approach to Genetic Counseling
Gayun Chan-Smutko, MS, CGC; Allison Cirino, MS, CGC; Joselyn Diaz, MS, CGC; Elizabeth Fieg, MS, CGC; Malika Sud, MS, CGC; Kim Zayhowski, MS, CGC
Continuing Education Information:
The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) has authorized MGH Institute of Health Professions to offer up to 0.65 CEUs or 6.50 Category 1 contact hours for the activity Empowerment: An Anti-oppressive Approach to Genetic Counseling. The American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) will accept CEUs earned at this program for the purposes of genetic counselor certification and recertification.
Date: Friday, June 2, 2023
Location: This event will be held at 1 Constitution Wharf in the Charlestown Navy Yard and also will be held virtually and presented as a live-streaming program.