Modern use of Genetics
Sep 10, 2019
Taryn C. Rosenthal, LCGC
Modern use of Genetics

Although the field of genetic counseling has been around for over 30 years, many people are unfamiliar with the role of genetic counselors in medicine. Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. We work as members of a health care team, providing support and information about genetic conditions. 

Genetic counselors identify families at risk for birth defects or genetic disease, investigate the problem present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence, and review available options with the family. Genetic counselors also provide supportive counseling to families, serve as patient advocates and refer individuals and families to community or state support services.

Prior to coming to Kaiser Permanente, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Biology at Mesa State College of Colorado and my Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at the University of Wisconsin,  Madison.  In both Colorado and Wisconsin, I volunteered for various organizations including a local domestic violence shelter and a rape crisis line.

Within the Kaiser Permanente Genetics Department, I see patients for a variety of adult and pediatric genetic concerns; however, my primary specialties include prenatal genetics, cardiovascular genetics, and Huntington's disease predictive testing.  As a genetic counselor, my goal is to help my patients understand complex genetic information and provide support in decision-making.