Genetic Counsellors Raise Awareness of 'Behind-the-Scenes' Profession

Genetics media stories don't always paint the whole picture

TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - From A-list celebrities to hit movie biopics - faulty genes are causing quite the hype.  But there is more to these stories. Genetic testing is a process that can be complicated and emotional. Genetic counsellors help people make sense of it all.  Although consistently featured as a 'hot job of the future' a recent study found that most people have never heard of a genetic counsellor. From November 17-23, 2013 the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) is campaigning to increase awareness about their little known profession, by hosting events across Canada and sharing multi-media content developed specifically for the public.

Genetic Counsellors specialize in medical genetics and counselling. In everyday life they meet individuals and families to talk about genetic diseases and how they run in families. They assess a person's risk of inheriting or passing on a known disease in their family. They talk about options for genetic testing and provide support during the complicated genetic testing process.

"With all the media coverage that high-profile stories are getting these days, genetics is more visible for the public than ever," says Julie Rutberg, President of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors. "We want Canadians to know that the genetic counselling profession is dedicated to helping people better understand an often confusing, scientific and emotional subject."

To learn more about Genetic Counselling Awareness Week, visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/canadianassociationofgeneticcounsellors or follow us on Twitter @CAGC_ACCG.

About the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors The Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors was incorporated in 1990 with the goal of promoting high standards of practice, facilitating and supporting professional growth, and increasing public awareness of the genetic counselling profession in Canada. The CAGC administers the Canadian Certification examination for genetic counsellors and provides continuing education opportunities for its members. CAGC is the leading voice for genetic counsellors in Canada and represents the primary source for issues relating to the genetic counselling profession in this country. The CAGC currently has over 260 members, and includes both Canadian-based and international genetic counsellors. For more information about the CAGC, or to find a genetics clinic in your area, visit http://www.cagc-accg.ca/.

Image with caption: "Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CNW Group/Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131120_C9025_PHOTO_EN_33587.jpg

SOURCE: Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors

For further information:

Jeanna McCuaig, MSc, CGC
Genetic Counsellor, Princess Margaret Hospital
416-946-4501 x 3395
jeanna.mccuaig@uhn.ca

Kristen Miller, MSc, CGC, CCGC
Genetic Counsellor, North York General Hospital
416-756-6000 x 4831
kristen.miller@nygh.on.ca

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Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors

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