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Vision: To educate and advocate for the genetic counselors and genetics professional in the state of Ohio

Mission Statement:

To develop and sponsor activities that will promote professional development of the career of genetic counseling

To support and conduct education to increase public awareness of genetic counseling

To encourage communication and alliances that will facilitate access to genetic counseling services and genetic counseling education in the state of Ohio

To promote collaboration amongst Ohio GCs who wish to take action on issues relevant to our profession

To foster professional growth and continuing education in the field of genetics

To provide a centralized location for relevant information regarding genetics in Ohio

The 2022 BOD held first in-person BOD meeting with great success! (top row from left to right: Megan Bergman, Paul Hudson, Jackie Riley; bottom row from left to right: Lindsey Byrne, Meghan DeBenedictis)

Board of Directors

President: Meghan DeBenedictis, MS, CGC, MEd

Meghan is a licensed genetic counselor who took a position at the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute after graduating from the Genetic Counseling Program at Case Western Reserve University in 2011. Focusing her career on hereditary eye diseases, she established an ophthalmic genetics clinic – the first in the state of Ohio.  She is the first genetic counselor to be elected to the serve on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Genetic Eye Diseases. In addition to her clinical work, she has been active in research, serving as PI, co-Investigator or study coordinator on over a dozen clinical studies/trials. Meghan is also passionate about education and received her Masters in Health Professionals Education Degree through Cleveland State University with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in 2017. She serves as the education coordinator for the Ophthalmology and Hearing Loss SIG and also on the advisory board and actively involved with the Case Western Reserve University Genetic Counseling Training Program. She also developed an ophthalmic genetics elective rotation for genetic counseling students and has served as thesis committee Chair and guest lecturer. Meghan is also an integral team member of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Personalized Genomics Healthcare where she serves as the Director of Genetic Business Development.  

President-Elect: Paul Hudson, MS, CGC

Paul is a licensed genetic counselor who received his undergraduate degree in Zoology from The Ohio State University in 2016 and graduated from The Ohio State University Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (OSU GCGP) in 2018. Since graduation, he was worked in his hometown of Dayton, OH at Miami Valley Hospital’s Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Ultrasound and Genetics as a prenatal genetic counselor. He still works closely with the OSU GCGP as a clinical supervisor and course instructor.  

Immediate Past President: Lindsey Byrne, MS, CGC

Lindsey is a licensed genetic counselor who received her Masters of Science in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008. She has worked and dedicated her entire career to the field of cancer genetics by specializing in providing hereditary cancer risk assessments, education, genetic testing, and support to patients and their families. She works at The Ohio State University, where she established a Genitourinary (GU) cancer genetics clinic in fall of 2018 and also focuses on research in GU cancers. She is a founding member and executive board member of the Ohio Association of Genetic Counselors as well as the current Committee Director.  She is actively involved in The OSU Genetic Counseling Graduate Program as a course director, supervisor, mentoring program coach, thesis committee member and serves on the admissions committee. Additionally, she is the current Co-Chair and genetic counselor representative for the Ohio Partners for Cancer Control with the purpose to implement and create the statewide Ohio Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. She is also engaged in efforts with the National Society of Genetic Counselors with a current co-chair role, and past roles as chair and member in other numerous sub committees, as well as currently on the nominating committee for ABGC. 

Committee Director: Jackie Riley, MS, CGC

Jackie attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison, obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and a Master of Science in Medical Genetics in 2001. From 2001-2008, she was employed in west Michigan by Spectrum Health and Bronson Methodist Hospital, specializing in prenatal genetic counseling. Since 2011, Jackie has worked at Cleveland Clinic, developing the role of laboratory genetic counselor, where she now leads a team of three genetic counselors who support molecular and cytogenetics testing labs and laboratory stewardship/utilization management initiatives.

Secretary/Treasurer: Megan Bergman, MS, CGC

Megan earned her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Genetics from The Ohio State University in 2016 and her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2018. Since completing her graduate training, she has worked as a state-licensed genetic counselor within the Maternal Fetal Medicine department at Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, Ohio specializing in preconception and prenatal genetics. In addition to her clinical role, she supervises genetic counseling graduate students through The Ohio State University Genetic Counseling Graduate Program and currently serves on multiple committees including the Admissions Committee for The Ohio State University Genetic Counseling Graduate Program and the Medical Advisory Committee for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio. She is also a co-facilitator for the central Ohio-based Helpful Encounters After a Loss (HEAL) support group designed to support families who have ended a wanted pregnancy following a prenatal diagnosis.

Subcommittees

Membership and Outreach

Responsibilities:

  • Maintain membership directory
  • Learn interests of GCs to inform organization goals and address concerns
  • Answer questions about organization

Co-Chairs:

Simone Weinmann

Kristin Zajo

Social Media and Communication

Responsibilities:

  • Design web content for OAGC
  • Maintain a social media presence (e.g. Facebook and Twitter)
  • Develop professional connections

Co-Chairs:

Amber Aeilts

Erin Crist

Education

Responsibilities:

  • Organize and plan annual education meeting
  • Administer scholarship funding and application process for GC research projects and student theses
  • Develop educational and outreach activities in the state of Ohio

Co-Chairs:

Julia Cooper

Cortlandt Martin

Christine Wensel

Public Policy/Professional Issues

Responsibilities:

  • Collect institution specific information including credentialing practices, billing practices, career ladders
  • Create guides for new GCs in Ohio on how to obtain licensure, specialists to refer to in the area

Co-Chairs:

Jordan Brown

Nicki Smith

Membership

We are excited that you want to be an OAGC member! There are three classes of members: full members, associate members, and student members. All full and associate members should reside or work in the state of Ohio, and student members should be genetic counseling graduate students of a genetic counseling training program in the state of Ohio.

Full Member

  • Any GC living or working within the state of Ohio, defined as a masters-level trained health professional who is either board eligible and/or board certified and/or licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board
  • Eligible to hold a position on Board of Directors or chair a Subcommittee
  • Voting Member

Associate Member

  • Any individual with a professional interest in genetics who shares the Mission and Vision of the OAGC
  • Includes: non-certified/non-board eligible GC, genetic counseling assistant, nurse in genetics, etc
  • Not eligible to hold a position on Board of Directors or chair a Subcommittee
  • Can be a committee member
  • Not a voting member

Student Member

  • Any student enrolled in an accredited genetic counseling program in the state of Ohio
  • Not eligible to hold a position on Board of Directors or chair a subcommittee
  • Can be a committee member
  • Not a voting member
Benefits of Joining
  • Networking and sharing of information
  • Organization for Ohio Annual Education Conference and creation of CEU opportunities
  • Organized funding available
  • Opportunities for professional growth and networking
  • Collaborative research between genetic counselors
Cost of Joining

Membership can currently be obtained for free

To learn more about membership, please email OAGCCommittees@ohiogenetics.org with the subject line “Membership Inquiry”.