A Genetic Counseling Cultural Competence Toolkit

Advisory Group
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The Genetic Counseling Cultural Competence Toolkit content and design was informed by a distinguished panel of advisors in cultural competence, diversity, pedagogy and genetic counseling. The Project Advisors’ insights and ideas provided valuable direction to the project.

Judith Benkendorf, MS, CGC
Special Assistant to the Executive Director
American College of Medical Genetics
7220 Wisconsin Avenue,
Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20814
301.718.9603 (phone)
301.718.9604 (fax)

Judith Benkendorf is an experienced genetic counselor and past recipient of the JEMF award. She is an articulate advocate for the profession with a variety of interdisciplinary and government groups. Ms. Benkendorf participated in the Changing Face of the Genetic Counseling Profession retreat as an expert on medical genetics workforce issues. In her current role as the American College of Medical Genetics' Project Manager for the GSB/MCHB/HRSA funded National Coordinating Center for the Regional Genetics and Newborn Screening Service Collaboratives, she works on activities that bring genetic services to local communities and build linkages between public health, primary care and medical genetics providers. Ms. Benkendorf will advise the project staff on toolkit content and evaluation.

Tawara D. Goode, MA
Assistant Professor
Director, National Center for Cultural Competence & Associate Director,
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Center for Child and Human Development
Georgetown University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics
Box 571485
Washington, DC 20057-1485

Tawara Goode is an internationally known expert in cultural competence.  Ms. Goode was a plenary invited speaker at the 2004 retreat, Changing the Face of the Genetic Counseling Profession, major plenary speaker at the 2006 NSGC annual education meeting and a consultant to the interdisciplinary course mapping project led by Ms. Warren.  Ms. Goode has developed extensive content and evaluation tools to promote individual and organizational cultural competence. She will advise the project staff on toolkit content and evaluation.

Ilana Suez Mittman, PhD
MS Director of Health Policy Research
The Sullivan Alliance to Transform America's Health Professions
1090 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005-4928

Ilana Mittman is the Director of Health Policy Research for the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions. In that role, she helps guide national efforts to diversify the health professions through forming state collaboratives and networking with professional societies, health professions schools, and other stakeholders. Mittman received her doctorate in health policy and management in 2005 from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she was a Kellogg Pre-Doctoral Fellow in Health Policy Research. Following her graduation from Hopkins, Mittman joined the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, where she directed a project to increase diversity in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry in the state of Maryland and worked with local hospitals and academic health centers to increase cultural and linguistic responsiveness among health professionals.

Kelly E Ormond, MS, CGC
Associate Professor, Department of Genetics
Director, MS in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling
Stanford University
300 Pasteur Drive H315
Stanford CA, 94305-5208
Phone: (650) 736-9847
Fax: (650) 498-4555

Kelly Ormond is a highly experienced program director colleague and genetic counselor with a particular interest in diversity issues. Ms. Ormond, as a former Midwest Genetic Counseling Program Director, attended the Changing the Face of the Genetic Counseling Profession Retreat in 2004.  As recent past president of the NSGC, Ms. Ormond provided advocacy and promoted open discussion regarding the importance of integrating cultural competence within the genetic counseling profession. Ms. Ormond will assist in reviewing and piloting activities for suitability in genetic counseling program curricula.

Sheetal Parmar, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
Prenatal Diagnosis of Northern California
1111 Exposition Blvd. Bldg 200
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone: (916) 779-3248
Fax: (916) 779-3258

Sheetal Parmar is a board-certified genetic counselor with particular expertise and understanding of diversity issues. As a minority genetic counselor, she has been through the ranks herself of learning about the field, applying to programs, training, and then practicing in the profession. Her insights will be invaluable to identifying resources, developing case studies, and considering applications to genetic counseling of existing resources. Ms. Parmar is a member of the NSGC Membership Committee and Task Leader for the NSGC Diversity Workgroup.  She will serve as a liaison to the NSGC to ensure this project complements organizational efforts to increase diversity and cultural competence.

Gloria Sanchez-Raiza, MS, MPH, CGC
1256 Stampede Way, Unit 2
Chula Vista, CA 91913
Phone: (619) 941-1556
Fax: (619) 941-1556

Gloria A. Sanchez-Araiza is a genetic counselor, with three decades of experience, dedicated to raising the awareness of cultural factors in the practice of genetic counseling among genetic counselors, other health care providers, minority groups and clients. She has authored publications and has led many committees and initiatives in this area of interest. As immediate past Chair of the NSGC Diversity Subcommittee, she led the effort to gain NSGC presence at the Minority Women’s Health Summit and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science annual meetings. Ms. Sanchez-Araiza will advise the project staff on toolkit content and evaluation.

Kami Wolfe Schneider, MS
CGC Genetic Counselor
Clinical Genetics and Metabolism
13123 East 16th Avenue, Box 300
Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: (303) 724-3250
Fax: (720) 777-7322
Email: Schneider.Kami@tchden.org

Kami Wolfe Schneider is a board-certified genetic counselor with expertise in cancer and prenatal genetics. Her professional interests include overcoming the barriers to minority recruitment into the genetic counseling profession. Ms. Schneider participated in the Changing the Face of the Genetic Counseling Profession retreat as a student assistant. She and Ms. Warren have collaborated on several diversity-related presentations and research projects. Ms. Schneider is also an active participant in NSGC diversity activities and currently acts as a member of both the NSGC membership committee and its diversity workgroup. Ms. Schneider will contribute perspectives from her professional practice experience to advise development of the GCCCT.

Dr. Barbara Jones Warren, PhD, APRN, BC
Associate Clinical Professor
The Ohio State University, College of Nursing, Newton 316
1585 Neil Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1289
Phone: (614) 292-4847 (Monday, Thursday and Friday)
Phone: (614) 752-9875 (Tuesday and Wednesday)
Fax: (614) 885-9336

Dr. Barbara Warren is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Ohio State University, College of Nursing and is the Executive Nurse for the Ohio Department of Mental Health.  NSW has been working with Dr. Warren for the last two years; she is a consultant on the interdisciplinary grant project to use course mapping to integrate cultural competence into allied health training programs.  Dr. Warren has a great deal of wisdom and experience regarding how to best integrate cultural diversity into live and online graduate level health care courses.  NSW will seek regular guidance from Dr. Warren on matters of culture and pedagogy.  Several face to face meetings of NSW and Dr. Warren will be convened at OSU for brainstorming and reviewing the GCCCT design and content.

Mary Watkins, BA
Executive Staff Assistant
UC International Affairs
PO Box 210640
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0640
Phone: (513) 556-3004
Fax: (513) 556-2990

Mary Watkins is currently Executive Staff Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs at the University of Cincinnati. She is the former Director of Graduate Recruitment and Retention at the University. One of her responsibilities at that time was administering the Yates Fellows and Scholars Program, which provides full scholarships to underrepresented graduate students. Ms. Watkins is also a 22 year veteran of producing publications for target markets as Assistant Director of Public Relations at UC. She participated in the Changing the Face of the Genetic Counseling Profession retreat as a “minority partner” and she has subsequently worked with NSW on  writing text for the NSGC prospective student recruiting brochure. Ms. Watkins will contribute expertise on both cultural competence and pedagogy to this project.  Since Ms. Watkins works locally, she will meet regularly with NSW to hone the design and content of the GCCCT.

Jon Weil, Ph.D. Genetics,
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
University of California,
San Francisco
Mail: 2015 Mira Vista Drive, El Cerrito, CA 94530
Phone: 510-237-1906

Jon Weil is the former Director of the Masters Degree Program in Genetic Counseling, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley (1989-2001). A major focus of his tenure was the development and promotion of ethnocultural competence as a central issue in genetic counseling. He pursued this through teaching and supervision at the program level and with seminars, workshops and publications at the national level. His book, Psychosocial Genetic Counseling, Oxford University Press, 2000, has an extensive chapter devoted to ethnocultural issues. Since retiring in 2001 he has remained active professionally through writing, seminars, teaching, mentoring and serving on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Genetic Counseling, with continuing involvement in promoting ethnocultural competence.

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