Understanding why certain health conditions develop has always been an interest of mine. I was drawn to genetics because our DNA is often a significant part of our personal health risks. Genetic information can seem very complicated and be overwhelming to patients and families. I want to make genetic and medical information accessible so that patients and families can make the best healthcare decisions.
Genetic counseling is for anyone interested in personalized information about their genetic health. As a genetic counselor at the Heart Institute, I’m very interested in understanding what patients and families need. For example, what are their motivations for seeking care and how can I provide them with the information and support that’s most important to them? The Heart Institute Genetic Counseling Clinic is a resource for individuals of all ages.
I gather detailed information about medical and family history and may talk with patients about questions such as:
- Can their family history can tell us about health risks and the need for screening?
- Could there be a genetic cause for a specific type of heart disease?
- What are the risks for heart disease based on genetic test results?
- Could genetic testing be right for them or someone else in the family?
- What do genetic testing results mean and how to talk with family members about the results?
- What type of heart screening is important based on family history or genetic testing results?
- How does someone feel about heart disease or genetic risk in the family and what resources and support are available?
In my research, I’m interested in gathering evidence to guide genetic counseling, genetic testing and cardiac screening. This information includes a better understanding of specific disease risks, such as:
- How likely are you to develop the disease if you have a genetic mutation?
- How often do you need to have heart screening if you are at increased risk?
My colleagues and I are looking at how patients and families understand and feel about these risks. I'm also interested in learning about how families communicate regarding health information and how genetic counseling affects patient and family outcomes.
During my free time, I enjoy running, yoga and hiking. I'm interested in architecture and interior design, and my husband and I renovate homes in the Cincinnati area. The most fun I have by far is watching our four children grow!
Cardiovascular genetic counseling; inherited arrhythmias; sudden cardiac arrest/sudden cardiac death; cardiomyopathy; aortopathy; Marfan syndrome; familial hypercholesterolemia
Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati
Genetics, Cardiovascular Genetics, Cardiomyopathy