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Governor Signs Bill Creating Licensure for Genetic Counselors


Governor John Kasich signed HB 292 into law June 6 that establishes licensure of qualified genetic counselors, ensuring that Ohioans receive the advantages of personalized health care and genomic medicine with the least likelihood of negligent application.
 
Previously, there were no state regulations to prevent inadequately trained individuals from providing genetic counseling and inappropriately calling themselves genetic counselors. Licensure is the only avenue that will permit Ohio residents and their healthcare providers to easily identify practitioners who are qualified to provide competent genetic counseling. HB 292 guarantees that genetic counselors in Ohio have obtained at minimum a master's degree from an accredited genetic counseling graduate program, are board certified and obtain continuing education to remain current with advances in the field.  
 
Dawn Allain, MS, CGC, in the OSU Division of Human Genetics and a current scholar in the CES Faculty Teaching Scholars Certificate Program, has been spearheading the effort for Ohio’s genetic counselors since 2007. According to Ms. Allain, “The passage of this bill is a tremendous success story for Ohio genetic counselors and could not have been accomplished without the hard work of Jennifer Carlson, assistant vice president of External Affairs and Advocacy for OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, Stephanie Milburn, director of Government Relations for The James, genetic counselors, physicians, consumers and legislators.”  
 
HB 292 was introduced by Representative Anne Gonzales.