Genetic Counselors in Leadership Roles

In the fourth installment of PhenoTips Speaker Series, a panel of genetic counselors in leadership positions discuss the paths to leadership roles and the benefits of genetic counselors in management positions to all areas of healthcare.


Genetic counselors offer unique perspectives and skills that can incite tangible change when placed in leadership positions. Despite the benefits to all areas of healthcare, these management and leadership roles continue to go unfilled by genetic counselors. To foster an understanding of the benefits of genetic counselor leadership, as well as to prepare junior genetic counselors who wish to enter these roles, PhenoTips invited leaders Livija Medne, Vishakha Tripathi, and Jessie Conta to share their experiences and insight.

With over 23 years of experience, Livija Medne is a Senior Genetic Counselor and Co-Director of the Roberts Individualized Medical Genetics Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She co-chairs and is one of the course directors of the Curriculum Committee at the University of Pennsylvania Genetic Counseling Program. In addition, Livija is an advocate for the professional development of junior genetic counselors, having co-founded the first Genetic Counselor Mentorship committee at CHOP.

Vishakha Tripathi has over 15 years of experience as a registered genetic counsellor. She currently leads the genetic counselling team, the HBOC family service, and the Cancer Risk Assessment service, as well as being part of the Clinical Genetics operational team and senior leadership team at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She has also worked as the London representative to the Genomics Clinical Reference Group within NHS England.

After working as a clinical genetic counselor for many years, Jessie Conta transitioned to the laboratory at Seattle Children's Hospital out of a desire to help develop the laboratory stewardship program. Jessie is currently the Manager of the Laboratory Stewardship Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, as well as the Co-Founder and Director of Genetic Counseling Services for Pediatric Laboratory Utilization Guidance Services, a national collaboration whose mission is to improve test ordering, retrieval, interpretation, and reimbursement.

In this panel discussion moderated by DNA Today’s Founder, Producer and Host, Kira Dineen, CGC, Livija Medne, Vishakha Tripathi, and Jessie Conta draw on personal experiences to address:

  • The multifold benefits, including those to patient care, of placing genetic counselors in leadership roles
  • The inciting factors during genetic counseling training and professional practice that provide the foundation required to enter leadership positions
  • Methods for the continued growth and success of genetic professionals, and the genetic counseling profession

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