Diplomate Spotlight

ABGC Diplomate Spotlight

 Meet Amy Donahue

Amy Donahue is a certified genetic counselor (CGC) specializing in Neurology, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Endocrinology, and Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. She has a BA in Mathematics and Russian, and a Master of Library and Information Sciences, and a BS in Biology. 

A recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin- Madison's genetic counseling program, Amy transitioned into the field of genetic counseling after working as a Medical Librarian in both hospital and academic settings. She left her job as the User Education Librarian at the Medical College of Wisconsin to take her pre-requisites for genetic counseling, and returned four years later as a certified genetic counselor.

Amy’s motivation for becoming a certified genetic counselor stems from her passion for patient advocacy.
“My primary motivation is helping patients go through things that are hard or tough to understand. My academic motivation was to become an expert in an area to help patients understand what was happening.”
 Amy Donahue, CGC
Amy’s desire to enter into the field of genetic counseling and advocate for patients also stems from her personal experience of losing both her sister and a close friend to glioblastoma.

Outside of her specialty, Amy is a listed provider for GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, a directory for patients in need of healthcare providers who are open to helping patients in the LGBTQ community. She is also a member of the Medical Libraries Association, which helps her stay up to date on patient health literacy issues and the latest information technology.
For more information on Amy’s journey as a certified genetic counselor, watch her story here on LinkedIn and contact her at amy.e.donahue@gmail.com

 Meet Sarah Hunt

Sarah Hunt is a certified genetic counselor specializing in oncology at Kaiser Permanente Colorado. A recent graduate from ABGC's certified genetic counseling program in December of 2017, she went on to pass her boards in February 2018. Sarah's relationship with genetic counseling evolved through her personal experience with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDc) or skeletal dysplasia.
Because of this experience, Sarah plays an active role in the organization called Little People of America and the expanded scope of the disabled community. Through her career as a certified genetic counselor, Sarah strives to encourage more individuals from the LPA/disability community to consider genetic counseling as a career.
"Being a genetic counselor with a genetic condition is tough sometimes, as my perspective is often totally different than that of others in my profession. I truly believe that my dwarfism is a strength in helping me connect with and advocate for families."
Sarah Hunt, CGC
Credit: Little People of America
For more information on Sarah's journey as a certified genetic counselor in oncology, contact here at Sarah.C.Hunt@kp.org.


Meet Diplomate Tara Maga, PhD, MS, CGC and Second Year Student Nina Hann

Spotlight on Clinical Supervision

Clinical supervision is an important activity that certified genetic counselors are called to fulfill as members of our professional society. This practice is supported by NSGC’s Code of Ethics, which guides genetic counselors to share their knowledge and provide mentorship and guidance for the professional development of their colleagues, including trainees. Successful clinical supervision requires reaching the right balance between commitment, intention, flexibility, and hard work. 
These traits to success can be found in ABGC's spotlighted Diplomates, Tara Maga, PhD, MS, CGC and second year student Nina Hann, a pair that exemplifies successful clinical supervision. Nina Hann, second year student at Northwestern University's Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling, rotated with Tara Maga, at the University of Illinois in Chicago in a cancer genetics clinic, serving patients with suspected hereditary cancer syndromes. 
The foundation of any successful relationship can be fostered by having an open mind while promoting honesty and respect. From Nina’s point of view, success comes with trusting the supervisor, as well as receiving not only concrete examples, but also constructive criticism and praise.

It is well known that successful clinical supervision is a significant time investment, but it looks like Tara figured out a way to make things work: she shares clinic administrative responsibilities with students, including scheduling, obtaining authorizations, and following up with laboratories. “Not only is this incredibly helpful in allowing us more time to focus on our student’s growth during their rotation, but I also believe it helps our students feel more confident in their own ability to run a clinic in the near future," Tara says.
Nina’s insights about the value of hard work have also grown as the result of this rotation. As she puts it: “The most valuable lesson was that your best learning experiences will be hard.”
Stay tuned for more spotlights on your fellow ABGC Diplomates and how they are furthering their careers in certified genetic counseling.