Christiana Care Health System announced this week its role in a new master’s degree program that will prepare students to guide families in understanding the risk of genetic disorders.
Officially titled the Human Genetics & Genetic Counseling program, the master’s degree is a partnership between Christiana Care and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Zohra Ali-Khan Catts is the co-director of the masters program. She said genetic counselors test for things like a predisposition for breast cancer or cardiovascular disease.
"And so that’s really critical because if we can prevent somebody from dying, we want to be able to give that information to the families and make sure they don’t take certain drugs that can aggravate their condition," Ali-Khan Catts said.
Students will do most of their coursework at Jefferson and then rotate into Christiana Hospital in Newark and Wilmington Hospital, as well as outpatient settings.
There are only 37 genetic counseling degree programs in the U-S.
Applicants for the program are being accepted for Sept. 2017.