The 2021 NSGC conference marks the 40th annual meeting for our organization—a landmark which signifies the strength and growth of the genetic counseling profession over the past four decades.
Perhaps no time throughout that history has brought more change than the past two years, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care delivery has been upended, and genetic counselors have made incredible efforts to maintain the care and guidance their patients need. Even with many services forced to remain virtual, genetic counselors have found a way to maintain a connection.
The same is true of our conference itself, which will once again be virtual to protect the health, safety, and well-being of attendees during the pandemic. While we are disappointed to not see you all in person, we know the conference will still provide an exciting opportunity for us to exchange ideas, research, and innovations.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Forward.” As a profession genetic counseling has come a long way, and we are proud to recognize the many achievements of the field. We recognize, however, that it is important to learn from the past and there remains much progress to be made. The conference will serve as a chance to share our vision of how genetic counseling can become more inclusive and innovative.
During the conference’s State of Society session we will review the progress made on our current strategic initiatives over the past year, including major work in the areas of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (J.E.D.I.), federal and state advocacy, research around the value of our services, and ensuring access for our patients. We will also share our new 2022-2024 strategic plan for the first time, outlining where we are headed over the next three years.
Additional sessions throughout the conference will showcase research findings about how the world of genetic counseling can make strides toward more justice, equity, and inclusion. Elizabeth Fieg will present “The Devil is in the Details,” a session on addressing race-based medicine and health care disparities in genetic counseling. Dorothy Roberts will present the Beverly Rollnick Lecture on race-based medicine. And Laura Amendola will lead a presentation on a randomized trial studying the Accessible, Relational, Inclusive, and Actionable (ARIA) model of genetic counseling. Our field has significant progress to make in order to increase diversity and prioritize marginalized voices, and continued research and emphasis on topics like these are part of that process.
The annual conference will foster opportunities to advance your professional development no matter your area of interest or specialty, with more than 40 sessions available to attend.
Carrying out this 40th annual conference is a significant milestone for NSGC. From advancing awareness of the importance of the field of genetic counseling to strengthening diversity and inclusion efforts, we have so much to strive for and look forward to. The conference is a preview of our profession’s future, and if the breadth of research and knowledge at this year’s event is any evidence, we can’t wait for what’s in store in our future.