This seven-session, web-based conference series will provide information on genetic services for medically underserved populations, focusing on the rural, Appalachian region. The goal is to set an agenda for care provision and research in the Appalachian region. A question and answer session will follow each presentation.

Conference Objectives

  1. To provide an overview of current models of genetics services in the rural, Appalachian region.
  2. To provide potential resources for genetics service delivery in the rural, Appalachian region.
  3. To establish a list of priorities for future genetics research in the rural, Appalachian region.


The conference is free of cost to participants. Please register by clicking on this link:

We will email you a Zoom link to join the conference.


The conference is on the first Tuesday of each month from Noon - 1 p.m.

October 5, 2021: Introduction/Genetics Services in West Virginia
Dr. Nadia Falah will discuss the genetics model/role of genetic assistants in WV.

The recorded session can be found here:

Click here to read the session transcript.

Dr. Falah is an Assistant Professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine within the Department of Medicine, section of Pediatrics. Dr. Falah has a joint appointment at the WVU Cancer Institute and runs a Cancer Genetics Clinic with an interest in breast cancer. In addition to her clinical experience, Dr. Nadia Falah has published peer-reviewed articles in the field of genetics. Dr. Falah has an interest in underserved populations. Her clinic is based in Morgantown WV, and she also sees patients via telehealth around the state of WV.

November 2, 2021: Genetics Services in Appalachian Kentucky
Justine Cooper Pickarski, MS, CGC and Margaret Au, MS, CGC will discuss the genetic service delivery model at the University of Kentucky.

The recorded session can be found here:

Click here to read the session transcript.

Margaret Au, MS, CGC is the genetic counselor supervisor for Pediatric Genetics & Metabolism at UK HealthCare. Thus far in her career, she has cultivated genetic counseling expertise in a variety of settings, including research, public health, and pediatrics. As part of the pediatric/general genetic counseling team at UK, she is privileged to serve as a guide on the diagnostic odyssey and engage in shared decision making with patients and families being evaluated for a wide range of indications. She completed her master’s degree in genetic counseling at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and has a master of bioethics degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Justine Cooper Pickarski, MS, CGC is a Licensed Genetic Counselor at the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center and is responsible for providing programmatic leadership for genetic counseling services at Markey Cancer Center. She has provided genetic counseling services to patients in Kentucky for over 10 years and has helped establish outreach clinics and telehealth services for cancer patients and their families.

December 7, 2021: Genetics Services in Appalachian Pennsylvania
Shenin Dettwyler, MS, CGC and Julia Stone, MS, CGC will discuss the genetics delivery model at the University of Pittsburgh.

The recorded session can be found here: 

Click here to read the session transcript.

Shenin Dettwyler, MS, CGC received her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from the University of Michigan in 2016. She has 5 years of clinical experience, and previously worked for the cancer genetics programs at Michigan Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She recently transitioned to a research-focused position at NYU Langone’s Pancreatic Cancer Center. 

Julia Stone, MS, CGC received her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in 2018. She has three years of clinical experience in the prenatal, cancer, and adult genetics programs through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Julia recently transitioned to the UPMC Clinical Genomics Laboratory where she is primarily involved with the workflows for hereditary cancer gene panels and whole exome sequencing.

January 4, 2022: Free Resources for Telegenetics from NYMAC
Alissa Terry, MS, CGC will summarize existing support resources for programs from the federally-funded New York-Mid Atlantic Caribbean Regional Genetics Network (NYMAC).

The recorded session can be found here: 
Please note that one slide was repeated due to technical difficulties.

Click here to read the session transcript.

Alissa Bovee Terry, MS, CGC is a Genetic Counselor in New York State and has been working with the federally funded New York Mid-Atlantic Caribbean (NYMAC) Regional Genetics Network for the past 6 years.  Currently, Ms. Bovee Terry serves as the Project Director and Telegenetics Navigator for NYMAC. Ms. Bovee Terry received her BA in Biology from Cornell University, and her ScM in Genetic Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.  Ms. Bovee Terry has worked in various capacities for the Genetic Counseling Program at the Ferre Institute since 2006.

February 1, 2022: Genetics Nursing
Dr. Rebecca Kronk will discuss the role of nurses in genetics services and share information regarding the International Society of Nurses in Genetics.

The recorded session can be found here:

Click here to read the session transcript.

Dr. Kronk is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Duquesne University School of Nursing in Pittsburgh. She is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and has her PhD in Developmental Psychology. Her clinical career has focused on children with a range of developmental and genetic conditions. She helped to establish the Fragile X center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. This achievement affected inter-professional practice and education at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh and this interdisciplinary center is internationally recognized as part of the Fragile X International Clinic Consortium. Dr. Kronk has served as the President of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics from 2020-2021. She was recently awarded an R25 grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health to improve nurses' literacy in genetics and genomics to benefit their research, clinical practice, and teaching, in order to improve patient health care outcomes, particularly those from underrepresented communities.

March 1, 2022: Genetics Outreach in Medically-Underserved Populations
Dr. Kristi Graves will discuss genetics outreach research in medically-underserved populations, as well as her work in cancer telegenetics.

The recorded session can be found here:

Click here to read the session transcript.

Dr. Graves received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and completed post-doctoral training at the University of Kentucky. She is a tenured Associate Professor of Oncology and in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program. In January 2021, Dr. Graves began serving as the Associate Dean for Faculty Development at Georgetown University Medical Center. Her research focuses on cancer survivorship and translational genomics, with a particular emphasis on community engagement and addressing health disparities. Dr. Graves is co-leading an R01-funded project to explore symptoms experienced by patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer who received radioactive iodine treatment. She is Site PI on an R01 to evaluate an expressive helping writing intervention to reduce symptoms among patients treated with stem cell transplant. Another area in which Dr. Graves conducts work is raising awareness about genetic counseling and testing in underserved communities. She is a multiple principal investigator on an NCI-R25 award to train community health educators, patient navigators and promotoras about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in Latinos. This training project is called ARBOLES Familiares (Family Tree).

April 5, 2022: Wrap Up
Dr. Kimberly Kelly will provide a summary of the conference and help develop an agenda for genetic services/delivery in the Appalachian region.

The recorded session can be found here:

Click here to read the session transcript.


System Requirements

Internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)

Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth

Webcam or HD Webcam – built-in or USB plug-in

HD cam or HD camcorder with video capture card

Supported Operating Systems

macOS X with macOS 10.7 or later, Windows 10, 8 or 8.1, 7, Vista with SP1 or later, XP with SP3 or later

Supported Tablet and Mobile Devices

Surface PRO 2 running Win 8.1, Surface PRO 3 running Win 10, iOS and Android devices

Supported Browsers

Windows – Google Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, IE 11+, Edge 12+

Mac – Google Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Safari 7+

For assistance with login issues, please contact us at 304-293-7335.

For general questions, please contact Kimberly Kelly PhD, MS or Dr. Ginger Scott PhD.

This seminar series is supported through a research grant from the Agency for Health Research and Quality (R13 HS027928-01A).