Health Center's Division Of
Relocates To West Hartford Office
By Pat Keefe
The Health Center's Division of Human Genetics has a new
home in the West Hartford office of UConn Health Partners.
Many programs of the division are now consolidated under one
roof, says Dr. Robert Greenstein, the director. Previously,
services were located on the Farmington campus and the Connecticut
Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
"We are very heavily involved in bringing new genetics
technology developments and research to the bedside, and providing
up-to-date patient counseling," he says. "We work with
patients, physicians and researchers throughout the UConn
community, to promote understandin g of the genetic basis of
diseases, and we strive toward the goal of remarkable care through
research and education."
The division supports two board-certified residencies in medical
genetics and participates in many outreach and public health
initiatives, including community education efforts for medical
groups and the lay public.
Programs of the Division of Human Genetics include:
- General Genetic Consultation Service:
Geneticists and genetic counselors see patients and their families
when birth defects or other inherited disorders occur, especially
when reproductive planning and risk of recurrence are at issue.
- Hereditary Cancer Program: This is a
consultation service that evaluates families and individuals
concerned about hereditary cancers. Specially trained genetic
counselors offer in-depth evaluations of families with multiple
cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.
Screening tests and management options may be advised, based on an
individual's cancer risk.
- Connecticut Pregnancy Exposure Information
Service: For women who are pregnant or planning to become
pregnant, the risk of exposure to dangerous substances via
medications or chemicals in the workplace may be cause for concern.
Anyone who is concerned about an exposure can call the Pregnancy
Exposure Information Service for prompt attention. Callers are
assigned to genetic counselors, who follow-up with information
about the specific exposure. The risk-line is staffed five days a
week and messages can be left after-hours. The phone number is
- Prenatal Genetic Counseling: Couples who are
planning to start a family and are concerned about the risk of
passing genetic conditions or birth defects on to their children,
can undergo counseling and testing to determine whether a pregnancy
may be affected with a birth defect or genetic condition. Board
certified genetic counselors work closely with physicians trained
in maternal fetal medicine to provide risk assessment, genetic
evaluation and prenatal diagnosis, as well as individualized
support for couples.
- Statewide Genetics Services Program: Working
with the state Department of Public Health and Yale University
Department of Genetics, the division provides genetics services in
underserved areas in eastern Connecticut. The division also
provides comprehensive metabolic treatment and management for
children and adults identified through the state's newborn
The division is also linked to other medical programs, such as
the Huntington's Disease Program and the Comprehensive
Hemophilia Center, and has launched a new program, a Lysosomal
Diseases Center, located in the Health Center's General
Clinical Research Center. The program offers clinical protocols for
the enzyme infusion of patients with Gaucher and Fabry diseases, as
well as other similar disorders.
The Division of Human Genetics is now located at UConn Health
Partners on 65 Kane Street in West Hartford. The phone number is
860.523.6499. For clinical appointments, call 860.523.6464.