Ferre Genetic Counseling: Our Program

Ferre Institute’s Genetic Counseling Program has pioneered a unique approach to comprehensive genetic services. We have been molding the concept of community-based genetic services through our clinical efforts in much of upstate NY. During our 30 year history of providing exemplary genetic counseling services, we have reached out to many underserved areas and have aimed to find cost effective approaches to providing genetic services. Today, we are proud to have created a community of medical providers that depend on our services in 23 counties of upstate NY.

Our mission is to assure access to the practical application of genetic counseling for patients and their medical providers in the communities where they live and work, and promote public awareness of genetics in everyday life. The referring health practitioner joins the genetic counselor in the genetic evaluation and testing process, and no client is turned away for inability to pay. The term “community-based” is a common descriptor that can hold various meanings within the genetics community. Ours is a true collaborative clinical model that enhances clinical care and forms the foundation for ongoing education of health practitioners.

The Human Genome Project has launched us into new areas of adult genetics: familial cancer, neurological and cardiovascular disorders. Genetic services now must provide genetic risk assessment, evaluation and counseling across the life cycle. We are now committed to take on the challenge of “genomics”, risk stratification, and genotyping as new tools in addressing common conditions. The professional genetics staff at Ferre Institute has responded to this significant expansion and application of genetic information and genetic testing options.

The Genetic Counseling Program is under the administrative umbrella of Ferre Institute, Inc. Our administrative office is based in Binghamton, NY. Unlike most genetics programs, we are not affiliated with a university or medical center. “Ferre” (which means, “to bear” in Latin) was established in 1974 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of professionals and consumers on issues of infertility and family building and genetic risk.


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Text for this site provided by Erin Houghton, MS, CGC Genetic Counselor, Ferre Institute, Inc