Learning that your child may have a genetic condition can be a frightening and confusing time. We are available to help in finding a diagnosis for your child, as well as to explain genetic testing options and results. Our goal is to support you and your family with your emotional as well as your medical needs.
Prior to requesting an appointment, you will need to obtain a referral from your physician. If you are a patient outside the Cleveland Clinic Health System, please have your physician complete a referral form and fax to 216.445.6935. To learn more about how to prepare for your appointment, review the "Before your visit" tab.
The Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare’s (CPGH) is committed to providing comprehensive clinical genetic services, education and support to patients and family members. Our team of genetic experts will work with other Cleveland Clinic primary care providers and specialists to personalized your child's care by incorporating their genetic information into their overall health care plan.
- Angelika Erwin, MD, PhD
- Timothy Moss, MD, PhD
- Marvin Natowicz, MD, PhD
- Apostolos Psychogios, MD, FACMG
- Vickie Zurcher, MD, FAAP, FACMG
- Ryan Noss, MS, LGC
- Lauren Palange, MS, LGC
- Allison Schreiber, MS, LGC
- Amy Shealy, MS, LGC
You should consider having your child evaluated by a genetics expert, if they have a family and/or personal history of the following:
- Developmental delay or learning difficulties
- Birth defects, such as spina bifida, cleft palate, brain malformations, heart defects, etc.
- Unusual physical features
- Hearing loss
- Abnormal growth
- Muscular dystrophy or other neuromuscular disorder
- An abnormal genetic test result
- A known or suspected genetic condition
- A family history of a genetic condition
- Parents interested in learning about recurrence risks
Contact your child's primary care provider or the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare (CPGH) to discuss whether a genetic counseling evaluation is appropriate for your child.
During Your Child's Visit
We will provide personalized expert counseling and education to you and your family. A pediatric genetics expert (genetic counselor and/or clinical geneticist) will meet with you and your child to determine the most appropriate way to help your family. Your child may also be scheduled with other Cleveland Clinic pediatric specialists during their visit based on their medical needs and physician availability.
Our comprehensive method for genetic counseling involves:
- Diagnosis of a genetic condition through review of family and medical history, examination by a clinical geneticist, and if appropriate, genetic testing
- Review of any abnormal genetic test results (if applicable)
- Education about your specific diagnosis and any associated health risks if known
- Suggestions for future medical care to optimize your health
- Discussion of health risks to family members
- Recommendations regarding genetic testing for at-risk family members and coordination of testing, if desired
Following Your Child's Visit
After your child's visit, it may take anywhere from a few days up to two weeks for their clinical appointment notes to reach the healthcare providers that you requested to receive a copy. We are also glad to communicate with your child's healthcare providers about his/her case as needed. You are always welcome to follow up with us with questions regarding your child's visit.
Prior to requesting an appointment, you should obtain a referral from your child's physician. If your child is a patient outside the Cleveland Clinic Health System, please have your child's physician complete a referral form and fax to 216.445.6935.
Collect Your Family Health History
To make the most out of your child's appointment, you should gather family health history information prior to their appointment. Specifically, it may be helpful to talk with relatives about the following:
- Does anyone have a known genetic disorder or has anyone had genetic testing?
- Does anyone have learning problems and/or autistic spectrum disorder?
- Has anyone been born with a birth defect(s)?
- Are there any family members with unusual physical findings or abnormal growth patterns?
- Have any children died young?
- Are there any relatives with seizures or epilepsy?
- Has anyone experienced three or more miscarriages?
- What is your ancestry (ex. Irish, German) and is there any Ashkenazi Jewish, Mediterranean, African American, Asian, French-Canadian, or Cajun ancestry?
Collect Your Child's Medical Records
If your child is a patient outside the Cleveland Clinic Health System, you should send an authorization for the release of medical records form to each external facility. You may arrange to have medical records fax (30 pages or less) to our department, 216.445.6935 or sent postal mail.
Release of medical information
Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare
Attn: Pediatric Genetics
9500 Euclid Ave. NE50
Cleveland, OH 44195
Genetic counseling and testing are billed as two separate services.
Many insurance companies will cover 96040, which is the CPT code for genetic counseling. However, we do ask that you check with your insurance company to verify that your plan does cover the cost. If your plan does not cover 96040, please contact us at 216.636.1768 and we can discuss the proper payment arrangements with you.
If genetic testing is indicated, your genetic counselor will discuss costs and insurance coverage during your appointment.
Some patients are concern that their genetic information may be used against them. To learn about your patient rights and protections in place to prevent genetic discrimination, read our article on GINA.
Genetic discrimination fact sheet (GINA)
To learn more about billing options and financial assistance, review our billing and insurance information.
Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare
Desk T10 (1st Floor)
Desk S60 (6th Floor)
To schedule an appointment, please call 216.636.1768 or 800. 998.4785.