Genetic Testing Clinic (GTC)

The Genetic Testing Clinic (GTC) is a specialized group of genetic counselors found on-site at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The GTC team works closely with doctors throughout Children’s who wish to refer their patients for genetic testing.

The GTC's roles are to:

  • Work with your referring doctor.
  • Check with insurance specialists to assess your coverage.
  • Arrange and handle proper testing.
  • Counsel you, your child, and family members about the genetic testing process.
  • Help explain results (if your doctor requests).

Doctors will refer patients to the GTC when they think symptoms or features could be from a genetic cause.

A referral from a Children's Hospital specialist is required to be seen at the Genetic Testing Clinic. Please ask your doctor for more information.

Your Visit to the Genetic Testing Clinic

How do I make an appointment with the GTC?

Once your referring Children's specialist requests a consult at the GTC, you can choose one of two options — same-day or scheduled appointments.

  • Same-day visit to the GTC: Same-day appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. We're open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. When you get to the clinic, please check in with the discharge staff to ask about open appointment times.
  • Scheduled clinic visit: You can make an appointment with a genetic counselor for a later date.

What can I expect at the first visit to the GTC?

You will meet with a genetic counselor to learn more about the genetic testing your doctor suggests.

The counselor will ask about you or your child’s:

  • Developmental history
  • Medical history
  • Family history

He or she will explain the genetic testing with you in detail.

If you decide to have genetic testing, the genetic counselor will work with the insurance authorization team to assess your coverage. Often this requires a second visit to the GTC for the blood draw.

Some genetic tests need sign-off from patients or family members to confirm their:

  • Consent to the testing.
  • Understanding of the benefits and limitations of testing.

The genetic counselor will share these details with you.

What can I expect after genetic testing is complete?

Based on your and your referring doctor's preference, you may receive test results from your doctor or the GTC counselor.

In either case, you will likely make an appointment to learn the results. Your doctor or counselor will explain the results and what they mean for you and your family members.

Items you might discuss include:

  • Prognosis — what happens in the short- and long-term to others with the same genetic disease.
  • Treatment — what medicine, therapies, or other treatments might be available.
  • Recurrence risks — the likelihood that the same condition would happen in another family member.
  • Further testing — what other tests you or your child might need and how other family members can get testing if needed.

How do I get to the GTC inside UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh?

  1. If you're already here for an outpatient appointment, please take the GRAPE elevators down to the main lobby (first floor).
  2. Check in with the Welcome Center in the main lobby to receive a sticker name badge. You will need to provide photo ID.
  3. Take the ORANGE elevators to the sixth floor, and follow the signs toward the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU).
  4. Go to the registration area on the right side when you enter the 6e EEG/EMU hallway.
  5. Please use the self-check-in kiosk in the GTC waiting room. Staff members are happy to help if needed.

Contact the Genetic Testing Clinic

To learn more about genetic counseling or to make an appointment with the Genetic Testing Clinic, call 412-692-5070. If you need a medical genetics evaluation, please contact the General Genetics Clinic.

Genetic Testing Clinic Staff

Sarah Drewes, MS, LCGC
Genetic Counselor

Andrew McCarty, MS, LCGC
Genetic Counselor

Christine Munro, MS, MPH, LCGC
Genetic Counselor

Jodie Vento, MGC, LCGC
Genetic Counselor
Supervisor

Locations

  • Genetic Testing Clinic (GTC)

    UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Floor 6
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224