Amy Vance, MS, CGC, Genetic Counselor, Bay Area Genetic Counseling
“Family history risk assessment is an important genetic screening which reveals real risks to offspring that are not detectable by a genetic screening test. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to get essential information that can better ensure a healthy pregnancy outcome.”
Amy Vance is a Board Certified and Licensed Genetic Counselor and founder of Bay Area Genetic Counseling, a consulting practice specializing in genetic risk assessment for gamete donors and fertility patients. She is respected as a leader and innovator among genetic counselors. BAGC is a boutique genetic counseling practice with an internationally recognized reputation as a leader and expert in the field of reproductive genetic counseling. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she serves clients from around the country and the globe.
Family history risk assessment is the process of gathering and analyzing the family history by a genetic counselor to understand risks and offer appropriate genetic testing. Assessment of the family history is the first step in identifying a possible genetic component to disease. Some important concepts when evaluating a family history for genetic disease include multiple family members with the same disorder, ethnic predisposition to certain diseases, and early age of onset of the condition. The assessment includes a full family history evaluation, data about diseases in the family and risk to offspring, recommendations for genetic testing, full summary letter and family tree. Family history screening provides different information than genetic testing, helping intended parents to make decisions on which donor candidates to work with, based on their own family medical history and that of the donor.
Amy attended Miami University of Ohio and graduated with a B.A. in Zoology. She received her graduate degree from the University of Cincinnati, earning a full scholarship for her graduate work. She has provided genetic counseling since 1991, with clinical experience and significant expertise in prenatal, pediatric, adult, cancer, and reproductive genetics. She founded BAGC in 2001 and has enjoyed serving countless IVF clinics and over 25 ovum donor agencies since opening her practice.
Amy has contributed original research to the field of reproductive genetic counseling for many years. Her area of interest in research has focused on the importance of family history risk assessment for gamete donors and couples prior to IVF. This research is ongoing and has been presented at several national meetings. Through her advisory role with Society for Ethics in Egg donation and Surrogacy [SEEDS], she has written guidelines for genetic counseling that aim to strengthen the value and need for the Genetics Consult for all ovum donors.
Amy has served on the board of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s Genetic Counseling Special Interest Group since 2002 and has chaired the National Society of Genetic Counseling ART Group. She is a Clinical Advisor for Good Start Genetics and is the Genetic Counseling Advisor for the SEEDS. Ms. Vance has authored four published papers, many published abstracts, as well as 10 entries in the Gail Encyclopedia of Genetic Conditions. She has written newsletter articles and has delivered numerous invited presentations. She has taught in courses for the Genetic Counseling Program at the University of California, Berkeley and has supervised genetic counseling interns from various genetic counseling programs.