Today we get back to our employee profile series, and we’re chatting with Heidi Gorringe, Senior Manager of the Medical Information Liaison team, who joined Myriad Genetics in 2010. As a certified genetic counselor, she is responsible for ensuring that healthcare providers and patients get reliable information about our genetic tests, results, and, well, pretty much anything else.

Q: What’s your role at Myriad Genetics?

A: The team I work with is the main touchpoint for providers or patients who have questions about our products. We answer medical questions that come in through our 800 number or through email and provide high-quality and timely customer support. We also spend a good amount of time reviewing orders to make sure the correct test was ordered for the patient.

Q: What brought you to Myriad Genetics?

A: My first experience with Myriad was a laboratory rotation as part of the genetic counseling program at the University of Utah. I enjoyed my time at Myriad so much and was really drawn to the patient-first focus the company has. In a given day, a genetic counselor might speak to a handful of patients and even more providers. I could really see the compounded impact of genetic counselors educating each provider and then having that provider use that information to educate and test so many patients. I was also drawn by the amazing community of genetic counselors here. It’s been great to work with so many experienced people who have helped me develop myself as a genetic counselor.

Q: How did you get interested in genetic counseling?

A: While I was doing my undergrad, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. My maternal aunt had also been diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age just a few years earlier. We had the opportunity to talk with a genetic counselor as part of that experience. The time she spent with us felt less medical and more compassionate than most clinical interactions. We were people to her, not just patients. That had a huge impact on me.

Q: How is it different to function as a genetic counselor within Myriad Genetics?

A: Our conversations with patients and providers are very similar to what would happen in a clinical setting. As genetic counselors, we provide the clinical voice for the company. The main difference is that we’re not making specific medical recommendations for patients; we refer them back to their healthcare provider for that.

Q: What’s something you wish more people knew about genetic testing?

A: I wish more people understood how readily available it is. There’s a misconception that it’s very expensive or that it’s out of reach for a lot of patients. But especially for hereditary cancer and prenatal screening, there’s extensive opportunity for people to get more information through genetic testing.

Q: How can people with questions get in touch with your team?

A: Myriad has genetic counselors available all through the patient journey. Patients or providers can call the Medical Information Liaison team at any time and we’re happy to answer questions and provide information. We can be reached via email at [email protected] or via phone at our general 800 number during business hours. Myriad also has genetic counselors in other positions throughout the company including the Patient Education team and Regional Medical Specialist teams that assist during other parts of the patient and provider journey. Having access to this kind of help is so important.

Q: What do you do when you’re not counseling patients and providers?

A: I love spending time with my family. My husband and I play in a softball league together. We also enjoy getting out and hiking in the mountains. Right now we’re looking forward to teaching our four-year-old how to ski and we’re trying to keep up with our 10-month-old son, who is just starting to walk.

Q: If you weren’t at Myriad Genetics, where would you be?

A: I could see myself working in education. I love learning and then sharing that knowledge through teaching.

Myriad Genetics at J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Paul J. Diaz, president and chief executive officer, Bryan Riggsbee, chief financial officer, and Dale Muzzey, chief scientific officer, presented at the 41st annual J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference.