Myriad Genetics Supports New Genetic Counseling Program at Xavier University of Louisiana
Myriad Genetics is passionate about helping people lead healthier lives through the power of genetic insights. Our contribution comes in the form of industry-leading genetic tests, but we count on many other partners to bring the value of these tests to individuals — perhaps none more so than genetic counselors, who help determine whether a test is appropriate for each patient and then interpret results so that every patient can make the most of their genetic insights.
Unfortunately, as the availability of genetic testing has expanded over the years, the number of genetic counselors has not kept up. As of 2019, there were 4,700 certified genetic counselors in the U.S., and demand for these experts is growing rapidly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow by 26% by 2030, much faster than projected growth for most jobs.
That’s why Myriad Genetics has been a longtime supporter of genetic counselor training programs. Now, we’re proud to announce a donation to Xavier University of Louisiana to support the development of its new Genetic Counseling Program and to provide student scholarships.
In addition to supporting the next generation of genetic counselors, this gift is also designed to help improve diversity in this important field. According to recent studies, just 2% of active genetic counselors identify as Black or African American. Xavier University of Louisiana, an HBCU that is a nationally recognized leader in the health sciences, has a long track record of educating students who go on to successful careers in medicine, pharmacy, and related fields.
In an announcement about this donation, Myriad Genetics’ head of diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement, Gwen Turner, said: “Xavier is a prestigious Historically Black university with a rich legacy of preparing students for the workforce. New programs in genetic counseling and informatics will help cultivate the next generation of genetic counselors of color and expand diversity in healthcare.”
Dr. Anne McCall, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana, stated: “The development of this program reflects Xavier honoring our mission to strive for a more just and humane society through education.” “This program will allow us to focus on prioritizing healthcare and research in medicine. Xavier has been a leader in serving and overcoming health disparities for almost a century, and we, as leaders in education, science and health, are proud to partner with an industry leader like Myriad Genetics to develop this program and help expand opportunities for our students.”
We look forward to working with the team at Xavier to identify more opportunities to support this program and the overall goal of improving diversity among genetic counselors.