Genetics Online Learning Modules - VA LEND

Submitted by: Joann Bodurtha (VA LEND in 2009)

January 13, 2009

Recent research and advances in genetics, such as the Human Genome Project, have increased knowledge of the role genetics plays in genetic syndromes associated with a variety of disabilities, as well as the role of genetics in common diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer disease.

In order to provide children, adults, and families with information about their health it is important for all health care providers to have an appreciation for the role of family health history in health and disease, to have knowledge of credible resources related to family health history, and to know when to make a referral to a geneticist or genetic counselor. The impact of newborn screening also is of public health and pediatric importance.

All of these interactive modules are free.  Each incorporates three cases in which the learner reaches different outcomes based on their decision path. They have been field tested and evaluated by a variety of health care providers and graduate students. These modules may be integrated as part of a lecture or course, given as a learning activity, or provided as a resource. LEND programs are encouraged to consider incorporating the modules to further incorporate genetic counseling into LEND training.

The modules may be used for educational purposes provided proper credit is given to the authors and funding source. These modules were developed through the Virginia LEND Program in collaboration with Instructional Technology in the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. Support for the project is provided through a grant from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities with funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration (Grant # AUCDGC04-11).

Questions or concerns regarding the Genetics Learning Modules should be directed to Dr. Joann Bodurtha.


Genetic Awareness Learning Module

The goal of this module is to increase the genetic awareness of all LEND professionals. Composed of three interactive stories about families with genetic diagnoses, the modules illustrate various aspects of genetic awareness. Links to Internet-based resources are also included. This module was developed by Meghan Strenk, a 2006 LEND genetic counseling trainee at the VA-LEND.

Family History Learning Module

The purpose of this module is to increase the understanding of family health history of health care professionals from a variety of disciplines, provide educational resources, and give examples of cases where genetics referrals can make a difference.  This module was developed by Nora Alexander, a 2007 LEND genetic counseling trainee at the VA-LEND,

Newborn Screening Module

This goal of this module is to increase the understanding of newborn screening and it's link with genetics, provide educational resources, and give examples of cases how newborn screening can make a difference.