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Simmons Receives Major Grant to Start Genetic Program

BOSTON (December 20, 2004) — The Simmons College School of Health Sciences has received a $495,521 grant from the Gruss-Lipper Foundation to establish a new program in genetic counseling.

Simmons, in partnership with Brandeis University, will offer a graduate certificate program to healthcare students and professionals to study the biological, cultural, legal, and ethical dimensions of human and medical genetics.

The program, which will be offered online September 2005, addresses a growing need for qualified professionals to help in the field of clinical genetics counseling. The program is geared toward nurses, social workers, and other health professionals working with clientele impacted by, or at risk for developing, genetic disorders.

Graduates of the program will be equipped to discuss matters of general genetic concern with clients, as well as make appropriate referrals to other medical specialists.

"There are many health and mental health professionals who routinely encounter people affected by genetic illness, yet there is no easy way for these professionals to get access to good genetic information which they can apply to their practice," said Gerald P. Koocher, dean of the Simmons College School of Health Sciences.

Simmons College has a long tradition of providing professional preparation in the healthcare field. The coeducational and nationally accredited School of Health Sciences includes four graduate programs: nursing (advanced primary care), nutrition and health promotion, health care administration, and physical therapy.