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Medical Genetic Services

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Medical Genetic Services offers children and adults comprehensive evaluation, counseling and care for inherited disorders.

These services may help clarify risks to individuals and families, provide a diagnosis for unexplained symptoms, and identify a new need for specialized care.

Information is also provided for testing, clinical trials and support organizations.

Frequently asked questions

DNA ​Banking

Q: What is DNA Banking?

A: DNA banking is a way to store a DNA sample, to possibly be used in the future.

Q: What is involved?

A: A blood sample is taken and a consent form is signed, with brief counseling. DNA is stored for a number of years for you or your designee, for a nominal cost. After giving the sample, you or your designee have access to the sample for a number of years.

Q: What are the benefits?

A: Genetics is evolving, and new testing for the sample may be available in the future, possibly providing important information for the family.

Q: What testing is done on the DNA?

A: None, unless the person or their designee requests it. The DNA is only stored.

Q: Who should consider it?

A: Any family with a strong history of conditions, i.e. cancer, heart disease or diabetes, or an individual with a rare or unusual condition of unknown cause, possibly genetic.

Q: Where is DNA Banking available?

A: DNA Banking is currently available at Marshfield Medical Research Foundation.

Genetic Evalu​​ation

A genetic evaluation may:

  • Help clarify risks
  • Provide a diagnosis for unexplained symptoms
  • Provide information for family members
  • Identify a new need for specialized care
  • Be a resource for new testing, clinical trials, and support organizations


  • Gather information through family tree, physical examination, records
  • Assess any genetic risks to individuals and family members
  • Educate about issues and diagnoses, and provide recommendations
  • Offer pertinent testing
  • Provide support, counseling
  • Refer as needed to other specialists or to other services, such as support groups, clinical trials

The age groups typically seen and types of consults we offer are:

Pre-conceptual for couples considering a pregnancy. Examples include a family history of Down syndrome or a known history of a genetic condition

Prenatal services for concerned expectant couples due to advanced maternal age, abnormal triple screen results or abnormal ultrasound findings

Pediatric/Adult of any age concerning multiple unexplained distinctive features or strong family history of cancer

Specialized clinics for individuals with cleft lip and/or palate, cystic fibrosis and Huntington disease.

Common questions​​​ about a genetic evaluation​

Q-Will my insurance cover it?

A-Each insurance plan is unique. More are covering evaluations, typically after a physician has made the referral. In some cases, we can help with this.

Q-Will you test me for all sorts of conditions?

A-After a careful explanation of any testing, you decide whether to have it done. Testing is never forced on anyone.

Q-Will you tell me things I do not want to know?

A-In terms of genetic risks, we try our best to focus the discussion on issues people are comfortable pursuing.