Dr. Deborah Cragun selected to genetic counseling board

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USF College of Public Health’s Dr. Deborah Cragun, assistant professor and director of the genetic counseling MSPH program, has been selected to the board of directors for the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). Her three-year term begins on July 1.

Deborah Cragun, PhD, MS, CGC (Photo courtesy of USF Health).

Deborah Cragun, PhD, MS, CGC (Photo courtesy of USF Health).

The ACGC is the specialized program accreditation board for educational training programs granting master’s degrees in genetic counseling. They advance the quality in genetic counseling education by developing standards, and by evaluating and accrediting programs.

As a board member, Cragun will help establish the standards of accreditation and evaluate programs against those standards to determine the program’s accreditation status.

Cragun’s appointment has come at a time where the ACGC will also be focusing on the rapidly growing workforce demands and growth. There are currently 43 programs in North America and the board is looking at the possibility of 30 more in the coming years. As a result the workforce has grown by 88% in the past 10 years.

“The COPH even officially welcomed its first class of students in the genetic counseling MSPH program last semester,” she said.

The program at the COPH is the first and only fully-accredited genetic counseling training program in the state and was established to meet the critical demand for certified genetic counselors in Florida, building graduate-level education in human genetics and genomics at USF.

“Some of the roads the ACGC will go down in the future will be ensuring employment and training for students, as well as maintaining the quality of the programs as we expand,” Cragun said. “I’m excited and think it will be a great challenge!”

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health