Meet the Board

The Board of Directors shall appoint a President, Chairman of the Board, Secretary/Treasurer, Western Regional Representative, Northern Regional Representative, Central Regional Representative, and Eastern Regional Representative. At the end of the appointed term, the immediate President will become the Past-President and the appointed member will assume the office of the President. 

Martha Thomas
Martha ThomasPresident

I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008. I currently practice as a cancer genetic counselor at the University of Virginia. Previously, I have worked at Martha Jefferson Hospital (2013-2014) and UTHSCSA (2008-2013) as both an adult and pediatric cancer genetic counselor.

In my role as President I serve as the representative for VaAGC members through media, legislative, and other public interactions. I also chair conference calls and meetings of the VaAGC Officers and meetings of the general membership. I also serve on the Bylaws and Public Policy committee. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions regarding VaAGC as an organization or if you would like to get involved in VaAGC.
Elizabeth Chisholm Spears
Elizabeth Chisholm SpearsPast-President

I graduated from Brandeis University. I currently work as a Patient Education Liaison for patients with lysosomal storage disorders with Sanofi Genzyme. Previously, I have worked at the Children’s Hospital of The Kings Daughters, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Huntsman Cancer Institute.

In my role as Past President, I work to maintain continuity from one administration to the next.
Casey McKenna
Casey McKennaSecretary

I graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2013. I currently practice as a senior genetic counselor in cancer and ocular genetics at InformedDNA. Previously, I have worked at the University of Virginia as a pediatric and lysosomal genetic counselor.

In my role as secretary, my job is to keep minutes during officer meetings and maintain organization documents. I also serve on the Website Design and Maintenance committee. Please feel free to contact me.
Brooke Spangler
Brooke SpanglerTreasurer

I graduated from Indiana University in 2008. I currently practice as a genetic counselor at Lineagen, Inc. Previously, I have worked as a genetic counselor in the Medical Genetics and Metabolism Clinic at the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.

In my role as treasurer, I plan and implement funding of the VaAGC’s key activities and projects. I also serve on the Membership committee.
Amy Kenney
Amy KenneyEastern Representative

I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I currently practice as a genetic counselor at the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters. Previously, I have worked at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

In my role as Eastern Representative, my job is to represent genetic counselors in the Central Virginia region and serve as a point of contact at VAAGC for genetic counselors in this region. I also serve on the Communication and Outreach committee.
Kara Withrow
Kara WithrowCentral Representative

I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002. I currently practice as a Remote Senior Genetic Counselor, Clinical Genomics Program, GeneDx. Previously, I have worked as Genetic counselor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

In my role as Central Regional Representative, my job is to represent genetic counselors in the Central Virginia region and serve as a point of contact at VAAGC for genetic counselors in this region. I also serve on the Membership Committee. Please feel free to contact me if you are a genetic counselor new to the central Virginia region or have any questions about VAAGC, or if you are interested in joining the membership committee.
Lydia Higgs
Lydia HiggsWestern Representative

I graduated from Arcadia University in 2015. I currently practice as a Clinical Genetic Counselor in Oncology at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA. Previously, I have worked as a cancer genetic counselor at the University of Virginia.

In my role as Western Region Representative, my job is to serve as the contact for regional resources and educational opportunities. I also serve on the State Meeting & Education committee. Please feel free to contact me if there are regional informational updates that VAAGC should be made aware of, if there are educational or employment opportunities within the region that should be disseminated among members, if connections between regional genetic counselors and/or officers are needed, or if there are any other questions that I may address or pass along to the most-appropriate individual.
Val Kantor
Val KantorNorthern Representative

I graduated from University of Maryland, in 2011. I currently serve as Medical Science Liaison for Natera. Previously, I have worked at three Maternal Fetal Medicine centers.

In my role as Northern Region Representative, my job is to serve as the contact for regional resources and educational opportunities. I also serve on the State Meeting & Education committee. I also serve on the State Meeting & Education committee. Please feel free to contact me if there are regional informational updates that VAAGC should be made aware of, if there are educational or employment opportunities within the region that should be disseminated among members, if connections between regional genetic counselors and/or officers are needed, or if there are any other questions that I may address or pass along to the most-appropriate individual.
Melanie Hardy
Melanie HardyBoard of Directors
I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2011. I currently practice as the assistant director of genetic counseling services at JScreen, Emory University. Previously, I have worked as prenatal genetic counselor at HCA Hospitals in Richmond and Spotsylvania.

In my role as a board member, my role is to elect/confirm officers and participate in officer meetings. I also serve on the Website Design and Maintenance committee
Lauren Vanner Nicely
Lauren Vanner NicelyBoard of Directors
I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984. I currently practice as a genetic counselor at VCU Medical Center. Previously, I have worked as genetic counselor at Greenwood Genetic Center & Medical University of South Carolina.

In my role as a board member, my role is to elect/confirm officers and participate in officer meetings. I also serve on the Bylaws and Public Policy committee
Shawn Lipinski
Shawn LipinskiBoard of Directors
I graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2004. I currently practice as a genetic counselor at Virginia Cancer Specialists. Previously, I have worked as a genetic counselor at the University of Virginia and O and O Alpan.

In my role as a board member, my role is to elect/confirm officers and participate in officer meetings. I also serve on the Communication and Outreach committee.

WHO WE ARE

The VaAGC facilitates communication among counselors in Virginia and serves as a resource for delivering relevant information to the public.

Get in Touch

Address
PO Box 15639
1100 Battlefield Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23328

Email
info@vaagc.com

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