Genetic counselor joins Grand Valley Oncology

Rachel Lawrence

A genetic counselor has joined Grand Valley Oncology at Community Hospital in Grand Junction.

Rachel Lawrence brings to her practice training in prenatal, pediatric, cancer, ocular and adult general genetics. She works with patients diagnosed with cancer, including breast, colon, endometrial, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Many patients Rachel works with have a family history of cancer or known disease-causing mutation in their families. Referrals for genetic counseling must come from primary care physicians.

“I like to think of genetic counselors as a being a translator of sorts,” Lawrence said. “I love being able to convey complex or overwhelming information in a digestible and accessible way. I aim to meet my patients where they are at and support them in their decision making.”

Lawrence has worked in genetic counseling for two years and received board certification in August. She holds a master’s degree in human genetics and genetic counseling from Thomas Jefferson University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware with a major in psychology and double minors in biology and genetic counseling.

Sarah Watson, practice director for Grand Valley Oncology, hailed the addition. “We are extremely fortunate and excited to have Rachel at Grand Valley Oncology. As the only genetic counselor in the Grand Valley, Rachel helps patients and family members assess hereditary cancer risks as well as address the need for increased screening and eligibility for targeted treatment.”

Grand Valley Oncology offers a range of cancer treatment options, including gynecological, medical and radiation oncology as well as clinical trials, genetic counseling, social services and a survivorship program. Grand Valley Oncology operates a Commission on Cancer accredited program and also received the Patient-Centered Specialty Practice designation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.