Center for Clinical Genetics and Genomics
Center for Clinical Genetics and Genomics
Genetics is the first step in prevention, as DNA plays an important role in your medical health. The Providence Center for Clinical Genetics and Genomics can help you understand how genetics influences your health and that of your family members.
While our focus is hereditary cancer, we also meet with people who have a personal or family history of inherited forms of cardiovascular or neurological disease, individuals and couples interested in preconception carrier screening, and those with concerns for other familial conditions. In addition, our medical geneticist manages a wide range of genetic disorders for adult patients. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how we can help.
One in three Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime, and at least 10 percent of these cancers are hereditary. Advancements in medicine have identified certain risk factors that may influence an individual’s chance of developing a variety of cancer types.
Providence Center for Clinical Genetics and Genomics offers risk assessment, genetic testing and genetic counseling for people concerned about their personal and/or family history of cancer. We also assist individuals with newly diagnosed cancers in determining what surgical and medical treatments may be most appropriate based on test results. Some hereditary cancers, such as breast, ovarian, pancreatic and colon, can be treated with targeted therapies that are tied to an underlying genetic mutation.
Knowing your risk can empower you and your family to make better, more informed health decisions. Your decisions can lead to better cancer treatments, earlier cancer detection and prevention. Knowing your risk can change your future. At our center, you can expect to receive the accurate information you need along with the compassionate, respectful care you deserve.
High-Risk Management and Prevention Program
All patients who undergo risk assessment receive an individualized care plan and recommendations on how to manage their risk. Our medical geneticist follows patients long term to ensure they are receiving the care they need as part of our High Risk program. Patients at increased cancer risk are kept up-to-date on evolving care guidelines. In our High Risk program, our medical geneticist can provide regular clinical exams, order imaging studies and prescribe preventive medications. Our High Risk program also offers information on lifestyle modifications including nutrition, supplements, and mind/body stress reduction programs.
At the Center for Genetics and Genomics, we evaluate individuals at risk for genetic diseases and help manage conditions. Some of the categories and conditions we evaluate and manage are listed below.
- Aortic aneurysms
- Marfan syndrome and related disorders
- Neurodegenerative disorders and muscular dystrophy
- Fragile X syndrome
- Huntington’s disease
- Early onset Alzheimer’s
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Adults with pediatric genetic diseases (such as Turner & Down syndrome)
- Pre-conception reproductive risk and carrier testing
- Premature ovarian failure
The availability of genomic tests on the market is rapidly expanding. Examples of products include pharmacogenomic testing for response to various medications and SNP-based (single nucleotide polymorphisms) testing for common medical conditions. We can help interpret these direct-to-consumer tests and provide clarity on the implications of results for you and your family members.
Ora Karp Gordon, M.D., MS
Dr. Gordon is the medical director of the Providence Center for Clinical Genetics and Genomics, and the Department of Integrative Medicine at the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center. She is one of few medical geneticists in the Los Angeles area.
Before joining Providence, Dr. Gordon spent 13 years at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as director of the GenRISK Adult Genetics Program, co-director of the Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program and training director for the UCLA Medical Genetics Residency Program. A nationally recognized expert in hereditary cancer, Dr. Gordon is co-author of an award-winning book on understanding and managing breast and ovarian cancer risk, “Positive Results: Making the Best Decisions When You’re at High Risk for Breast or Ovarian Cancer.”
Dr. Gordon’s primary research interests involve the prevention of breast cancer. She has been involved in numerous clinical trials for cancer prevention. Dr. Gordon is board-certified in both internal medicine and medical genetics, and she serves as an associate professor of medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Passionate about a holistic approach to health and disease prevention, Dr. Gordon has also completed a fellowship in integrative medicine through the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.
Kimberly Childers, MS, LCGC
Kimberly Childers is a board-certified and licensed genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics. She is the regional manager of the Providence Center for Clinical Genetics and Genomics. Before joining Providence, Childers co-founded the Familial Breast Cancer Program at the University of Illinois Chicago Hospital.
Childers has been an integral part of research studies on hereditary breast cancer syndromes and the psychosocial impact of learning about hereditary cancer risks. Beyond cancer genetics and prevention, Childers is interested in education at the community and health care professional level, with the goal of expanding knowledge of and access to genetic counseling and testing. Childers earned her master’s degree in human genetics and genetic counseling from Stanford University and her bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in psychology from the University of California San Diego.
Aida Akopyan, MS, LCGC
Aida Akopyan is a board-certified and licensed genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics. Aida is particularly interested in increasing awareness of the availability of genetics services in the Armenian population, which is a historically underserved and understudied population. Prior to joining Providence, Aida earned her master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of California, Irvine, where she completed research on genetic variation in the Armenian population through the ArmGenia Project. Aida obtained her undergraduate degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Molly Frankle (Lehman), MS, LCGC
Molly Frankle (Lehman) is a board-certified and licensed genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics. Prior to joining Providence, Molly worked as a cancer genetic counselor at the Todd Cancer Institute at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center for four years. Molly earned her bachelor's degree in Biology from UCLA in 2015 and her master's degree in Genetic Counseling from UC Irvine in 2017. She has a personal interest in access to genetic testing and public policy and focused her graduate research on genetic counselor's experience in insurance coverage of genetic testing.
Miles Picus, MS
Miles Picus is a licensed genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics. While providing clinical care for patients, Miles is also the program coordinator for Providence's high-risk pancreatic cancer screening and prevention program. Prior to joining Providence, Miles earned his bachelor's degree in Human Biology and Society from the Institute of Society and Genetics at UCLA in 2018 and his master's degree in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling from Stanford University in 2021. Miles has a personal interest in increasing equitable access to genetic counseling and genetic testing, contributing to evidence-based clinical guidelines, particularly in the realm of pancreatic cancer, and in family communication of genetic test results, which was the subject area of his master's thesis.
Lauren Rudichuk, MS, LCGC
Lauren Rudichuk is a board-certified and licensed genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics. Lauren is interested in alternative service delivery models to expand access to genetic counseling and genetic testing. Lauren was born and raised in Canada and started her career at the University of Alberta Hospital. She then relocated to Southern California and developed the Cancer Genetics Clinic at Torrance Memorial Medical Center before joining Providence.
Lauren obtained her master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University and her bachelor’s degree in Genetics from the University of Western Ontario.
Health insurance typically covers consultation appointments, which are independent of any genetic testing costs or authorizations. Most insurance companies also cover the cost of genetic testing for people considered high risk for whom clinical testing would be appropriate.
If you are uninsured, other means for assistance may be available. Please contact us to inquire.
Federal law (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act otherwise known as GINA) protects people from health insurance discrimination based on genetic test results. Genetic information cannot be used to deny coverage, set rates or influence any form of underwriting. GINA also protects against the use of other family members’ test results or medical history for health insurance discrimination and protects against discrimination by employers. GINA does not include provisions for life, long-term care and disability insurance.
If you have health care coverage through an insurance exchange, the Affordable Care Act includes provisions for genetic testing.