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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Melissa A. Kelly is the second Geisinger genetic counselor to receive the prestigious award from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Foundation

DANVILLE, Pa. – Melissa A. Kelly, MS, CGC, co-director of Geisinger’s MyCode Genomic Screening and Counseling Program (GSC), has received the 2024 Carolyn Mills Lovell Genetic Counselor Award. Ms. Kelly received the award during the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting on Wednesday.

The Carolyn Mills Lovell Award is presented annually in honor of Carolyn Mills Lovell, MAT, MS, CGC, a genetic counselor who cares for patients and their families at Augusta University. The award is made possible by a generous donation from former ACMG Medical Director David Flannery, MD, FAAP, FACMG, who worked with Ms. Lovell for more than 15 years. 

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Carolyn Mills Lovell Genetic Counselor Award,” Ms. Kelly said. “Throughout my career, I have seen many ways in which patients and their families interact with and are impacted by genomic information. In prior roles as a clinical and laboratory genetic counselor, I often saw patients undergo genetic testing due to a personal or family history. While such indication-based testing is still a critical component of genomic medicine, we know that such testing fails to identify all individuals with increased risk. I am excited by our current work as it exemplifies the reach and impact of genomic screening at population scale.”

The award is given to the highest-rated presentation submitted by a genetic counselor to the ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting. Ms. Kelly’s presentation highlighted her work on integrating genomic medicine into healthcare through Geisinger‘s MyCode Community Health Initiative. The MyCode team has now reported more than 5,000 medically relevant results to patient-participants. Importantly, most of these participants were not previously aware of their genetic risk for health conditions like cancer or heart disease.

Ms. Kelly is a graduate of Brandeis University’s Genetic Counseling Program. She has more than 10 years of clinical, laboratory and research experience centered around cardiovascular genomics and interpreting the clinical relevance of genomic variants. In her role as co-director of the MyCode GSC and lead for the MyCode Clinical Variant Pipeline, she is responsible for the identification and review of genomic variants prior to confirmation and disclosure to MyCode participants. Her research focuses on expanding the understanding of actionable genetic conditions, specifically inherited cardiovascular diseases, through population screening and translating this knowledge into meaningful results for patients.

Ms. Kelly is the second Geisinger genetic counselor to receive the award since its inception in 2015. Erin R. Riggs, MS, CGC, associate professor in Geisinger’s Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute, received the award in 2018.

About Geisinger College of Health Sciences
Geisinger College of Health Sciences is the research and education arm of the Geisinger family. Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, and the College. The College houses a Research Institute, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Geisinger School of Nursing and the School of Graduate Education, in addition to Geisinger graduate medical education programs and its Academy of Educators. The College is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit
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