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Genetic Center

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We offer genetic testing, genetic counseling, and diagnostic evaluation and medical management of genetic conditions, birth defects and developmental delays. We have a special focus on preconception and hereditary cancers, and work with specialty clinics for cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, metabolic disorders, sickle cell disease, spina bifida and skeletal dysplasias.

Pre-conception through adult services

Genetics plays a central role in many aspects of our physical and mental health. Our department helps to find answers for individuals and families with questions about causes or inheritance of birth defects, developmental differences and other conditions including cancer. Services may include thorough evaluation, testing, diagnosis, risk assessment, counseling, information and support.

Genetic services may be appropriate for your family if you have:

  • A known genetic condition
  • Unexplained mental retardation, developmental delays, learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorder
  • Birth defects or congenital anomalies
  • Multiple unexplained physical problems or unusual features
  • A family history raising concern of a genetic condition

Locations/Contact Us

Contact Genetics


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Genetic Center
Akron Children's Hospital Genetic Center, Akron
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-3677
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Map & directions
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Genetics, Boardman
Akron Children's Hospital Genetics, Boardman
6505 Market Street
Building A
Boardman, Ohio 44512
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Map & directions
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Our Doctors/Providers


Abdulrazak Alali, MD

Clinical and Biochemical Geneticist


Carrie Costin, MD

Clinical Geneticist


Jason Laufman, MD, MS



Catherine Ward-Melver, MD

Clinical Geneticist

Other Providers:

Emily Creque, LGC

Licensed Genetic Counselor

Connie Motter, LGC

Licensed Genetic Counselor

Marcie Parker, LGC

Genetic Counselor

Jennifer Stein, LGC

Licensed Genetic Counselor

Joleen Viront, LGC

Licensed Genetic Counselor

Kara Vitalone, LGC

Licensed Genetic Counselor

Kimberly Wallis, LGC

Licensed Genetic Counselor

Susan Woods, LGC

Licensed Genetic Counselor

Genetic Services

Adult Services

We provide adult genetic services for a wide range of reasons including follow-up for adults with genetic conditions diagnosed in childhood, or evaluation of adult onset genetic conditions or birth defects, and other physical and mental conditions of unknown cause. In addition, genetics is playing an increasing role in risk assessment and risk reduction for common disorders such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

A genetics evaluation includes a detailed medical and family history, physical exam and discussion of possible diagnosis and testing options.

Adults who may benefit include those with:

  • Known genetic conditions, such as Marfan syndrome, neurofibromatosis and polycystic kidney disease
  • Adult-onset genetic conditions, such as hemochromatosis, neurodegenerative disorders like Huntington disease and certain cardiomyopathies or arrhythmias
  • Birth defects and/or intellectual disabilities without an underlying diagnosis
  • Family histories of known or suspected genetic diagnoses

Preconception and Prenatal Services

We provide preconception (before pregnancy) and prenatal (during pregnancy) services in collaboration with Akron Children’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Center for individuals or couples who want to learn more about their chances of having a baby with a birth defect, developmental difference or genetic condition.

Although most babies are born healthy, some couples have a higher chance of having a baby with a birth defect or genetic condition. We tailor our services for people who want to learn about the impact of their personal risk factors and family medical history. We will:

  • Review relevant medical, lifestyle, family, reproductive histories and prior test results
  • Discuss screening/diagnostic testing options and strategies to improve the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy
  • Provide educational materials and resources
  • Provide information in a supportive, non-directive manner so individuals can make decisions consistent with their personal values

The best time to seek this information is prior to pregnancy.

Pediatric Services

We provide pediatric genetic services for families whose child has a known or suspected genetic condition. A pediatric genetics evaluation includes a detailed family and medical history, thorough physical exam, testing and discussion of possible diagnoses and management options.

Pediatric genetic services can benefit children with:

  • Known genetic conditions
  • Abnormal results on newborn screening tests
  • Developmental delays, intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders
  • Unexplained vision or hearing loss
  • Multiple unexplained physical problems, birth defects or unusual features
  • A family history that raises concern about a genetic condition