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Genetic Center

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Department Main Image


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.

Child-focused services

Finding a genetic cause for a child's developmental or medical issues may be important in identifying other associated health issues, accessing the appropriate services or understanding recurrence risks for relatives and future pregnancies.

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

  • 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 Specialty Care
Considine Professional Building, Level 5
215 W. 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
6505 Market St., Building A
Boardman, Ohio 44512
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Map & directions
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Our Doctors/Providers

Carrie Costin
Carrie Costin, MD

Clinical Geneticist

Marcie Parker
Marcie Parker, LGC

Genetic Counselor

Catherine Ward-Melver
Catherine Ward-Melver, MD

Clinical Geneticist

Prenatal Genetic Clinic

Akron Children's Genetic Center offers prenatal screening services that allow our genetic counselors to assist couples concerned about their chance of having a baby with a birth defect or genetic condition.

At Akron Children's prenatal clinic, genetic counselors explain prenatal testing options, interpret test results, discuss treatment options and provide supportive counseling. Genetic counselors also obtain family and pregnancy histories and provide risk assessments.

We deliver the information in a non-directive manner, so you can make your own decisions when considering prenatal testing options.

Who May Benefit From Prenatal Services?

You and your partner may benefit if you have concerns related to:

  • Your ages
  • Prenatal screening and diagnostic testing options
  • Prenatal screening or ultrasound results
  • A known, suspected or family history of a genetic condition, birth defect, mental retardation or developmental delay
  • A history of unexplained pregnancy loss or infertility
  • Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or epilepsy
  • Use of certain medications
  • Exposure to potentially harmful substances
  • Maternal exposure to infection, such as chicken pox or cytomegalovirus
  • Ethnic background with an increased risk for a specific condition

Adult Services

Because the practice of genetics involves the entire family, we serve patients of all ages. Even when the initial concern involves a child, it may be appropriate to evaluate and/or test adult members of the family who may also be affected or at risk of having children with the same disorder. We are sometimes able to make diagnoses in adults that could not be made when they were children.

Some genetic conditions also may not become evident until adulthood. Research has shown that a number of adult-onset conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and hypertension have significant genetic components.

The decision to pursue predictive genetic testing before symptoms of these disorders appear may be very personal and complex. We provide information, risk assessment, support and offer genetic testing when appropriate for adults, as well as other family members at risk for these conditions and many others.

We see adults in many settings, including our adult-focused preconception, prenatal and hereditary cancer programs. Genetic services are covered by most insurance companies, Medicaid and other third-party payers such as the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH).