The UNCG School of Health and Human Sciences presents the Pacesetter Award to an outstanding alumnus who has received local, state, or regional recognition by showing a dedication to scholarship, leadership or service either in their career or through civic involvement. We are pleased to announce that the 2015 School of HHS Pacesetter Award for the Genetic Counseling Program is Ann Katherine “Kate” (Major) Foreman.
Kate Forman received her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary in 2007 and her MS in Genetic Counseling from UNCG in May 2010. During her time at UNCG, she completed a Capstone Project entitled “Practices of State-Level Newborn Screening Programs in Educating Families of Cystic Fibrosis Carriers Identified through Newborn Screening”. The results of this study were presented at the 2010 National Society of Genetic Counselors Annual Education Conference. Kate’s success with her capstone project was just the beginning of her involvement with clinical research.
Shortly after graduation Mrs. Foreman was hired by the Department of Genetics at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill as a Clinical Assistant Professor where she has found great job satisfaction. “I have the benefit of great colleagues who made UNC a wonderful place for me as a new genetic counselor, and continue to support and challenge me,” says Kate. In this position, she has provided clinical genetic counseling in the Adult and Cancer Genetics Clinics. Kate has also been integrally involved in data analysis for the North Carolina Clinical Genome Evaluation by NextGen Exome Sequencing (NCGENES) study. This work resulted in being first or collaborating author for several published abstracts and platform and poster presentations at national meetings.
Kate recently accepted a new position as the genetic counselor for the Transformative Technologies initiative that is part of the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. The mission of NC TraCS is to accelerate clinical and translational research from health science to discovery to dissemination to patients and communities. The NC TraCs Institute seeks to overcome barriers to translation by improving efficiency, training the research workforce and sharing successful research methods.
She is also an Associate for the UNC Center for Genome and Society. She shares “I am excited that another project I am working with, GeneScreen, will begin enrollment for its pilot soon. GeneScreen is an exploration of the possibility of population-level screening of adults for highly medically actionable genetic conditions. Adults from primary care practices affiliated with UNC will be offered a screening panel for 11 conditions.” In this role, she has helped to determine which genes and conditions would be screened for and advised on procedural issues like recruitment, procedure and return of results.
Kate has stayed involved in supporting our program in various ways. “I am extremely proud to be able to give back to the UNCG program through student supervision, guest lectures, and serving on capstone committees,” reflects Kate on her commitment to the program. “I have a deep respect and appreciation for the genetic counselors who fulfilled these roles for me when I was a student. My UNCG experience would not have been the same without them, and I would not be the genetic counselor I am today without them.” Recently she collaborated with her colleagues to create a three day mini-course on whole-exome sequencing for our students. This has been an amazing opportunity for our students to learn about and practice skills related to this cutting-edge technology. “I hope that each student I work with is able to take at least one thing from our interactions to make them a better genetic counselor. Working with genetic counseling students is also a wonderful reminder to engage in lifelong learning,” she shares.
In the five years since her graduation from the MS Genetic Counseling program Kate Foreman has established herself as an expert in clinical practice, cutting-edge research and professional education. Her passion for the profession is evident. She is truly a pacesetter in our field and we look forward to having a front row seat as she continues to develop professionally and make significant contributions to the field of genetic counseling. Please join us in congratulating Kate (Major) Foreman, the 2015 School of Health and Human Sciences Pacesetter Award for the Genetic Counseling Program.