Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) working in clinical genetics across the country came together at the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel in Milwaukee from Sept. 25-27 for the inaugural Clinical Genetics Advanced Practice Provider Conference (CGAPP). The conference was developed by MCW.
Stephanie Offord, APNP, who has served at MCW in clinical genetics in the Department of Pediatrics for 12 years, was instrumental in every aspect of launching the conference.
“Nothing like this exists,” Offord said, “Our work as APPs in clinical genetics is so specialized, but we also do not have the training that the geneticists we work with have, so a conference was needed to fill the gap.”
Once announced, the conference quickly reached its capacity of 36 and a waiting list grew to eight. The event was funded by two educational grants and provided CME credits to attendees.
“Half of the attendees have only been in clinical genetics for six years or less,” said Offord. “More APPs are going into clinical genetics each year, so this is needed.”
The attendees – from 19 states and Washington D.C. – benefitted from the learning sessions as well as networking with others who do similar work. “This was a great way for us to connect, learn from each other, train and hear about new technologies and treatments,” Offord said.
Offord credits Donald Basel, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric genetics, as championing CGAPP and the importance of APPs in clinical genetics. “Dr. Basel is very passionate and supportive,” said Offord. “He understands the value of an APPs in clinical genetics and has instilled this in the clinic.”
Planning for CGAPP 2020 is already underway. “Even before the end of the conference, people were coming up and asking about the next event,” said Deanna Alvarez, Sr. administrative assistant, who served a critical role in planning and executing the event.
“We are really proud of what we put together and happy with the outcome,” said Offord. “We are excited to see where this is going to go.”