Genetic counseling and test coordination services are provided by licensed and board certified genetic counselors. Genetic counselors have advanced training in medical genetics and counseling to guide and support patients seeking more information about how inherited diseases and conditions might affect them or their families. Learn more about Genetic Counselors.
|TriHealth Cancer Institute|
Elise Bendik, MS, LGC
Elise Bendik joined the TriHealth Cancer Institute in 2018 as a Board Certified and Licensed Genetic Counselor. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2010 with a Master of Science in Medical Genetics. She also has a Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with concentration in Biotechnology from the University of Illinois. Elise is licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board, the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, and the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to practice as a Genetic Counselor. She is also Board Certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
Elise has spent the majority of her career specializing in oncology genetic counseling and has experience working in industry, research, and clinic settings. Her professional interests include reducing barriers to genetic testing and implementing alternative service delivery models, including telehealth and point of care testing.
Courtney Rice, MS, Licensed Certified Genetic Counselor
Courtney Rice joined the TriHealth Cancer Institute as a clinical genetic counselor in 2011. She serves the TriHealth team as the supervisor of the genetic counseling department. Mrs. Rice is a 2008 graduate of the University of Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Program earning a Master degree in Medical Genetics.
Mrs. Rice is Board Certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board to practice as a genetic counselor.
Mrs. Rice’s professional interests include hereditary cancer syndromes, pharmacogenomic testing, providing education about genetic medicine to medical providers and the general public, and developing and implementing genomic medicine tools into care delivery.
Karen Huelsman, MS, LGC
Karen Huelsman joined TriHealth Cancer Institute in 2012 as a board-certified and licensed Genetic Counselor. Prior to that, she worked with patients at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for ten years, founding the Hereditary Cancer Program. She worked with some of the first patients in the region undergoing cancer predisposition testing and has almost 20 years of clinical experience in Oncology Genetics.
She earned a Master Degree of Science in Medical Genetics at University of Cincinnati and her undergraduate degree was in Genetic Bio-Engineering at Purdue University. She has continued her education with a certificate coursework in Pharmacogenomics and Genomic Oncology.
Karen is specialized in Precision Medicine Oncology, coordinating TriHealth's Molecular Tumor Board, overseeing tumor profiling, acting as a connector between new labs and technology with the Medical Oncology team, and overseeing TriHealth's Genomic Workgroup. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, including Somatic Testing subcommittee. Karen is also a member of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer (CGA). She has been recognized as PanCAN Patient Champion, Outstanding Clinical Supervisor Award by Association of Genetic Counseling, Luminaries Innovator Award for work in Hereditary Breast Ovarian Cancer, Check Your Genes, and Difference Maker Award from Cincinnati Museum Center.
Karen Wernke, MMSc, CGC
Karen Wernke joined the TriHealth Cancer Institute as a genetic counselor in 2018. She received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Genetics from the Ohio State University. In 2018, Karen graduated from Emory University School of Medicine with a Master of Medical Science in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling.
Karen is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She is also licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board to practice as a genetic counselor.
Her professional interests include identification of hereditary breast cancers, gastrointestinal cancers, and hematologic cancers.
|TriHealth Women's Services|
Elizabeth Owens-Thomas, MS, LGC
Elizabeth Owens-Thomas joined TriHealth as a genetic counselor in 2018. She secured her Master of Science at the University of Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Program in 2018 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2015 from King University in Bristol, TN.
Elizabeth is board certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and licensed to practice as a clinical genetic counselor by the Ohio State Medical Board. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the Ohio Association of Genetic Counselors, and the Ohio Department of Health’s Birth Defects Prevention and Awareness program.
Elizabeth is primarily located at the Bethesda North Perinatal Center where she specializes in prenatal and pre-conception genetic counseling. Her professional interests include preconception health, prenatal screening, and helping patients determine which testing options are right for them.
Nicki Smith, MS, LGC
Nicki Smith joined TriHealth in 2012 as a genetic counselor. She obtained her Master of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Program in 2012. Prior to graduate school, she performed gene therapy research and development at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Otterbein University in 2007.
Nicki is licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board to practice as a clinical genetic counselor. She is board certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and is an active member of both the Ohio Association of Genetic Counselors and the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
At TriHealth, Nicki specializes in prenatal and pre-conception genetic counseling. She primarily sees patients at the Good Samaritan Hospital Seton Center for Advanced Obstetrics.
|TriHealth Heart Institute|
Annelise Page MS, MA, LCGC
Annelise Page joined the TriHealth Precision Medicine and Genetic Counseling program in 2019. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling and a Master of Arts in Bioethics and Medical Humanities shortly before joining TriHealth as a genetic counselor. Annelise is specialized in the area of cardiovascular genetics.
Annelise is licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board and the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to practice as a genetic counselor. Annelise is also recognized by the American Board of Genetic Counseling as a certified genetic counselor.
Annelise’s professional interests include cardiac amyloidosis, inherited arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. Additional interests include the ethics of population genetic screening for adult onset medical conditions.