Provision of genetics services on Guam

J Genet Couns. 2013 Dec;22(6):885-9. doi: 10.1007/s10897-012-9566-y. Epub 2013 Jan 24.


Guam's geographic isolation and lack of community resources have resulted in unique healthcare needs. In 2006, the Western States Genetic Services Collaborative (WSGSC) conducted a genetics needs assessment and found that professional development is limited, families lack access to genetic services, and improved coverage of genetic testing is needed. With funding from the WSGSC, a Guam genetics outreach clinic was established and staffed by genetic counselors and a medical geneticist from Hawaii. Four clinics have been held to date. Although several challenges have been encountered, including minimal coverage of genetic testing by Guam insurance companies, limited referrals for families with private insurance, and inappropriate referral indications, the outreach clinic has been successful at increasing access to genetic services and improving professional development. With more collaborative work by staff from Guam, Hawaii, and the WSGSC, provision and reimbursement of genetic services and testing will continue to improve.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Services / organization & administration
  • Genetic Testing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Guam
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans