Guest Blog by Marjorie Lounder
Hello from Ottawa.
I thought that I would send along a progress note on Dr. Gail Graham’s work with Hemochromatosis Counselling at the Eastern Ontario Regional Genetics Program, based at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).
Due to the increasing numbers, for the past year they have been holding a monthly Hemochromatosis Group Counselling Meeting for patients referred to them by their family doctors. These usually consists of small groups, generally about four patients. I asked if Elaine Robinson and I, as local contact people for the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society, could sit in on one. A few weeks ago we were able to attend the November session.
Cathy Huculak, a genetic counsellor, gave a talk accompanied by a slide presentation. It was an interesting and concise explanation of the disorder. It was followed by a question period, and then each patient sees the counsellor individually. Some may then be referred along to a later appointment with Dr. Graham. If warranted, they may have the genetic test done there following their appointment with the counsellor, and the results will be sent to both patient and family doctor when it arrives five to six weeks later. Additionally, a report of the counselling session will be mailed out to their family doctor along with any recommendations from the clinic. Patients are also given a print out of the talk, which also contains the website of the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society and our names as contacts. Although they do not treat Hemochromatosis clinically at CHEO, they are always available for advice if difficulties arise.
We were very pleased that such an informative appointment is available. I sent along a note to the local Kiwanis Medical Foundation who provided the funding that Dr. Gail Graham needed to set up the Hemochromatosis database in 2002. I felt that they would enjoy knowing that it has certainly proven valuable.