Employee Spotlight: Christina Zaleski Elected Vice President of Wisconsin Genetic Counselors Association
PreventionGenetics’ Director of Genetic Counseling and Client Services, Christina Zaleski, MS, CGC, has been elected Vice President of the Wisconsin Genetic Counselors Association (WIGCA). This is a tremendous honor for the Wisconsin native who has dedicated her career to helping patients and helping grow her profession.
Christina’s interest in the healthcare industry started very early. At age 13, her grandmother had a heart transplant, and that experience opened her eyes to a world of careers in the medical profession. Her interest in biology and genetics continued to grow during school, but it wasn’t until her undergraduate studies at UW-Eau Claire where she first learned of genetic counseling in an ethics of healthcare course. Before receiving her Masters Degree in Genetic Counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, she worked in Dr. James Weber’s research laboratory as genotyping technologist. At the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation she gained experience and confidence to embark on a rewarding career path. “Over the past 19 years of my genetic counseling career, I have held two rewarding (and challenging) leadership positions, where I was given opportunities to prove the value of genetic counselors within both clinical and industry settings. These experiences have taught me that fairness, transparency and stewardship are critical for survival and development of our field.”
When asked about her recent election to serve as Vice President of WIGCA, Christina said, “It is both an honor and privilege to become Vice President of WIGCA. I would love to contribute to the advancement of the genetic counseling profession and the communities we serve in this role. Overall, I am humbled and excited by the prospect of serving alongside the other board members of WIGCA and representing a state full of talented genetic counselors.” Christina is passionate about fostering professional growth, increasing visibility, promoting education, and contributing to the evolution of genetic counseling. James Weber, PhD, Founder and President of PreventionGenetics, said of Christina’s accomplishment, “I am proud to see how much Christina has grown as a professional within the genetics industry since our time at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. PreventionGenetics is delighted to employ Christina as our Director of Genetic Counseling and Client Services, where she plays a vital role within our lab. WIGCA made an excellent choice in electing Christina Zaleski as their Vice President.”
About Christina Zaleski, MS, CGC
Christina Zaleski earned a Master of Science degree in genetic counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in 1999. After graduation, she did genealogy work for Rockefeller University in South Africa. She then worked at the Marshfield Clinic as lead genetic counselor from 1999-2012. Christina is currently Director of Genetic Counseling & Client Services at PreventionGenetics. Christina has experience in many areas including prenatal, pediatric, cancer, specialty clinics, stillbirth evaluations, administration, public health education, and industry. She developed clinical genetics outreach & telehealth genetic counseling services in Wisconsin. She served on St. Joseph Hospital’s Bioethics team and was co-investigator on research projects. Christina has published scientific articles in the areas of clinical genetics, stillbirth evaluations, newborn screening, utilization management, and workflow. At PreventionGenetics she created the role for laboratory genetic counselors and developed a robust team of genetic counseling assistants. Highlights of her career include receiving Leadership Award for Excellence in Community Service from the March of Dimes, Wisconsin Chapter, and being nominated by peers as a JEMF Master Genetic Counselor. In 2013 her family received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Spirit of Giving Award, raising over one million dollars for the Celine Seubert Distinguished Physician/Scientist Endowment in Cardiology Research. The toughest job she’ll ever love is being a mom. She enjoys coaching youth basketball and volleyball, camping with her family, travelling with her son’s baseball team, planning elaborate birthday parties, cake decorating, amateur sports photography, and cheering for the New York Giants.