Shodair: Helping Montanans with Genetic Disorders Live a Better Life
Imagine your otherwise healthy, vibrant child starts to have frequent seizures seemingly out of nowhere. Or after multiple family members are diagnosed with cancer, you are left distraught, wondering whether you’re genetically predisposed to developing cancer as well. Or your child’s bones start to break frequently after something as simple and innocent as a small fall on the playground.
No doubt these uncertain moments are some of the scariest in someone’s life. In the cases above, the genetics program at Shodair Children’s Hospital helped these Montanans discover their diagnosis, get answers they needed, and provided vital support and guidance as they learned to navigate living with the impacts of their genetic condition.
Shodair’s genetics program serves people of all ages in Montana – couples contemplating pregnancy, babies born with physical and metabolic changes, children with differences in growth or development, and adults with genetic conditions or hereditary cancer concerns. Shodair’s clinical genetics services combined with state-of-the-art laboratory techniques mean they can provide the best possible support for their patients.
That’s why many of their patients develop lifelong relationships with the Shodair genetics team. Shodair’s program goes beyond just providing a diagnosis. The team at Shodair knows they can’t change a patient’s genetic condition, but they can help guide their future. This could mean helping to manage a strict diet due to an inability to process certain proteins, identifying families at risk for devastating cardiac events, or diagnosing hereditary cancer syndromes so patients can be proactive in surveillance and treatment. In some cases, it involves meeting and treating multiple generations in a family over decades.
Working under the expertise of Montana’s only medical geneticist, the Shodair team brings together genetic counselors, genetics-trained nurse practitioners, a clinical psychologist, a metabolic dietician, molecular and cytogenetic laboratory technologies, and other professionals to provide Montanans with the highest level of service.
With 99 percent of Shodair’s patients coming from Montana, the genetics team understands the positive impact they can make in our state. They also understand the challenges faced. That is why Shodair has implemented a telemedicine program and traveling clinics to bring care to isolated and underserved populations.
Because they don’t want any family to worry about the cost to help their loved one, Shodair doesn’t turn anyone away regardless of whether they can afford the care or not. That is why donor support is vital. Learn how your support can help some of Montana’s most vulnerable residents.
Founded more than a century ago, Shodair Children’s Hospital is dedicated to creating a healthy and hopeful Montana through specialized psychiatric care for children and adolescents along with a nationally recognized genetics program providing comprehensive care for all ages. Learn more about Shodair at Shodair.org.
The Shodair genetics program is supported by funding from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
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