CAGC Member Awards and Recognition

Andrea Secord

October 2021. Recipient of the CAGC Professional Practice, Innovation, and Advocacy Leadership Award.

The mission of the CAGC is to promote high standards of practice, encourage professional growth and increase public awareness of the genetic counselling profession in Canada. This award is designed to recognize CAGC members who have worked to advance our mission.

Andrea has been a genetic counsellor for 16 years and is currently the coordinator of clinical operations at Genolife, a private telehealth clinic based in Quebec. In this role, she’s demonstrating the important role that genetic counsellors can play in the private realm and that genetic counselling is a thriving, growing field outside of the clinical genetics clinic. She also showcases that genetic counsellors can hold roles as decision-makers and leaders, and that genetic counsellors can push to the full capacity of their training and scope.

She graduated from the McGill University Genetic Counselling program in 2005 and worked at the McGill University Health Centre in prenatal genetics for 8 years before moving into an industry role at GeneDx for 6 years. Andrea is described as an exceptional mentor and teacher to countless genetic counselling students, other trainees and health care professionals, and genetic counsellor colleagues. She’s described as fostering a commitment to having open and honest conversations about the challenges of maintaining a work-life balance, confronting and naming our own professional insecurities or struggles, and encouraging trainees to naturally explore and develop their own counselling style.
She’s also a longtime dedicated CAGC volunteer, most recently in her capacity as co-chair of the CAGC website committee where she’s been a vital contributor to the development of the updated CAGC website. She also chaired the CAGC Professional Issues Committee, facilitated the 2011 Professional Status Survey, sat on the Board of Directors as Eastern Representative, and contributed to the annual education conference when it was held in Montreal. She’s also very actively involved in professional regulation efforts with her colleagues in Quebec.

Laura Redondo

October 2021. Recipient of the CAGC New Leader Award

This award recognizes a CAGC volunteer who has contributed substantially to the CAGC/genetic counselling profession and/or shows great promise to contribute in future.

Laura Redondo is a Genetic Counsellor at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto, ON. She graduated in 2021 from Cardiff University’s Master of Science in Genetic and Genomic Counselling program after emigrating from the Dominican Republic at age 18 and completing an undergraduate degree at Western University.

Throughout her education and early career, Laura has repeatedly seen first-hand the barriers that can be present for minority students when completing higher education. Seeing these discrepancies has inspired her passion in diversity and inclusion efforts, and advocating for equity amongst all races and identities. Through the work she has done as a co-founder of the Genetic Counselling Trainee Platform for Racial Justice (GCRJ), Laura has demonstrated a commitment to diversifying the genetic counselling profession and to providing genetic counsellors with tools to provide culturally competent care. The GCRJ is a Canadian and American based grass-roots organization comprised of genetic counselling trainees of all races, backgrounds, and identities with the aim of actively incorporating anti-racist practice within our profession.

Laura is also a dedicated CAGC volunteer through her roles as an active member of the CAGC Communications and Lexigene committees, and she’s passionate about advancing the work of these committees to reach out to minority groups and to provide multilingual resources for genetic counsellors and other health care providers.

As a minority genetic counsellor, it’s Laura’s hope to see more individuals like her become genetic counsellors and for more minority patients to receive care from someone who looks like them or speaks their language. Laura’s goal is to continue to be actively involved in DEI efforts within the GC profession in Canada, and to make a positive impact on the provision of genetic services to minority groups and individuals of all backgrounds.

Andrea Hawrysh and Dr. Candice Jackel-Cram

April 2019. Nominees for the YMCA Saskatoon Women of Distinction – Research and Techonology Award, for their work to improve the care of women in Saskatchewan with endometrial cancer.

Dr. Jane Green

February 12, 2019. Invested into the Order of Canada

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