Genetic Counseling: What to Expect

What is Genetic Counseling?

A specially trained doctor, nurse, or genetics counselor can provide you and your family with diagnosis, information, support, and follow-up with recommendations related to a genetic condition.

What is a Family Health History?

A family health history or portrait is a screening tool to review diseases and conditions that may be present in your or your partner’s family. By collecting your family’s health history, you can learn what health problems you may be at increased risk for in the future and how to reduce your risks. Click here to ( to create a family health portrait online.



Who are some individuals that may benefit from Genetic Counseling?

  • Pregnant women that may be at increased risk for complications or birth defects based on age, blood tests, ultra-sound findings, or family history
  • Couples who would like prenatal testing or more information about genetic conditions that occur more frequently in their ethnic group
  • Parents whose child has been diagnosed with a genetic condition, mental retardation or birth defect

What if I already know that a genetic condition is in my family history?

If you already know that there is a family history of a specific genetic condition or birth defect, the doctor at the Genetics Clinic will help you with educational opportunities, information and access to a support group. The doctor can also help determine if the genetic condition will affect you or your children.


Newborn Screening

Every newborn born in Illinois is screened for certain genetic disorders at birth while in the hospital. Click here ( to learn more.

Services provided by the Kankakee County Health Department

  • A Genetics Nurse Case Manager can provide a screening questionnaire to clients to identify any indicators for genetic counseling.
  • Link clients to a local Genetics Physician and counselor for information and counseling.
  • Provide resources to clients looking for more information about a genetic condition

Sickle Cell Disease

Click here for more information on Sickle Cell trait and disease from the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois (

For More Information

Please contact:

Genetics Program
Kankakee County Health Department
2390 W Station St
Kankakee, Illinois 60901
(815) 802-9320