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Medical Genetics 

The Medical Genetics Department at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive clinical genetic services including evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and genetic counseling. Genetic services are provided to individuals of all ages and their families.

Common Conditions

After Your Visit

Our Services

Additional Resources


Before Your Visit

Meet the Team


During Your Visit

Contact Us


Common Conditions

The Medical Genetics team is comprised of medical geneticists (physicians), genetic counselors, a clinical genetics nurse and a registered dietician. Together they provide education and assist families with the management of genetic and congenital disorders. These conditions include:

Birth defects

Mental retardation

Developmental delay/learning disability

Multisystem medical problems

Abnormalities identified by newborn screening

Metabolic conditions

Chromosome abnormalities

Recognized genetic syndromes

Familial cancer

Patients are generally referred for a genetic evaluation or genetic counseling by their primary care physicians or other specialists. On occasion, individuals may self refer.

Our Services

Outpatient services are available in SSM Health Cardinal Glennon's General Medical Genetics Clinic and Metabolic Genetics Clinic. In addition, we are involved in multispecialty clinics, including Neurofibromatosis and Cleft Lip and Palate.

Services are also provided through Genetics Outreach Clinics at four locations in Illinois:  Wood River, IL (Madison County); Mount Vernon, IL (Jefferson County); Murphysboro, IL (Jackson County); and Vandalia, IL (Fayette County).

Cancer genetic counseling at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon and SSM St. Mary’s Health Center.

Prenatal genetic counseling at the Maternal & Fetal Care Center at SSM St. Mary’s Health Center

Inpatient genetic consultations at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital

Before Your Visit

Once patients are referred for a genetic evaluation or genetic counseling, a medical genetics intake form is mailed to be completed and returned prior to scheduling an appointment.  This form asks about the patient’s prenatal (pregnancy) history, medical history, developmental/academic history, and extended family history.  Patients and/or parents are asked to sign consent for the release of medical records, so that appropriate medical records can be obtained prior to the appointment. 

During Your Visit

When possible, we encourage both parents to attend the genetics evaluation. The patient’s medical insurance card will be required to register for the appointment.

The initial genetic evaluation may last 1 to 1 ½ hours. Many parents find it helpful to bring snacks and activities for the child to the appointment. Other items that may be helpful to bring to the appointment are photographs of the patient at different ages, as well as photographs of other family members. Medical records from other evaluations are also helpful.

Each evaluation and counseling session is different. Usually the patient’s first contact is with the clinical genetics nurse, who will explain what to expect during the appointment. The genetic counselor will review the medical genetics intake form with the patient or parents and construct a family pedigree (family tree). The clinical geneticist (a physician) will perform a thorough physical evaluation of the patient. 

aboratory testing of blood or urine samples and/or other tests like x-rays may be recommended. Many of these tests can be done the same day as the appointment, whereas others will need to be scheduled for later dates or scheduled once approval has been obtained from the medical insurance provider. A patient might then be referred to other specialists like a cardiologist, neurologist, early interventionalist, etc.

If a diagnosis can be made, the patient and/or family will get a complete explanation (genetic counseling) about the condition. This explanation includes the potential cause of the diagnosis, other possible genetic and medical implications to the patient and family members, and recommendations for management. If a diagnosis is not clear at the time of the appointment, findings will still be reviewed with the patient and/or family. Genetic counseling about the possible explanations and recommendations for additional testing, evaluations and management is provided.  

After Your Visit

Following a patient’s visit, a consultation note summarizing the evaluation and recommendations is sent to the referring and primary physicians.  Written information about a genetic diagnosis is given to the patient and/or parents at the time of the initial appointment whenever possible.  If a diagnosis is confirmed after the initial evaluation, written information about the genetic condition is mailed to the patient and/or parents. 

If laboratory tests, imaging studies (e.g., ultrasound), or evaluations with other specialists are recommended during the initial visit, the clinical genetics nurse or genetic counselor will assist in arranging for these tests and evaluations.  Once the results of these tests and evaluations are available, patients and/or parents will either be contacted by telephone with the results or asked to return for a follow up appointment to review the information in detail.

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 314-577-5639.

Additional Resources

Child and Family Connections

Family Village

First Steps of Missouri

Knights of Columbus Developmental Center

March of Dimes

Meet the Team

Stephen Braddock, MD, Director, Pediatric Genetics

Jacqueline Batanian, PhD, Director, Molecular Cytogenetics

Rachael J. Bradshaw, MS

Katherine Christensen, MS

Sandra K. Davenport, MD

Margaret Hefner, MS

Adriana M. Montaño, PhD

Darbey M. Raible, MS

James D. Shoemaker, MD, PhD

Erin E. Torti, MS

Laura Turlington-Waldman, MS

Debby Boylan, RN, BSN

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