Clinical genetics is an area of medical care pertaining to genetic diseases. Genetic diseases may be passed on in families (inherited) or may occur for the first time in a child without a family history. Clinical genetics services are performed by a specialized doctor (clinical geneticist) and a medical team trained to care for individuals with rare genetic diseases. Clinical genetics services include, but are not limited to:
- Genetic evaluation and testing: Pediatric and adult general genetics, cardiac genetics, cancer genetics, prenatal/preconception genetics
- Screenings for diseases known to be in a family
- Laboratory monitoring, genetic testing, and diagnosis
The Community Health Clinic (CHC) collaborates with the Indiana State Newborn Screening program to provide follow up for inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs) in 11 Indiana counties and for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) statewide. The CHC follows up with any infant identified as possibly having one of these conditions and provides confirmatory testing, nutrition services, a metabolic formula program, follow up monitoring, and education for patients and their families. The CHC’s IEM newborn screening program covers the northeastern Indiana counties (Adams, Allen, Dekalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley counties), and the CHC’s SCID/SMA newborn screening program covers the entire state.
Laboratory Monitoring and Genetic Testing and Diagnosis
Genetic and metabolic disorders require highly specialized testing for diagnosis and treatment. Many conditions also require frequent monitoring to prevent metabolic crisis. The Community Health Clinic (CHC) collaborates with laboratories nationwide to ensure the most up-to-date testing is available to our patients and negotiates with the laboratories to ensure patients can obtain required testing at the best prices.
Genetic counseling services
The Community Health Clinic (CHC) offers genetic counseling to patients and families of patients with known or suspected genetic diseases. Genetic counseling includes a detailed review of the family medical history, discussion of how diseases are passed on in families, education about genetics, and counseling about testing options.
Financial counseling assistance for medical bills
The Plain Church Group Ministry (PCGM) offers financial assistance for medical bills and provides a significant reduction in the cost of medical care for the Plain communities. This is done through bill negotiation and payment. The PCGM does research on laboratory and diagnostic procedures, analyzes the quality of the service and offers counseling assistance for our patients.
Nutrition services including medical food and formula
Nutrition services topics include menu planning, label reading, and identifying and understanding the content of food and/or nutritional supplements. The Community Health Clinic (CHC) has access to The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and other resources that independently evaluate complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies. Sharlene Herington, RDN, CD, Metabolic Dietitian will review the pros and cons about these therapies with you.
Occupational Therapy Services
This service helps children and adults with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Missy Newcomer at 574-903-5457.
Speech Therapy Services
Speech therapists provide services when a family member has a medical diagnosis that affects communication and/or feeding ability. The Community Health Clinic (CHC) offers speech therapy services for patients age birth through adulthood. Susan Salee, CCC-SLP, is committed to helping others communicate, succeed in school, and take nutrition to the best of their abilities. Patients, family members, and caregivers are provided knowledge and support to make this possible. Direct therapy, consultations, and home programs are available depending on the needs of the client and family, and therapy frequency varies from weekly, to monthly, to quarterly. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact Angela Eppert at 574-370-2476.
An audiologist uses audiometers, computers, and other devices to test patients’ hearing ability, balance, determine the extent of hearing damage, and identify the underlying cause. The Community Health Clinic (CHC) has equipment to detect hearing problems in newborns, children, and adult patients. An audiologist is onsite every Thursday. To schedule an appointment, or for more information, please contact The Family Hearing Center: 574-533-2222.
Medical Home Services and Care Coordination
Medical home services and care coordination, also known as the patient-centered medical home, is a team-based health care delivery model led by a health care provider. It is intended to provide comprehensive and continuous medical care to patients with the goal of obtaining maximized health outcomes. Services include: appointment scheduling, addressing transportation issues and financial concerns, referral to outside resources, and proactively addressing any other questions and concerns a family may have.
Cardiopulmonary or heart-lung resuscitation (CPR) classes
The Community Health Clinic (CHC) offers free First Aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary or heart-lung resuscitation) classes in Topeka, Indiana, or at a location for your group of up to 10 people. The three-hour classes are taught by a firefighter and paramedic, open to all ages, and offer basic certification through the American Heart Association. Donations are accepted to help cover the cost of the classes.