Amy Vance is a valuable resource for my patients. She evaluates and clearly explains the concerns and clinical significance of genetic findings. More importantly, she educates and then helps create a clear treatment plan which removes a great deal of anxiety for my patients. I appreciate her advice and knowledge in counseling my patients through treatment algorithms.
- Kelly J. Baek, MD, FACOG, California Fertility Partners
Amy not only possesses a great fund of knowledge in the area of Genetics, but her affable and meticulous nature has endeared her to patients and colleagues alike.
-IVF Physician, California
Amy's expertise proved to be invaluable to my wife and I as we launched into IVF. Amy patiently and thoroughly walked us through our test results, arming us with information that proved vital to a successful outcome. What could have been an overwhelmingly stressful process was rendered more manageable because of Amy's help.
- Couple pre-IVF
I've known and worked with Amy Vance for over 20 years. Our business relationship and now also friendship came out of a mutual desire to help the families we work with benefit from the most information possible regarding the health of their future children. Additionally, we share a deep responsibility to work on high moral and ethical grounds, and there is also the comfort in knowing I'm sending my clients to someone so knowledgeable in the field of genetics. Amy is a stand-out in the fertility industry and I would highly recommend her to anybody who asks.
- Wendie Wilson-Miller, President, Gifted Journeys Egg Donation, Inc.
You’re consultations are world-class and I feel very lucky to be working with you.
- IVF physician, California
We were recommended to Amy by our fertility doctor, as we were considering transferring a mosaic embryo. Amy was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and easy to talk to. We had done a decent amount of research on our own, but Amy provided a lot of new information that helped us make a decision that gave us confidence and peace of mind. We would recommend Amy's services to anyone needing genetic counseling.
- Couple considering transfer of a mosaic embryo
When we spoke, based on my wife’s family history of cancer, you suggested among other things that she get a mammogram before getting pregnant. Based on your advice, she did; and the doctors unfortunately found early stage breast cancer in her right breast. After surgery, we did an IVF cycle last summer and had a son. We wanted to write and thank you again. If not for your prudent advice, she would not have had a mammogram until much later. While we never wish our challenging experiences on anyone, we do certainly feel fortunate for the chain of events that led us to get that mammogram at age 35- including your sound, professional advice.
- Couple undergoing IVF, genetic risk assessment provided prior to IVF
I was unaware of the necessity of a genetic counselor until my husband and I decided to use an egg donor. We thought we had everything covered by simply getting genetic tests for him and our egg donor, but it was our genetic counselor who informed us that the tests did not in fact test for the same mutations, causing us to have our egg donor tested again with the same test my husband was given. Unfortunately there is immense oversight in the genetic testing industry (it’s a business, after all) and there are so many “traps” to potentially fall into if you don’t have a genetic counselor guiding you along the correct pathway. Fertility doctors, surrogacy/egg donor agencies and intended parents need to be better informed about the process and how to navigate it more efficiently and effectively, because it is a winding road with many speed bumps and dead ends. Information is power - however, without an adequate guide it can quickly become a treacherous journey. Genetic counselors are the key to preventing misinformation, and if you’re lucky enough to find a competent one like Amy Vance, the process becomes more manageable.
- Couple seeking genetic counseling regarding genetic carrier screening prior to egg donation
We had been trying to get pregnant naturally for 2 years with no luck. I am a carrier for an X-linked disease that causes blindness and we had heard about PGT-M and wanted to investigate this option. We spent the next year and a half speaking with several geneticists trying to find a lab that could test our family. We had no luck, but sought IVF anyway hoping to identify the sex of the embryo before implantation. My friend urged me to speak to Dr. Zouves and we were then introduced to Amy Vance. From here on out my words below cannot tell you how incredibly grateful we are and always will be. Amy, I am truly grateful for your dedication to your field. Thank you for finding us a lab that could do the PGT-M and eradicate a disease that has passed through every generation of boys in my family. And now I am close to 5 months pregnant with 2 girls who are not carriers. You deserve so much praise for your part. And thank you for all of your follow-up emails of support. It meant so much to me and kept me positive.
- Couple undergoing IVF who required PGT-M for a genetic condition in their family
Amy was amazing. We spoke with her to better understand our test results on our embryo, which were overwhelming and scary. She walked us through the genetic information, providing pictures and answering every question we had along the way. She was so kind and thoughtful throughout and my fears quickly subsided. In addition to the embryo testing, I provided information on a very rare neurological disease that my brother has we walked through the family history section of the appointment. After the meeting, she sent me a plethora of information on the subject so that I could provide them to my brother. Amy is an excellent resource and goes above and beyond with her clientele.
- Couple considering transfer of a mosaic embryo
The main reason to require genetic risk assessment is because it is basic good medicine.
1.The field of genomics is expanding so rapidly that no one without a special interest in genetic risk assessment can keep up and do a good job.
2. A screening policy only as good as its weakest link and I believe that it is important that all the patients that undergo treatment in a program get to have the same genetic risk assessment otherwise general health screening and carrier screening remains incomplete and can lead to bad outcomes that are preventable.
3. Given that some patients use their own gametes and others use a donor gamete, it is imperative that someone make the final determination that the egg and the sperm are a match and the best person to do this is someone who’s whole focus is the evaluation of the genetic risk for that set of gametes. I do not believe that the IVF practitioner is the best person to do this.
4. Another major benefit is the physician time saved, allowing the IVF practitioner to focus on the medical side of the IVF process, knowing that all patients have passed the basic genetic risk assessment and have been offered appropriate testing and advice.
5. There is also the medico-legal protection that a policy of requiring genetic risk assessment provides. Once the relevant family history has been elucidated, carrier screening has been performed and the recommendations for additional testing or for Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) in its various forms has been documented, patients who choose not to follow the recommendations can then be required to complete a waiver before the cycle is initiated.
-IVF physician answers the question: What are the Top 5 reasons your practice requires a Genetics Consult?
You spent so much time counseling us and giving us the benefit of your experience- without so much as a bill or hesitance in any way. We want you to know that your advice was much appreciated as we faced the possibility of raising a child with possible permanent behavior problems and other issues caused by drugs the mother used during pregnancy. What we learned was invaluable due to your referrals and guidance. We armed ourselves with this knowledge, and made a decision to raise and love the child. Unfortunately, the birth mother changed her mind. We also learned, as you suspected, that she was using drugs throughout the pregnancy. We believe this was a blessing in disguise, since I am now 12 weeks pregnant. You have been an amazing source of knowledge and assistance to us. I have been telling others in my egg donation group about you and must say that no one has received the kind of counseling that you have given us for our genetic consults, not to mention all of the additional time spent on our adoption. We will continue to refer you to our friends and hope that you know we appreciate your help very much!
- Couple considering adoption
Your advice was invaluable. Thank you for protecting my future family. You have secured our fate.
- Intended father, regarding a genetic risk assessment on his ovum donor
I have always found Amy to be one of the most friendly and responsive service providers I use. Her work is always of the highest calibre and delivered in a most timely manner. As service providers go, she’s among the best.
- Neil Kelly, Client Services Manager, British Surrogacy Centre