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
My husband and I were pursuing IVF when we had a rare and confusing result appear on our carrier screening. We spoke to two different genetic counselors at two popular testing facilities to help us understand our risk. Both calls provided rather high-level overviews of our results, with none of our case-specific questions answered. Then, our fertility doctor recommended Amy Vance. She came to our call highly-prepared with expert knowledge and tons of references specific to our case, and it was truly a lightbulb moment. We finally understood our risk. She showed us a level of personalized care and thoroughness we'd been seeking for months. I highly recommend Amy Vance to anyone seeking top-notch genetic counseling and who doesn't just want the PDF of their results read back to them over the phone.
-Couple with complicated carrier screening result: personal risk and risk to offspring.
My partner and I both had a matching positive result on our carrier screen genetic testing, which delayed our IVF procedure for weeks. My fertility physician did not want to continue with the procedure until we had more information on the chances of passing down the disease. Unfortunately, my partner and I had our genetic screening done at different facilities. My physician referred us to one of the lab genetic counselors, who refused to review both of our results nor answer our question. This delayed everything even longer. Finally, my physician recommended Amy! I reached out to Amy and was able to schedule an appointment with her the next day! I was beyond impressed by Amy’s knowledge and expertise. She reviewed both of our results as well as a detailed family history. She took extra time to go over the details using diagrams and making it very easy and clear to understand. It was such a sigh of relief to have this information and have it relayed to my fertility physician so quickly. I wish I had known about Amy sooner, it would have saved me so much time and unnecessary worrying.
-Couple both carriers for the same gene, second opinion after genetic counseling by the laboratory
Amy Vance was by far the best genetic counselor i worked with while at The Donor Source. She screened my egg donors 10 times faster than other genetic counselors, her reports were way more detailed and professional looking, and her prices were the same as or below the competitors. I could not recommend Amy more highly!
-Donor coordinator/case manager, The Donor Source
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
After 3 years of navigating an infertility journey, I unfortunately have felt mostly isolated and rushed through clinical practices until I had the pleasure of working with Amy. She was so incredibly responsive and brilliant. I was made to feel that she genuinely cared about me (a complete stranger who cold-called her one afternoon) and that she just simply wanted to help me make the best next decision. She so kindly and generously looked at a report for me first to help me assess if a session with her made sense, going out of her way to not waste my money if not indicated at this point. It is rare and refreshing to encounter a healthcare provider who is more concerned about helping others than their business' bottom line...... I'm so grateful for Amy and her diligence, generosity, intelligence and kindness.
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 just wanted to thank you for all your hard work and the quick responses throughout this process. It really calmed my anxiety. You reall are the best!
- Couple undergoing IVF, both carriers for the same recessive gene and son with autism
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
I needed to be tested for a specific genetic condition that was suggested by my physician. I initially went through insurance to work with one of the major UC medical institutions. However, this required countless appointments, evaluations, and paperwork, without a guarantee i would even qualify for genetic testing. I found Amy's information online and she called me back right away. She went through my medical history, provided detailed information on the condition in question and the genetic testing process, offered several options, and ordered my chosen test. The process was smooth and i got my results quickly. Amy explained my results to me in thorough detail. If you have the option of genetic testing with a private genetic counselor, it is much easier, direct and affordable.
-Patient referred for genetic testing for diagnosis of a genetic condition
Meeting Amy Vance has been literally a life changing experience. We are so blessed we had the privilege of meeting her. You want genetic counseling to be done with an expert that has years of experience and has seen it all, that also has excellent explaining skills in order for the patient to really understand what exactly the results mean, and avoid leaving the session with more questions than upon entering. You also want to do this with someone that will empathize with you, make you feel as if she is not in a hurry, will make you feel safe, and will give you an accurate advice and next steps. And on top of that someone who will give you a thorough and detailed post-session report with everything that you discussed so you can go back to it anytime. This is Amy. I am so happy me and my family found her. Such a different experience compared to the many other Genetic Counselors we have worked with. Thank you so much for everything Amy, we feel so taken care of!
-Pre-IVF genetic counseling
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
As a result of the advice you gave me during our genetic counseling session, I went to see a cardiologist. The EKG was normal but he also ordered a cardiac calcium scan which showed a few blockages. given the family history, he put me on a treatment plan to reduce the risk for cardiac events. I never would have thought to be so proactive if it had not been for your recommendation, so thank you very much for that. With good fortune i will not face the same challenges my father and grandfather did and outlive them both by several decades.
-Couple referred for genetic counseling for their egg donor, but family history for the patient revealed family history of aortic dissection. This was never addressed by his own physician.
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?
In preparation for my genetic counseling appointment for egg donation, Amy provided guidance about questions to ask my family about their health. Many of the questions Amy asked i had never thought about. The process made me want to dig further and learn more about the people that passed their genes to me! I individually sat down with my relatives to ask them to help me create a list of health conditions they have had in the past and have at the present time. I have a large family and i have never dug into the details until now. I was able to get a clearer picture regarding my family's fertility, health issues, and overall mental health. I really enjoyed gaining more in-depth knowledge on my family's health. It's allowing me to share what I've learned with my siblings and their children as well. Thank you, Amy. I have really enjoyed this process! My wife and I had to ter
My wife and I had to terminate our pregnancy at 22 weeks due to abnormalities observed in the fetus and we decided to undergo genetic testing to ascertain what happened. Amy was instrumental in helping us navigate the giant maze that was to follow. She was with us every step of the way, from taking and analyzing our family history to understanding the implications of whole exome sequencing results, to recommending necessary follow up tests and even tests such as carrier screening which were not recommended before. Thanks to Amy, my wife and I are now more confident in taking the next steps on our journey!
-Couple referred for second opinion
After my father developed Huntington's disease, i knew i had a 50% chance of inheriting the gene and needed to get tested to plan for the future. I searched for available information on the internet, but without a medical education i could not understand the medical articles and could not confirm reliability of other sources. I needed genetic counseling; Amy explained everything i needed to know about the disease, my risks, the testing procedure, and shared great practical advice about insurance considerations. She also provided much-needed support during the more than 6-month journey to the moment when the test results came back negative. I am beyond grateful to her for her support and tactful guidance during this difficult period of my life. THANK YOU!
-Patient at risk for Huntington's disease.
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
Like most parents I have been trying to have my own child for many years. After multiple IVF rounds we ended up with just one embryo. The embryo was a 'segmental mosaic aneuploid'. It was very difficult to get specifics on what this segmental deletion could cause. The embryo testing facility's genetic counselor informed us of all the possibilities that could happen with the deletion on that chromosome, but also that the baby could also be normal as they test placental cells . We decided to take the risk and transfer the embryo into our surrogate. We were blessed that the embryo implanted. Later on in the pregnancy a cardiac defect was detected. The cardiologists automatically assumed it was secondary to the chromosome deletion detected on the embryo. I met with a genetic counselor at the University that works with the cardiologists . He was not a reproductive genetic counselor. He told me about multiple significant very scary lifelong genetic conditions that our baby could have related to the chromosome involved in the deletion on the PGT-A test. Some of the information was different than what was discussed by the previous genetic counselor. I was devastated and started to question my decision to transfer the embryo.
I did not think it would make a difference, but I decided to reach out to one more genetic counselor for their opinion. My fertility doctor lead me to Amy Vance and our whole world changed. She specializes in fertility genetic counseling and knew the most current data. In her opinion and research, the deletion was too large for a baby to develop if the baby actually had the deletion. I was shocked that other genetic counselors provided such different information. She then informed us that the cardiac condition does not have to be from a chromosome disorder. Many happen sporadically. She recommended amniocentesis and it turned out she was absolutely correct, the results were normal. I can't stress enough how important it was to meet with a clinical genetic counselor who specializes in assisted reproduction in situations like ours. Our whole world and outlook changed after meeting with Ms. Vance! I cannot recommend her enough.
-Intended mother, mosaic embryo with congenital heart defect
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