Genetics

The Genetics Department at Monash Children’s Hospital, as part of Monash Health assists with the diagnosis, management, counselling and support of children with genetic disorders.

Phone: (03) 8572 3000

To support the Genetics department at
Monash Children’s Hospital:

About us

The Genetics Department at Monash Children’s Hospital, as part of Monash Health assists with the diagnosis, management, counselling and support of children and adults with a wide range of genetic disorders.

These range from the more common genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome to rarer genetic conditions.

The genetics team uses a non-directive, patient-centered care approach, assisting patients and families to understand and make informed decisions about their healthcare options.

Patients attending this service may have a genetic disorder or be at risk of one through their family history.

Most genetic consultations are outpatient appointments at Monash Medical Centre Clayton, and a weekly outpatient clinic is also held at Berwick Healthcare on Mondays. Ward consultations can also be organised as required.

Genomic testing

Genomics is a relatively new discipline which offers large scale genetic testing, enabling all of an individual’s genes to be read in a single test. Monash Genetics is committed to the advances in genomic technology, offering testing for some children with rare and complex childhood syndromes.

Genomic testing is not currently funded by Medicare. However, some genomic testing is funded through the Melbourne Genomic Health Alliance – a research consortium aiming to evaluate the impact of this technology on patients and the healthcare system, whereas other children, who don’t meet the entry criteria for the Melbourne Genomics study, may be approved via other routes for a funded test.

Clinics

Paediatric genetic clinics provide assessment, diagnosis and management of children with known, and often unknown genetic syndromes.

Specialty clinics

The general genetics team holds various multi-disciplinary specialty clinics in neurogenetics, cardiac genetics, skeletal dysplasias, hearing loss, craniofacial and cleft lip and palate, genetic skin conditions, 22q11 deletions and genetic renal conditions.

Management plan

Genetic testing is organised, where applicable, to assist with diagnosis, and management of various genetic conditions. After diagnosis, patients and their parent or guardian will receive a management plan and detailed summary letter to assist communication with relatives and other healthcare providers. They may be referred to specialist clinics for assessment, and/or ongoing management which may include medical, surgical or allied health interventions.

Staff

Our multi-disciplinary service is led by Unit Head, clinical geneticist Dr Matthew Hunter and Unit Manager, senior genetic counsellor Katherine Rose. Dr Hunter completed his medical degree at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and went on to specialise in paediatrics in Brisbane and Melbourne before sub-specialising in clinical genetics at the Victorian Clinical Genetics Service.

Dr Hunter brings experience working in many different areas of medicine, in the third world, the UK and Australian hospitals to complement nearly a decade in the field of clinical genetics. Dr Hunter worked in the General Genetics Service and GOLD (Genetics of Learning Disability) service in Newcastle before returning to Melbourne to lead the general genetics service at Monash Health.

Dr Hunter has written and collaborated on many research papers on a range of topics in clinical genetics but his main areas of research interest are in familial intellectual disability and genetic causes of hearing loss.

Other clinical geneticists in the team include Dr Alison Yeung, and Dr Emma Krzesinski, neurologist & clinical geneticist Associate Professor Michael Fahey and visiting specialists including Associate Professor Tiong Tan and Associate Professor Ravi Savarirayan.

Our team of dedicated genetic counsellors are available daily for advice regarding referrals and patient care.

Referrals

Referrals to the Genetics Department at Monash Children’s Hospital should be addressed to the Head of Unit, Dr Matthew Hunter. The patient will be seen by a clinician within this specialty. The referral should indicate that it is valid for an indefinite period. It is vital to include genetic test results if these were not performed at Monash Health. Correspondence regarding the patient’s contact with our clinic will be sent back to the referring doctor and other relevant doctors.

For referral guidelines to the Genetics Department click here.

Please send your referral via:

Phone: (03) 9594 2026
Fax: (03) 9594 6022
Email: monashgenetics@monashhealth.org

Please note: Monash Health also has another genetics department, the Familial Cancer Centre (FCC), which focuses on the diagnosis and counselling of inherited cancer syndromes. Referrals to the FCC should be made separately.

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