UAMS.EDU

Fetal Genetics

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The Arkansas Reproductive Genetics Program

This is the only center in Arkansas that provides comprehensive, evidence-based, and compassionate high-risk obstetrics, maternal-fetal health, and prenatal diagnosis services in the state.

We offer a complete range of services, from genetic counseling to prenatal diagnosis, high-risk pregnancy management, and fetal interventions. The only board-certified Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians in the state are part of the staff that provides these services. In addition, we have board-certified genetic counselors, specially-trained genetic nurses, and registered diagnostic medical ultrasonographers.

As part of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, our center provides easy access to a variety of renowned specialists that may be needed in high-risk pregnancies. In addition, we have built strong relationships with the pediatric sub-specialists at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and our own Level III Intensive Care Nursery (NICU), who also work closely with our mothers and families, preparing for the deliveries and care of babies with significant medical complications or birth defects.

We can provide these services at a variety of locations throughout the state of Arkansas via our telemedicine network. If a patient lives in a location that is far from our main center in Little Rock, she may have the option of receiving our services at a closer location. This may allow her to bring family members to the appointment for support as well as save them the hassle of long-distance travel.

A family doctor, obstetrician, or other healthcare provider may offer an opportunity to visit with us. Two of the most valuable services that we provide are screening and diagnosis for physical and genetic defects that could affect an unborn baby. Nearly 97% of babies are born without major birth defects. However, when such defects do occur, being aware of them before delivery can improve the outcomes for babies. A serum screening test (blood test) can help assess your risk of having a baby with a certain birth defect, and a diagnostic test (ultrasound, amniocentesis, CVS) can help determine whether the baby has a birth defect or not. Targeted ultrasound evaluations can also aid in identifying babies with birth defects.

We are trained to answer questions, offer much-needed support and counseling, and provide options for the most advanced types of prenatal care and treatment.

  • Shannon N. Barringer, MS, Certified Genetic Counselor, Fetal Genetics Manager
    • A board-certified genetic counselor , Shannon has been with fetal genetics since 1997. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Virginia and her Master’s degree in Medical Genetics from Indiana University. Her primary focus is coordinating medical care for our patients/families who receive an abnormal prenatal diagnosis. She is well-versed in the latest genetic testing technologies and their accuracies. In addition, she was presented with UAMS’ first ELI Award, which recognizes healthcare providers that excel at providing patient and family centered care.
  • Christopher Ciliberto, MS, Certified Genetic Counselor
    • In 2013, Chris joined UAMS as a prenatal genetic counselor after graduating from the University of Maryland-Baltimore with a Master’s in Genetic Counseling. He has Bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences from Southern Illinois University and English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, and previously helped conduct research on proteins associated with Williams Syndrome and the emotional health of caretakers of people with Huntington Disease.
  • Lori Gardner, BSN, RN, Specialty Nurse – AR Fetal and Diagnosis Management Program
    • Managing the Arkansas Fetal Diagnosis and Management Program (AFDM), which is a joint venture with OBGYN, ANGELS, and many pediatric subspecialties at ACH, Lori serves to connect families receiving abnormal prenatal diagnoses with the appropriate medical specialists who will be caring for these babies before and after birth. Lori is an BSN/RN and previously worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse at UAMS.

Mailing Address
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 W. Markham Street, #506
Little Rock, AR 72205

Physical Address
Freeway Medical Tower
5800 West 10th Street, 7th Floor, Suite 7-400
Little Rock, Arkansas 72204
Phone: 501.296.1700 or 800.358.7229
Fax: 501.296.1701