Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Minnesota Oncology is working to protect our patients and to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please review our updated policies, procedures, and information here. Read Advisory

Genetic Counselors

Our certified genetic counselors are committed to educating and supporting people with an elevated risk of cancer due to genetic factors. Their expertise in accurate risk assessment and surveillance techniques provide an additional dimension of insight for medical providers in caring for their high-risk patients.

Our Genetic Risk Evaluation program includes:

  • Detailed family history review
  • Genetic counseling and testing as indicated
  • Developing a personalized strategy to reduce cancer risk
  • Access to research trials
  • Written communication/recommendations sent to referral sources/healthcare teams

Genetic Risk Evaluation FAQs

Anna Leininger, MS, Genetic Counselor

“As a certified genetic counselor since 1996, I am passionate about using genetic information and technology to eliminate the needless devastation of cancer in families with high-genetic risk. By making genetic information understandable and genetic technology accessible, we empower families and their medical providers to make fully informed healthcare decisions to reduce cancer incidence and mortality.”

Anna is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and holds a masters of science degree in medical genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Anna provides consultations at the following locations:


Shanda Phippen, MS, Genetic Counselor

“Research is teaching us that personalized medicine is the way of the future. As a certified genetic counselor, every day I see that each patient has a different history and has different goals and desires. My objective is to learn each patient’s history, understand their goals, and foster patient empowerment in the risk assessment process. With this in mind, our collective purpose can be to reduce their and their family’s cancer risks and to find cancer early when it will be more easily and effectively treated."

Shanda is certified with the American Board of Genetic Counseling and holds a master of science degree in molecular, cellular, developmental biology and genetic counseling from the University of Minnesota.

She provides genetic counseling services at Minnesota Oncology’s Edina Clinic, in partnership with the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute.

Click here for more information on genetic testing.