Kassi Brooks knew she wanted to be a genetic counselor ever since she was 15 years old. “I read about it in a biology textbook and instantly knew it was the career for me – being able to work with people, paired with my love for genetics was exactly what I wanted to do.”
Having made her career choice, Kassi earned her graduate degree at Indiana State University. “One Important lesson I learned during graduate school was that it is okay to not have all the answers,” she explains. “I work with a team of excellent medical providers and collaborate with them on particularly complicated cases. Teamwork is essential to providing the best patient care!”
That’s one of the main reasons she chose Beacon. As Kassi notes, “I was fortunate enough to complete two clinical rotations here during graduate school. I really enjoyed the collaborative, positive environment. It was an easy decision to come back to Beacon after I graduated!”
For Kassi, her love for people dovetails perfectly with her philosophy – which is, quite simply, the Golden Rule. “I truly believe in treating others the way I want to be treated. I think that being kind and understanding of each patient’s individual situation makes a huge difference in being able to provide the best care possible.” This is especially relevant to her work in Oncology. “I primarily see patients with a personal or strong family history of cancer; therefore, I’m often seeing patients at one of the most difficult times of their lives. The strength that my patients have always amazes me.”
Kassi seeks to give her patients a better understanding of how their genetic information impacts them and their families. “As a genetic counselor, I help patients understand the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. I provide a piece of the puzzle. It’s my hope that my patients learn to use this information to its fullest potential.”
In her own words
Who is or was the most influential person/role model in your life? My mom is without a doubt the most influential person in my life, as well as my biggest role model.
What was your first job growing up? What do you remember about it? My mom works at an accounting firm and my first job was working there as a secretary. It was an extremely busy firm (especially during tax season), so I just remember how fast-paced it was.
What is your favorite food? Movie? Chicken Alfredo and Jurassic Park.
If you could sit down to dinner with anyone (alive or deceased) who would it be and why? I would probably choose my mom. Now that I have moved to South Bend, I live three hours away from her, and it’s definitely hard not being able to see her as often as I would like. Before I moved, we would have dinner at least twice a week.
In addition to medicine, what are you passionate about? What are your hobbies, interests? I am very passionate about animals. I volunteered for many years at the local Humane Society in my hometown. I spend most of my free time with my husband and our two dogs, Winston and Walter! We spend a lot of time going on walks with our dogs and taking them to new parks. We also play a lot of board games.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I absolutely love dinosaurs! I wanted to be a paleontologist before I discovered genetic counseling.
ServicesBeacon Cancer Care Memorial Hospital provides oncology services in South Bend, IN. Oncology includes the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, and many other forms of cancer.
Contact Kassi Brooks at (574) 647-1100 for specific information about cancer treatment in South Bend, IN.
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