10 YEARS | 10 STORIES | 10 DAYS

Impacting the field of Fertility Awareness for more than a decade!

Ten years ago, on October 29, 2010, FACTS co-founders, Dr. Marguerite Duane and Dr. Bob Motley were joined by a half dozen colleagues at the 2010 FMEC meeting to lay the foundation for FACTS. Check out the stories below as we hear from the medical community about the decade-long impact of FACTS and our research, education, and engagement in the field of Fertility Awareness.

As we celebrate our anniversary we are quick to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of time, talent and financial support of the FACTS community writ large. YOU – medical professionals, students, and patients – are the reason FACTS exists – THANK YOU and cheers to the next 10 years!

Bob Motley, MD shares how the FACTS organization and the need for evidence-based information about fertility awareness based methods came to life. Dr. Motley is a board-certified family and geriatric medicine specialist. He currently practices at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, PA where he also serves as a Professor and the Vice Chair of Community Medicine at Jefferson University Hospitals.

In his words, “At our first official FACTS meeting there was a huge diversity of interest and thought surrounding the field of fertility awareness. Focusing on the science behind FABMs and an evidence-based approach proved to be the common ground we needed.”

Dr. Pearl Huang-Ramirez shares how her understanding of and experience with FABMs inspired the creation of FACTS and the need to fill a visible gap in medical school education. Dr. Huang-Ramirez, is a board-certified family medicine physician with Orlando Health Physician Associates Family Medicine. In addition to providing whole family preventative care and treatment for illnesses and chronic conditions, Dr. Huang-Ramirez serves as a medical consultant for natural family planning, helping women with their reproductive health and hormonal issues as well as issues of infertility.

In her words, It’s exciting to see FACTS programming reach so many medical students and health professionals. And equally wonderful to see patients do so well with charting and to get to the root cause of many of their fertility and GYN and hormonal imbalance issues. FACTS programming provides great outreach for our profession as well as for our patients – so many women have benefited from learning these fertility awareness-based methods.”

Laura Hehn Spaulding, MD is a board certified family physician currently completing a hospital medicine fellowship program in Maine after completing 7 years on active duty as an Army physician. Dr. Spaulding was one of the first students in Dr Duane’s “Fertility Based Methods of Family Planning” elective offered through the Georgetown University School of Medicine. She had some knowledge about non-hormonal birth control from her physician parents, but the elective was the first time she learned about specific methods and the significant research behind them. She and her husband have successfully used FABMs in their personal lives as well to both avoid and achieve pregnancy, even as they navigated challenging times in their careers with military service, deployments, moves, changing hospital shifts, and long hours.

In her words, “FACTS and the teaching it promotes to fellow physicians, medical students and the greater community at large can change the way this country sees birth control and family planning. It has changed the way I teach my patients about their reproductive health and answer many questions about pregnancy planning, pregnancy avoidance, missed periods, irregular cycles, and more.

Dr. Luis Garcia shares his beginnings with FACTS, his personal experience with fertility awareness based methods and the growing need for evidence-based information in the field. Dr. Garcia is a board-certified practicing family medicine specialist at Wellspan Health in York, PA where he has been able to incorporate fertility awareness fully into his family medicine practice. He has been an active member and supporter of FACTS since its inception in 2010.

In his words, “I am grateful for how FACTS has impacted my career early on as a medical student and resident, and now as a practicing physician. FACTS has given me a platform from which I can share the good news of FABMs. Prior to FACTS, I would flounder in my conversations with others about these methods, but FACTS provides the resources and support I need to be a voice in the medical field and to my patients.”

Dr. Jeanine Morelli shares her experience learning about FABMs through FACTS and the role offering and using FABMs in clinical practice plays in creating comprehensive and informed choice in family planning for patients. Dr.Morelli is a family practice specialist, board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, and serves on the faculty of Stony Brook Medicine in East Setauket, NY. She received her degree from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse and completed her internship and residency in Family Practice at Stony Brook.

In her words, “It took many years into my career before I was introduced to FABMs. As I learned more, I felt it was my role and responsibility to now teach future physicians about these very effective methods. If you’re going to counsel someone on family planning options, it’s only ethical that you tell them about ALL the different methods that are available so they may make a truly informed decision. So, it’s really a disservice if physicians and medical professionals don’t have this information in order to most effectively counsel their patients.”

Sara Shaffer, CNM is a Certified Nurse Midwife/Laborist currently practicing in Annapolis, MD. For the first 20 years of her career she provided care to military women and beneficiaries as both a labor and delivery nurse, and midwife. She retired from the United States Navy in June 2017. Sara’s expertise spans professional experiences in midwifery, breastfeeding support, natural family planning, and colposcopy.

In her words, “I do not recall learning anything about FABMs in my undergraduate nursing program, nor in my Masters Program for Midwifery. I came to learn about FACTS as I was learning to use an FABM for myself. I had used hormonal contraception for many years but was fed up with the side effects. My Creighton instructor told me about FACTS, and because I felt like I had missed out on years of awareness, I immediately felt called to join their mission of educating other health care professional about the truth and science behind FABMs. As a FACTS speaker I have given several FACTS lectures to medical students, nurse practitioner and nurse midwifery students, OBGYN and Family medicine residents as well as staff obstetricians and family medicine doctors.”

Brianna Wynne, MD is currently a geriatric fellow with Advent Health in Orlando, FL. Although she is not currently using her knowledge of FABMs directly in caring for patients, she anticipates treating patients of all ages in the future and is grateful to have the tools she learned through FACTS. As a med student in 2017, she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Duane and FACTS evaluating potential opportunities for resident education in fertility awareness-based methods of family planning. This work was presented at the Family Medicine Midwest Conference in 2017. Dr. Wynne also became a FACTS Student Ambassador in 2018, participating in many educational events and conferences and also becoming trained in the SymptoPro (symptothermal) method.

In her words, “FACTS programming provided me with valuable information that I was able to use throughout my family medicine residency. I am so glad I have these tools as I strive to deliver holistic care that empowers people to make informed, healthy choices.”

Meredith Krutar, MSN, APRN shares how the FACTS organization and FABMs have affected both her personal and professional lives and the importance of bringing the science behind fertility awareness to medical curricula. Mrs. Krutar is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Carroll College in Helena, MT. She is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner in primary care with an emphasis and love of pediatrics and women’s health. Her current clinical focus is on utilizing telemedicine to provide increased access to women’s healthcare to patients across the state of Montana. Meredith’s specialty is on fertility awareness, the Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning, and NaPro Technology.

In her words, “I was so surprised that after 6 years of nursing training in very reputable nursing schools, I has never been exposed to this information. This ignited a passion in me – I felt like this information was so critical for all women to know, for them to understand, and for them to have this as a choice for their family planning decisions.”

Johanna Burke and Brian Burke, MD share how the FACTS organization and Dr. Duane helped them navigate issues of infertility and recurrent miscarriage and how sharing the evidence behind FABMs is of vital importance to patients like them. Dr. Burke is a Family Physician currently practicing in Steubenville, OH with Trinity Health Systems. He currently offers outpatient ambulatory care from preconception to end of life and specializes in restorative reproductive medicine. Dr. Burke originally trained as a Couple to Couple League Instructor with his wife, Johanna, while he was still in medical school. As a resident and attending in the Navy, he continued to offer support to women and couples in the area of restorative reproductive medicine. Recently, he completed the Creighton Model Medical Consultant Program, and also did additional training in NeoFertility with Dr. Phil Boyle. He continues to offer RRM services to women and couples using a variety of methods.

In his words, “I felt called to work with students to help spread the message about FACTS and FABMs so patients and couples like us wouldn’t have to search or travel long distances to find physicians who can help them holistically with their fertility concerns.”

Dr. Mariana Girón shares her experiences working on research initiatives with the FACTS organization and the importance of bringing the science behind fertility awareness to patients. Dr. Girón is a board-certified family medicine physician and current medical director at Guiding Star in Tampa, FL. A native of Colombia, Dr. Girón received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Creighton Model/NaPRO Medical Consultant, and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Catholic Medical Association.

In her words, I can tell you learning from FACTS about fertility awareness-based methods has been an incredibly formative experience for me. It has allowed me to become very knowledgeable about the different FABMs available to women. And, it has opened my eyes to the reality that so many women, so many of our patients desire the option of managing their own fertility. Our patients deserve to know how to manage their fertility. They deserve to know when something is wrong with them. Charting with an FABM, and a clinician who knows how to interpret that chart, can do that for them.”

 

Do YOU have a story to share?

If you have a story to share about how fertility awareness based methods have impacted your practice, your medical education, your patients’ lives, or you personally, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us at info@FACTSaboutFertility.org – your experiences and growth in understanding are at the heart of our mission and we thank you in advance for sharing.

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