FACTS is a group of physicians, healthcare professionals and educators working together to provide information about natural or fertility awareness based methods of family planning with the medical community.
Our goal is to share the best evidence available with our healthcare colleagues and students so they can:
Educate women and men about their fertility
Empower them to make more informed choices about family planning
Enable women to collaborate with medical professionals to better monitor and manage their reproductive health
To educate future healthcare professionals about evidence based fertility awareness methods (FABMs), so they may empower and engage patients to care for their reproductive health.
To change the culture of medicine so fertility is recognized as normal and healthy.
- Educate students, physicians, and health professionals in the basic principles of fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) and the supporting science behind their medical applications.
- Promote FABMs and their use in effective, relationship-centered care for women and couples.
- Provide a forum for clinicians, educators and researchers to share and expand the evolving body of evidence about FABMs.
- Foster respect and support for clinicians and students as collaborators in patient-centered reproductive health care.
Statement of Principles
- Fertility is a healthy aspect of reproductive physiology.
- Our educational approach to fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) is grounded on solid scientific evidence and ongoing research.
- Fertility awareness based methods can be used effectively to achieve or avoid pregnancy and to monitor and manage reproductive health. They empower women to make more informed decisions about their care.
- Fertility awareness based methods enable women to invite men to share responsibility for family planning, as they each contribute equally to the formation of a unique human being.
- Physicians and healthcare professionals trained in FABMs can work with patients to care for their reproductive health and address gynecologic disorders, including infertility, with the goal of not suppressing or destroying fertility.
- FACTS promotes the proven effectiveness of any method that has quality science to support its use.
Over the past 40 years, significant innovations have been made in women’s health care, particularly within the realm of reproductive science. Parallel to these advances, natural methods for monitoring fertility have been standardized and refined. This has led to more effective tracking of women’s cycles and the times of fertility. These methods can be used to achieve or postpone pregnancy, and in some cases to address underlying gynecological concerns in ways that cooperate with or restore the normal physiology and anatomy of the human reproductive system. These treatments do not use approaches that are inherently suppressive, circumventive or destructive and provide opportunities for reproductive health care that respects a patient’s right to understand and cooperatively manage their own fertility, with appropriate medical assistance. Despite advances in the science of fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) and increasing interest among women in using them, the overwhelming majority of physicians, healthcare professionals and students are not familiar or knowledgeable about them. In response to this, a group of family physicians and experts in the field of fertility appreciation founded FACTS under the umbrella of the Family Medicine Education Consortium in 2010. Learn more about our beginning and our members.
Dr. Marguerite Duane, a board certified family physician, is co-founder and Executive Director of FACTS – the Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science, an organization dedicated to educating healthcare professionals and students about the scientifically valid natural or fertility awareness based methods of family planning. She also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University, where she directs an introductory course on natural methods of family planning. Dr. Duane is a physician with Modern Mobile Medicine, a direct primary care house-calls based practice serving patients of all ages in the DC metropolitan area. Dr. Duane has also previously served on the boards of both the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the FMEC.
Dr. Duane is trained as a Creighton Medical consultant and a TeenSTAR educator. She received her M.D. degree with recognition in primary care from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed her Family Medicine residency at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, PA. She received a Bachelor of Science with Honors degree and a Master of Health Administration degree from Cornell University in 1992 and 1994, respectively. Dr. Duane has been recognized for her leadership efforts by the American Board of Family Medicine which named her as a 1998 Pisacano Scholar, and by the American Academy of Family Physicians which awarded her the AAFP Bristol Meyers Squibb Graduate Medical Education Award in 2002. Dr. Duane balances her career as a teacher and Family Physician, with her role as a mother and wife. She is proud to be accompanied on this life’s journey by her husband and fellow family physician, Dr. Kenneth Lin, and they are the delighted parents of 4 young children.
Amylynn Smith, a Creighton Model FertilityCare Practitioner, is the Director of Educational Outreach, which includes the FACTS Speaker Program. Additionally, Amylynn has been teaching the Creighton Model for the past 5 years to women of various reproductive ages. Amylynn began volunteering with FACTS in the fall of 2015 and started working part-time for the organization in the spring of 2016. She hopes that through her work with FACTS more patients will have access to information about fertility awareness based methods. Amylynn is currently living in Northwest Arkansas with her husband and young son.
Alison Contreras, PhD, FCP, serves as the Director of Programs and Apps Project Manager for the collaborative. Alison has taught a sympto-thermal FABM since 2009 and the Creighton Model System, a mucus-only method, since 2014. As a FABM teacher in two systems, Alison understands the importance of clients receiving factual information from their physicians in order to make and support their healthcare decisions. Alison received a BS in Civil Engineering in 2006 and a PhD in Environmental Engineering in 2011, from Rice University. She has authored 9 peer-reviewed and conference papers. Prior to moving to DC in 2013, she worked as an engineer for MWH Global Inc., a global wet-infrastructure engineering firm based in Arcadia, CA. She has taught FABMs in three major metropolitan areas: DC, Houston, and Los Angeles.
Barri Burch is an advertising and marketing professional with over 35 years experience in the industry. She has worked for many agencies and publishers over the course of her career gaining expertise in a wide range of disciplines including graphic design, web development, media, production, data analysis and operations. Her work with healthcare organizations includes healthcare flagships like MD Anderson Cancer Center, large AMCs like Tufts Medical Center and The University of North Carolina School of Medicine, as well as many small community hospitals, physician networks and mobile medical practices. She will be assisting FACTS with design, web development, social and traditional media, and public relations. Ms. Burch and her husband raised their four children under the Carolina blue skies of Chapel Hill, NC where they still live and work today.
Virginia (Ginger) Martinez, a Physician Assistant, serves as the Research Coordinator for FACTS. She began her Physician Assistant career in Emergency Medicine in Grosse Pointe, Michigan at Bon Secours and Cottage Hospitals. Since then she has also worked in Pediatric Neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit and in Family Medicine in Kissimmee, Florida. While working at Children’s Hospital of Michigan she found her passion for research which was recently renewed in supporting research activities for FACTS. Virginia achieved her Masters in Physician Assistant Studies at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan in 2003. In addition to being a medical professional, Ginger is a devoted and successful wife and mother of four.
Our Advisory Council
Robert Motley, MD
Dr. Motley, a board certified family physician, spent the first 20 years of his career in community-based private practice. He graduated from LaSalle University and Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. He remained at Jefferson to complete his family medicine residency training. He was a founding member of TriValley Primary Care, a multi-site primary care group practice in southeast Pennsylvania. In 2006, he joined the faculty of the Family Medicine Residency at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA, where he was honored three times as Resident Teacher of the Year. He served as vice chair of Network Collaboration for the Department of Family Medicine and as president of the LVHN medical staff from 2012 through 2014. In 2010, Dr, Motley co-founded FACTS with Dr. Marguerite Duane. He completed a master’s degree in Health Care Delivery Science at Dartmouth College in 2016 with focus areas in population and community health, quality and safety, and clinical care redesign. Dr. Motley and his wife, Jeanne-Marie, have five adult children and two grandchildren.
Mike Manhart, PhD
Dr. Manhart serves as the senior scientific consultant for Couple to Couple League (CCL), an NFP organization through which couples can learn the sympto-thermal method of family planning. After receiving his doctorate in microbiology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, he embarked on a career in Research & Development with Procter & Gamble. While there, he held management roles of increasing responsibility in various global healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations. In 2008, Dr. Manhart retired as director of Research & Development. He and his wife have served as volunteer CCL teachers for over 25 years. He also served on the CCL Board of Directors from 2007 to 2009 and as Executive Director of CCL from 2009-2016. He served on the FACTS Executive Team from 2011-2015 and was the lead author on our article: Fertility awareness-based methods of family planning: a review of effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy using SORT. He resides in Cincinnati and is the proud father of four and grandfather of three wonderful children.
Pamela A. Vnenchak, MD
Dr. Vnenchak, a board certified family physician, is the deputy director of the Lancaster General Health Family Medicine Residency Program. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Elizabethtown College with a B.S. degree in biology and attended the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now known as Rutgers New Jersey Medical School), where she obtained her M.D. degree in 1990. In 1993, she completed her family medicine residency at Lancaster General Hospital, where she served as chief resident. After residency, she worked at Valley Family Physicians in Claremont, NH for three years. She also served as assistant professor (clinical investigator) at the Family Medicine Residency at LaFayette Family Health Center in LaFayette, NY. She joined the faculty in 2000. Her clinical interests and focus center on the health of women and children. Dr. Vnenchak serves on the Board of the Family Medicine Education Consortium (FMEC). She and her husband have four children, including teenage triplets.
Joseph Stanford, MD, MSPH, CFCMC
Dr. Stanford, a board certified family physician, is George D. and Esther S. Gross endowed professor and director of the Office of Cooperative Reproductive Health in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City. He is also an adjunct professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics. Dr. Stanford received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed residency training in family medicine and a master’s degree in public health at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on five externally funded prospective cohort studies assessing fecundity, fertility, and birth outcomes in women or couples trying to conceive, as well as population-based studies of fertility and fertility treatment. In addition, he maintains an ongoing clinical practice focused on a primary care approach to fertility and subfertility, with an emphasis on links between subfertility and general health status in both females and males. Dr. Stanford is a certified FertilityCare Medical Consultant through the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals and a board member of the International Institute for Restorative Reproductive Medicine.
Victoria Jennings, PhD
Dr. Jennings, the director of the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, has more than 30 years of experience developing, managing, implementing, and advising Family Planning /Reproductive Health (FP/RH) programs in capacity building, evaluation, and advocacy. She received her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and her MS and PhD from the the University of Texas and Austin. Dr. Jennings leads the USAID-funded Fertility Awareness for Community Transformation (FACT) Project, which is testing innovative strategies to increase fertility awareness and expand access to Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABMs) at the community level. Previously, she led the Gates Foundation-funded A3 Project which aimed to improve RH outcomes by expanding FP access through faith based organizations, increasing access to the Standard Days Method (SDM) through mobile phones, and improving adolescent fertility awareness. Dr. Jennings was the principal investigator of the FAM Project and of the AWARENESS Project, research-to-practice initiatives to develop, test, and integrate the SDM, TwoDay Method, and Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) into a wide variety of settings. She serves on numerous World Health Organization (WHO) committees and USAID task forces and is also a professor in the Department of Obstetric and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Geraldine Matus, Lay Midwife, HRHP, PhD
Dr. Matus, a lay midwife and holistic reproductive health practitioner (HRHP), is the founder of the Justisse Method (1987) a sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness. She is the Director of Justisse-Healthworks for Women and is academic dean of its subsidiary, Justisse College, the gold standard for secular fertility awareness educator training. Dr. Matus qualified as a lay midwife in 1985 and completed natural family planning educator training in the Billings Method, SERENA Canada, Couple-to-Couple League, and Creighton Model FertilityCare between 1977 and 1986. She has worked as a fertility awareness educator and HRHP since 1977, and has been active in the reproductive health freedoms movement since then. Dr. Matus believes that a woman’s reproductive cycle is the 5th vital sign of her health which depends on healthy and regular ovulatory and menstrual patterns from menarche to menopause. She works with the Core Competencies Committee of the Association for Fertility Awareness Professionals (AFAP) to oversee the development of standards and testing for certification of Fertility Awareness Educators (FAE). Dr. Matus completed her doctorate in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2014 and her work integrates her experience in sexual and reproductive health with a depth psychological view of healing.
Peter Danis, MD
Dr. Peter Danis, a board certified family physician, is a faculty member at Mercy Family Medicine Residency and Clinical Professor at St Louis University School of Medicine, which is also where he completed his medical training. Additionally, he has a Masters in Medical Management from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Certified Fertility Care Medical Consultant, and served as President of the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals (AAFCP) from 2015-17. He is also a member of the International Institute for Restorative Reproductive Medicine (IIRRM). Dr. Danis speaks on a regular basis at the local and national level on a range of topics that address women’s health, fertility awareness, and the medical applications of NaProTECHNOLOGY He has published in a variety of journals and wrote the chapter “A Family Physician’s Experience with NaProTECHNOLOGY” in the textbook, The Medical and Surgical Practice of NaProTECHNOLOGY. Since 1998, he has lead medical mission teams to Central America and is interested in supporting efforts that bring FABMs to the people in the third world.
Kathleen Raviele, MD
Dr. Raviele, a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist, has worked in private practice in the Atlanta area for the last 26 years. She is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Albany Medical College of Union University. She completed her residency in ob-gyn at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals of Cleveland and a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at Emory University. She has completed training as a teacher for the Couple to Couple League and the Marquette Method, the Creighton practitioner and medical consultant programs, and the Georgetown Institute for Reproductive Health methods. She gives talks in parishes and marriage prep programs about the various FABMs and has participated in several published research studies on the Marquette Method, which she has taught for 17 years. She is a past president of the Catholic Medical Association and a former board member of Georgia Right to Life. Dr. Raviele also represents the Catholic Medical Association as a consultant to the Pro-Life Secretariat of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Lauren Gordon, MD
Dr. Gordon, a board-certified family physician, is the Director of Women’s Health at Franklin-Square Family Medicine Residency in Baltimore, MD. She attended medical school at the University of Maryland and completed her residency and an obstetrics fellowship at Franklin Square Hospital Center. In addition to women’s health, Dr. Gordon has a strong interest in community medicine and global health. She is coordinator of the Women’s Cancer Protection Program, providing breast and cervical cancer screening to uninsured women. She is also actively involved with Shoulder to Shoulder, volunteering in Honduras numerous times over the last 5 years doing both medical and community outreach work. Dr. Gordon serves on several local committees including the Med Chi’s Maternal-Child Health Committee, Baltimore Regional Perinatal Advisory Committee, and the board of Planned Parenthood of Maryland. She has presented numerous times on the topic of women’s health and family planning. Most notably, she served as lead presenter on our FACTS study entitled: Inclusion of Fertility Awareness-Based Methods In Family Medicine Residency Programs: A Pilot Survey. She is the proud parent of 2 teenage children.
Matthew Larkin, LCDR, USN, MBA, MSM
Lieutenant Commander Larkin is a human resources officer in the U.S. Navy. He has served on active duty for twelve years in a variety of leadership assignments in operations management, recruiting, pay, and personnel services. He completed a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in naval science at Villanova University, a master’s degree in manpower systems analysis at Naval Postgraduate School, and an MBA at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. Currently, he is teaching at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Lt Cmdr Larkin has worked with a variety of non-profits, volunteer organizations, and start-ups. He completed a certification in health care ethics at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, PA. He enjoys supporting his wife, Elissa, in her work as a certified nurse-midwife trained as a Creighton medical consultant. They are both grateful to support the FACTS mission. Matt and Elissa have five children.
Abby Crowley, EdD
Dr. Crowley has served as the director of Professional Development at Catholic Charities in Washington, DC for the last 17 years and is an Adjunct Professor of Education at Trinity University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in special education from Boston University and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Education Administration from Catholic University of America. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Pathways Schools. She has enjoyed a long career in education as a teacher, school principal, member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education, university professor, and consultant. Dr. Crowley has been actively involved with FACTS since its inception, and in particular with the development of the FACTS Speaker training program and she is pleased to contribute to this important work. She lives in Greenbelt, Maryland with her husband, also a teacher, and their black lab, Bodhi. She has two sons and a 7 year old granddaughter.
John F. Brehany, Ph.D., S.T.L.
Dr. Brehany serves as director of Institutional Relations of The National Catholic Bioethics Center. He received a Ph.D. in Health Care Ethics from Saint Louis University, an S.T.L. in Sacred Theology from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C., an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, and a B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from the University of San Francisco. From 2006-2014, he was executive director of the Catholic Medical Association (CMA), where he supported organizational growth and development and represented the CMA to the Church, government, and the media. Dr. Brehany was executive director of Mission Services and Ethics at Mercy Medical Center, Sioux City, Iowa from 2000-2006, overseeing mission integration, the ethics committee, pastoral care, and the community benefit program. Dr. Brehany has taught bioethics, philosophy, and theology at several universities, including Saint Louis University, Briar Cliff University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.