October 7, 2021
Editor’s Note: Since its launch over a decade ago, FACTS has relied on the generous support of our benefactors, who recognize the importance of fertility awareness and value the work of FACTS. Our team could not fulfill the mission of FACTS without their continued support, and we take every opportunity to express our gratitude for their encouragement and generosity.
This month, we are pleased to feature Jeanine Murphy Morelli, MD, a family physician in Stony Brook, NY. We are grateful for her contributions as an integral part of the FACTS Speaker program and for her ongoing support as a monthly donor of FACTS.
Meet Jeanine Murphy Morelli, MD
Jeanine Murphy Morelli, MD is a clinical assistant professor and deputy chief of the Division of Family Medicine at the Renaissance School of Medicine in Stony Brook University. She attended medical school at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. After completing residency training in family medicine at Stony Brook, she has worked in various practice settings, including LSU-MC Shreveport, in private practice for Greater Cincinnati Associated Physicians, and as medical director of the Elsie Owens Health Center.
In 2013, Dr. Morelli returned to Stony Brook Family Medicine. She has a clinical faculty practice, teaches medical students at the Renaissance School of Medicine, precepts family medicine residents at Stony Brook-Southampton Hospital, and serves as an ethics consultant at Stony Brook University Hospital.
An Interview with Dr. Morelli
How did you first learn about fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs)?
“I first learned about ‘natural family planning’ through my Catholic upbringing. I also remember one slide in medical school that stated, ‘rhythm is only 75% effective and not a good option.’ I did not consider this at all until twenty-five years later, when a friend told me (some of) these methods were 98% effective. I was highly skeptical but this sparked my curiosity.”
How did you find out about FACTS?
Dr. Morelli learned about FACTS during a phone call with Dr. Marguerite Duane, executive director and co-founder of FACTS. Recalling this moment, she noted, “I have learned many things from Dr. Duane. One of them is picking up the phone to connect with people. When I joined the faculty at Stony Brook, I participated in a medical education leadership program. For my project, I surveyed family physicians in New York state about their views on natural family planning.” The survey results were published in NYSAFP’s Family Doctor, the journal of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. “Dr. Duane learned about this from a friend and decided to call me.”
Dr. Duane admires how Dr. Morelli wanted to go beyond recommending FABMs. “She’s always wanted to understand the why and how (of each method) to provide that extra support to her patients” and educate medical professionals in a thorough way. She discovered FABMs and their medical applications several decades into clinical practice. Wanting to deepen her understanding of how women can learn to chart their cycle using FABMs, Dr. Morelli became trained as a teacher in the sympto-thermal method, Sympto-Pro. She later trained as a FACTS speaker, and regularly gives presentations to students at Stony Brook about fertility awareness.
Speaking of the work of FACTS, Dr. Morelli added, “this work is essential, as it is not taught in medical school or residency.” She values how knowledge of FABMs equips medical professionals to counsel their patients more comprehensively, leading to “truly informed decision making about family planning and reproductive health.”
Dr. Morelli enjoys connecting with like-minded medical professionals through FACTS, including its annual meetings and seminars. She believes medical students and physicians in training and in practice would all benefit from joining FACTS and learning about these methods. “Dr Duane is an inspirational person and leader, and has created a great organization.” She looks forward to continuing to support the mission of FACTS to educate medical professionals about fertility awareness through monthly donations and as an active member and FACTS-trained speaker.
Where do you see the field of fertility awareness headed in the future?
Dr. Morelli is confident the field of fertility awareness will continue to grow, as evidenced by a growing interest among women in more natural and convenient ways to monitor their fertility. “Patients are interested in this and are using ovulation and fertility apps on their own, and they need guidance from their medical professionals. FABMs help women identify the fertile window and achieve pregnancy if that is their goal, which is very important, as women are delaying starting their families until a later age.”
Dr. Duane, who is in her second year of a research fellowship in fertility awareness through the University of Utah, published her very first peer-reviewed paper with Dr. Morelli’s husband, Dr. Peter Morelli. He is a pediatric cardiologist who also supports the work of FACTS. The article was a case report on a child with asthma treated with albuterol who developed an arrhythmia requiring cardioversion. Since then, Dr. Duane has co-authored multiple articles to contribute to the growing body of literature behind fertility awareness-based methods. We look forward to learning from her ongoing research about the relationship between a short luteal phase and the risk of recurrent miscarriage.
Through their financial support of the unique work of FACTS, Drs. Peter and Jeanine Morelli help fuel the emerging field of fertility awareness. Thanks to their generosity and encouragement, the FACTS team is fulfilling its mission. We are grateful.
More About Dr. Jeanine Murphy Morelli
Dr. Morelli has practiced medicine for thirty-four years. Now that her patients have grown older and are, mostly, not in their reproductive years, she is thrilled for the opportunity to educate the next generation of physicians as a FACTS-trained speaker so they may, in turn, educate their patients about the benefits and effectiveness of FABMs.
Our donors make a difference!
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the FACTS online elective has met the needs of physicians in training in a remarkable way that is helping FACTS fulfill its mission. During the 2020-21 academic year, 225 students completed our innovative elective. This year, and thanks to our donors, we expanded the elective to meet the growing demand, and are projected to fill every one of our 270 spots! The support of our donors enables us to expand so we may continue to serve our students without turning anyone away. Thank you!
We are deeply grateful for monthly donors like Dr. Morelli who make our work possible so we may continue to reach medical professionals with accurate, evidence-based information about FABMs.
Your generosity makes our work possible.
Your generous contribution enables us to educate and engage medical professionals and students by sharing the evidence supporting fertility awareness-based methods with them.
- $100 provides a scholarship for a student to attend a FACTS conference
- $250 covers the registration for a student to enroll in our elective
- $500 funds a FACTS speaker to educate students about FABMs
We appreciate all our donors. Thank you!