April 1, 2020
During this unprecedented crisis due to the global spread of coronavirus, we are grateful for the opportunity to support and work with medical students, residents, physicians, nurses, and other medical and health professionals every day. We are glad so many students are taking advantage of our online elective and stand ready to continue to increase enrollment with a new cohort starting every 2 weeks.
We also want to remind you that FACTS is proud to sponsor the Cycle Power Summit, a free online conference from April 16th – 20th featuring our executive director, Dr. Marguerite Duane, as well as more than 30 other speakers who will share their expertise about fertility awareness and women’s health.
Whether you wish to attend the summit, complete an online elective or join our webinars to learn more about fertility awareness based methods (FABMs), we hope our online resources will prove useful. To make it easier for YOU, we are offering FREE registration for one FACTS webinar to anyone interested in learning more. Simply sign up here.
During this challenging time, please stay healthy and safe! And for those women who chart their cycle, remember that times of stress mean higher cortisol levels, which can impact your hormones and, thus, your charting. You may want to keep that in mind as you analyze your charts these coming weeks and months!
FACTS Speaker Feature: Kimberly A. Vacca, MD
Editor’s Note: In 2013, FACTS began to train speakers to provide the presentations we created to share the science of fertility awareness based methods with medical professionals, students, and the public. Since our first training, we have equipped more than ninety speakers to share the FACTS in their universities, training programs, hospitals, clinics, and communities throughout the United States and internationally.
This year, we are proud to feature a FACTS-trained speaker every month to highlight the diversity, depth of knowledge, and expertise of our talented pool of speakers. Our Speaker Training Program helps us fulfill our mission to educate medical professionals and students about the science behind fertility awareness. We equip them with accurate information so their patients and colleagues benefit from a medical community that is well informed about FABMs.
This month we feature Kimberly Vacca, MD, a pediatrician committed to educating her colleagues and patients about the benefits of charting the female cycle and learning about FABMs. We are grateful for her unwavering support of our work and her contributions as a patient advocate, educator, and FACTS speaker.
Meet Kimberly Vacca, MD
Kimberly Vacca, MD is a Board-certified pediatrician at Sandusky Pediatricians in Ohio, where she works with children from birth to 23 years of age. She received her medical degree in 1995 at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron. In 2015, she completed training as a Natural Family Planning Medical Consultant in NaProTechnology in affiliation with Creighton Medical School in Omaha, Nebraska.
Dr. Vacca has a special interest and expertise in treating adolescents with gynecological health problems through the use of FABMs. She is passionate about educating adolescent and adult women, couples, and medical professionals about fertility awareness.
Her Path to FACTS
Dr. Vacca first learned about FACTS at a medical conference in 2017. She was excited to find an organization so aligned with her desire to educate and offer girls a different approach to understanding their reproductive health. She joined FACTS and trained as a FACTS speaker that same year, and has been involved with our webinar program as a participant and educator.
In Her Own Words
As a pediatrician, Dr. Vacca values being able to educate adolescents to know their bodies and be proactive about their health. “As can be expected, there is not a lot of fertility cycle awareness among adolescent patients. However, when teens are experiencing cycle irregularities, I have found that some of them are highly motivated and want to understand how their bodies work to restore health. It has been most gratifying to help these young women move towards complete health. It also makes me happy to know that through this we might be averting future fertility problems as well.”
Dr. Vacca feels fortunate to be able to incorporate FABMs as she cares for adolescents. “My everyday approach for fertility awareness is simply education on what a girl should be experiencing with her cycles, like normal frequency, length, and the fact that she should never have ‘killer cycles’ and be unable to do normal daily activities. I stress the importance of tracking her cycles, since this is an important reflection of the health of her hormone patterns. This way she is in tune with her body and can be the first to recognize if something is off. In my mind, this sets the stage and paves the way for her use of an FABM as a young adult.”
Contributions to the Mission of FACTS
Dr. Vacca has taught for FACTS both live and via webinars, and was honored to help with our 2019 conference in Cleveland, OH. Her encouragement and support of FACTS inspire us to continue to invest time, energy, and resources to fulfill our mission. Reflecting on that mission, she notes, “I stand in awe of the leadership of the FACTS team, and the vision and commitment to the education of future generations of medical professionals.”
As a pediatrician, her favorite presentations to give include The Female Cycle as the Fifth Vital Sign and The Signs of the Female Cycle Explained. As a FACTS-trained speaker, she feels honored to teach about the science behind FABMs to “educate women, couples, and especially medical professionals who are unaware of FABMs and their use for a multitude of applications for women’s health problems and family planning.”
Dr. Marguerite Duane, cofounder and executive director of FACTS, admires Dr. Vacca’s desire to learn about fertility awareness as she cares for girls going through the pivotal transition time of puberty. In particular, she appreciates Dr. Vacca’s passion to share this vital information with her pediatrician colleagues.
Dr. Duane praises her for being “deeply committed to understanding the female cycle so she can teach girls the value of learning about their bodies, and about how charting the cycle empowers them to be more comfortable with the changes taking place. When girls learn to identify what is normal during puberty, they gain the ability to recognize the many variations within normal cycles as well as early signs that could indicate potential problems.” Dr. Vacca knows that this approach to their fertility, reproductive and overall health equips girls for a lifetime of learning how to “read” their bodies and work together with medical professionals to stay healthy.
Her Advice to Medical Professionals
Dr. Vacca feels strongly the work of FACTS enhances a student’s education and a physician’s career. Even more, she recognizes that “teaching the science of FABMs, in effect, completes the education of applied physiology to women’s health care that is currently lacking in our medical schools and residency programs. The ability to use basic science as a means to diagnose, treat, and restore a woman’s health is far more gratifying than simply using temporary symptom relief measures. I find that patients are grateful for this as well. At the end of the day, it is about helping people feel and be well.”
She urges medical students, residents, physicians in practice and in academia to pursue further education about the science of FABMs, “and then be bold and confident in your implementation and application of FABMs in your practice.” We are grateful to have an outstanding pediatrician educator with Dr. Vacca’s commitment to reach both patients and physicians about the benefits of fertility awareness and FABMs.
More About Dr. Vacca
In 2016, Dr. Vacca completed a mini-fellowship in Primary Pediatric Psychopharmacology at the REACH Institute in affiliation with the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. She is a part-time faculty member at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and an active member of the American College of Pediatricians and the Catholic Medical Association.
Our NEW 2020
Beyond our core webinars, FACTS is pleased to present a series of new webinars this year — one offered each month through June 2020! These bonus presentations reflect current research and topics of growing interest in the field of fertility awareness.
Registration is now OPEN for these 1-hour webinars. To REGISTER, click on the dates below.
What Can Be Learned from Millions of App Records | Tuesday, April 28th, 8:30 pm EST
What’s New with Fertility Tracking Apps? | Tuesday, May 26th, 8:30 pm EST
Chart Neo & the Visual Fertility Advisor | Tuesday, June 23rd, 8:30 pm EST
Join Us for Our Core Webinars and Earn CME Credit!
Below are the webinars we offer every month.
To REGISTER, click on the dates below, then share and invite a colleague!
The Female Cycle as the 5th Vital Sign
This presentation highlights the health of the female cycle and how the fertility awareness chart can aid in the diagnosis and management of common women’s health concerns.
Tuesday, April 7th, 8:00 pm EST
FABMs for Achieving & Avoiding Pregnancy
This presentation focuses on the use of FABMs to achieve pregnancy. It includes a case in which FABM charts assisted to diagnose and treat infertility. Evidence-based FABMs and their effectiveness rates to prevent pregnancy are also discussed.
Monday, April 27th, 1:00pm EST
The Science Behind Fertility Awareness
Our flagship presentation, Fertility & Family Planning, reviews the latest research and science supporting FABMs and their effectiveness to prevent and achieve pregnancy.
Thursday, May 21st, 1:00 pm EST