July 3, 2019
Editor’s Note: The FACTS Advisory Council consists of a talented and diverse group of individuals whose expertise, guidance, and support are crucial to the success of our organization. Being a member of our Advisory Council is a voluntary position, so their work with FACTS is a generous contribution of time and talent. In 2019, we are featuring an Advisory Council member each month to highlight their unique contributions to our mission. Our series continues with Dr. John F. Brehany, who has been involved with FACTS since 2012. We are grateful that Dr. Brehany gives not only his time and talent to the work of FACTS but also makes regular financial contributions to support our work.
Meet John Brehany, PhD, STL
Dr. John Brehany has had a long and distinguished career in healthcare, ethics, and education. Since 2015, Dr. Brehany has served as the director of Institutional Relations at the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), where he has been responsible for creating and implementing the Catholic Identity and Ethics Review (CIER) program. From 2006 to 2014, he served as executive director and ethicist for the Catholic Medical Association. His responsibilities included supporting membership and guild development, creating educational programs, developing position statements on healthcare ethics and public policy, and serving as a spokesman to the media.
Additionally, he has taught at various institutions of higher learning, including Saint Louis University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, the College of Pharmacy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and the University of Mary.
His Path to FACTS
Dr. Brehany met FACTS executive director, Dr. Marguerite Duane, in 2011 and attended his first FACTS meeting in 2012. Given his background in ethics, policy, and theology, he appreciated our scientific approach to share the science behind fertility awareness and agreed it was crucial to share this information with medical professionals. He welcomed the opportunity to support FACTS because “it looked like a model program for integrating basic science and medicine to serve the good of persons, families, and communities.”
In 2018, he helped the National Catholic Bioethics Center co-sponsor a conference that featured multiple presentations on FABM-related topics, including the latest science, model practice programs, extending educational opportunities, and marketing and partnership issues. He felt our organization was an important partner in making the conference a success, and we appreciated the opportunity to share the FACTS about FABMs to continue to expand our reach.
In His Own Words
We asked Dr. Brehany about meaningful aspects of his work with FACTS, and he noted the personal and professional impact of his understanding of fertility awareness. He explained, “My work with FACTS is based upon and has helped advance some of my deep personal convictions and professional goals. I have long believed in the importance of respecting human fertility, based on my lived experience of marriage and on my academic work in marriage and family studies. Modern FABMs help us to do this in our complex, contemporary world. My wife Marybeth and I used the Billings Method to time and achieve the births of our seven children.”
He went on to explain that his “role in advancing FABMs has been academic and professional. In the 1990’s, I taught classes on marriage, sexual morality, and medical ethics at Mount Angel Seminary and integrated information about FABMs into those classes. When I became executive director of Mission Services & Ethics at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa, I saw an opportunity to advance women’s health. In 2004, I led an effort to create a professional Creighton Model FertilityCare Services clinic at Mercy Hospital. This involved educating physicians, working with the hospital’s billing, coding, and marketing departments, coordinating with local Creighton practitioners, and working with the diocese to create a successful program.”
The Mission of FACTS
When asked why he feels the mission of FACTS is important, Dr. Brehany thought of G.K. Chesterton, who said, “the deepest truths have to be taught to the youngest children.” Dr. Brehany added, “people in our society, young and old, (hear) so many mixed messages and fail to get deep and basic facts about fertility and sexuality. Understanding and properly embracing fertility and sexuality are critical for health and happiness. FACTS has a unique role to play in providing this information and helping people to achieve health and happiness.”
Reflecting on the future of FACTS, Dr. Brehany expressed hope that “FACTS can continue to serve as an important bridge between organizations and between basic science and its optimal implementation in serving human fertility. I would like to see FACTS grow in size and impact, particularly in helping health care professionals to understand and support fertility awareness.”
More About Dr. Brehany
Dr. Brehany received a PhD in Health Care Ethics from Saint Louis University, a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C., and an MA in Philosophy from University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas. While earning his BA at the University of San Francisco, Dr. Brehany studied for a year at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He and his wife Marybeth have seven children and live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Greatest Contributions to FACTS
We appreciate Dr. Brehany’s vision and determination, from the early days of FACTS, to make accurate information about fertility awareness accessible to larger audiences of medical professionals. He has served as a bridge to facilitate opportunities for us to present at key conferences and has been instrumental in connecting Dr. Duane to key leaders at hospitals and organizations open to inviting FACTS speakers to share about fertility awareness. We are grateful to have Dr. John Brehany as an integral part of FACTS and our Advisory Council.
JOIN FACTS THIS SUMMER!
FACTS is busy this month giving presentations
and exhibiting at various conferences.
JOIN US and stop by to say hello!
Dr. Marguerite Duane will share lessons she’s learned about reaching new audiences with information about restorative reproductive medicine. Join us for this CME activity on July 17, 2019 for the North American Regional Restorative Reproductive Medicine Conference. You may register HERE.
American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals
This summer, FACTS will exhibit at the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals Conference. The conference takes place July 17-20, 2019. FACTS will exhibit July 18 and 19.
AAFP National Conference
Family Medicine Residents & Medical Students
Kansas City, KS
We will also exhibit along with FMEC at AAFP’s National Conference, July 25-27, 2019. If you are a FACTS speaker and would like to exhibit with us, please join us! Students & residents, stop by and say hello to Dr. Duane! If you are a FACTS ambassador and would like to exhibit with us, please let us know at info@FACTSAboutFertility.org.