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Listen Up, Lawmakers! NIAW 2017 is about Empowering those Who Suffer in Silence to Seek Support and Treatment

Fundamental to our mission at Shady Grove Fertility is to make fertility treatment more affordable and accessible to more people. In many ways, the number of physicians, office locations, financial programs, and various treatment options we offer helps to accomplish this goal. But our mission doesn’t stop at the door of SGF. Our mission is to create increased access for all who face infertility, which is why over the past 25 years, SGF physicians and, proudly, our patients, have been constantly involved in helping improve coverage and access to fertility care all over the nation. Sometimes, this change or increased access to care starts on Capitol Hill.

Listen Up, Lawmakers!

To make a change at the Federal level takes time and persistence, which is why SGF greatly values the individuals and couples who have bravely stepped forward to share their stories, our physicians who continue to fight for our patients, and our partner, RESOLVE: the National Infertility Association, who never ceases to stop fighting for all who might face infertility.

RESOLVE advocates to Federal officials on behalf of couples and individuals to make fertility care more accessible. But it’s not just RESOLVE who has a voice when it comes to making a change with the government, it’s you and it’s us.

SGF Physicians Make a Difference

When it comes to making a difference, many of our physicians have made it their personal goal to improve access to care. For example, just a month ago, Drs. Gilbert Mottla and Stephanie Beall of our Maryland offices advocated for fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment coverage to be included in the Maryland Mandate. Both testified at the local and state levels to help legislators understand how the additional stress and costs leave many patients with a very difficult choice: pay for cancer treatment or risk losing the ability to have a baby in the future.

In January 2016, Dr. Beall testified at the Senate to have the use of donor sperm for heterosexual couples to be included in the Maryland Mandate. She spoke on behalf of patients who would benefit from and would need assistance of donor sperm to have a baby. Fortunately, her testimony, along with fervent advocacy work, made a difference and in May 2016, it was added to the MD Mandate.

SGF Patients Make a Difference

SGF Patients with Senator Tammy Duckworth
(L to R) Kevin Jaye, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Lauren Jaye

Remember the story of SGF patients, Kevin and Lauren Jaye? This couple faced fertility issues after Kevin returned from service disabled, suffering the loss of a leg and permanent reproductive injuries, after a roadside bomb in Afghanistan exploded. The Jayes and their families made it their mission to reverse the two-decade IVF ban that left wounded veterans without the fertility benefits they needed to have a family.

The Jayes, a former patient of Dr. Jason Bromer, of the SGF Frederick office, shared their story on CBS to raise public awareness and later attended Advocacy Day in 2016 to make Congress listen and hear their story. Their efforts helped win a small victory and funds within the VA are currently able to be used for fertility treatment or adoption services.

How can you make a difference?

  1. Attend Advocacy Day
    Advocacy Day 2016
    Over the past several years Shady Grove Fertility physicians, staff, and patients have joined RESOLVE to speak with legislators on Advocacy Day. During this daylong event, women and men living with infertility come together in Washington, D.C. to talk to members of Congress about issues important to our community. This event ensures that you have a chance for your voice to be heard. In preparation for the event RESOLVE provides registrants training and information needed for this empowering day. Advocacy Day is a great opportunity to meet RESOLVE leaders and others from the infertility community who want to make a difference.
    Register to attend Advocacy Day 2017, May 18 in Washington, D.C.
  2. Write a Letter to Your Representative
    Can’t make it to D.C. for Advocacy Day? That’s ok! It only takes three letters to get the attention of the average representative and it can take as little or as much time as you have to put everything together. If you want to make sure your voice is heard, this form letter can be quickly printed, signed, and mailed off to D.C. If you have a little more time, the most powerful letters include a personal testimonial about your specific experience with infertility. Sharing your story is a great way to help representatives understand what their constituents need— insurance coverage through state mandates is a great example of legislation related to fertility care. Last year, hundreds of Shady Grove Fertility patients wrote letters to their representatives, making a strong impression among local leaders.

Thank you to all of the SGF patients who have attended Advocacy Day, those who plan to attend this year or in the future, and to all of our patients who have shared their stories. Your voice is the strongest voice of all. If you want to share your story to make a difference, we encourage you to write your story or talk with your SGF physician.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

Shady Grove Fertility’s team of dedicated New Patient Liaisons is available to answer your questions and schedule a consultation with a physician. Call 877-971-7755 or click to schedule an appointment.

At Shady Grove Fertility, we’re here to give you the caring support you deserve as you start or grow your family. As a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence, we offer patients individualized careinnovative financial optionsover 30 accepted insurance plans, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. We offer patients the convenience of 19 full-service and 6 satellite locations across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. More than 1,700 physicians choose Shady Grove Fertility to refer their patients, and more than 96 percent of our patients say they would recommend Shady Grove Fertility’s 39 physicians to a friend. With 10 Shady Grove Fertility babies born each day, your dream of starting or growing your family is within reach.

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