Shady Grove Fertility Advocates on Capitol Hill for the Infertility Community, 2019 Advocacy Day, May 16
Washington, D.C. – Shady Grove Fertility (SGF), a visionary partner of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association’s Advocacy Day, invites the community to join the movement on Advocacy Day, May 16, 2019. This unique event brings together the infertility community in Washington, D.C. to present the most pressing family building issues before Members of Congress. At the top of the legislative agenda is increasing insurance coverage for infertility treatment so that more people have access to medical treatment, specifically in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. Advocacy Day is our chance to empower the infertility community and make sure our voices are heard on Capitol Hill. I am proud to be part of inspiring change to advance the causes that impact patients daily. I look forward to joining my fellow peers and patients to bring attention to these important issues,” says Brad Swelstad, M.D., reproductive endocrinologist in Shady Grove Fertility’s Woodbridge and Fair Oaks, VA offices.
This year RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day will be in partnership with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). RESOLVE organizes this annual event to give people the opportunity for their voices to be heard in hopes of increased access to family building options and financial relief.
“The issue of family building is bi-partisan and Advocacy Day offers a unique opportunity to amplify our voices and speak on behalf of the 7.3 million Americans of childbearing age who are currently facing infertility. Infertility is recognized by the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as a disease, yet many who are struggling to conceive find themselves impeded in their ability to access care because of a lack of insurance. Our hope is to impact change,” said Eric A. Widra, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Shady Grove Fertility and a member of the RESOLVE Board of Directors.
On the agenda this year, advocacy day participants will address these important issues:
Increasing Insurance Coverage: In a survey conducted by RESOLVE, 46 percent of respondents said cost is the number one barrier to seeking fertility treatment, as many people do not have adequate insurance coverage for treatment. Advocates will share their support for federal legislation that includes comprehensive insurance coverage for IVF, including from TRICARE and for Federal Employees.
Covering Fertility Preservation: Last year, SGF physicians Drs. Gilbert Mottla and Stephanie Beall played a vital role in helping to pass new legislation in the state of Maryland that covers fertility preservation for those patients facing cancer treatment. Maryland was the first state in the nation to enact infertility insurance legislation and is one of only a few states that also covers fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment. Dr. Mottla continues to attend Advocacy Day every year to help fight for fertility preservation nationwide.
Helping Veterans: In late 2016, Congress passed a bill allowing the Veterans Administration (VA) to cover IVF for wounded veterans; however, the benefits are only available until September 2019, so it’s a priority to advocate for making this coverage permanent.
“Together, we can make a difference on Capitol Hill. Infertility is often misunderstood so it’s incumbent upon us to speak up and let our voices be heard and inform Congress about the issues. Sharing real stories from real people makes a difference. Let’s urge our nation’s leaders to strengthen support for the infertility community,” adds Dr. Mottla.
Want to get involved and have your voice be heard? Register for Advocacy Day and join SGF physicians, staff, and former and current patients to make a difference.