2014 Annual Conference Schedule


Schedule at a Glance

7:45-8:30 AM: Registration & Exhibits Open

8:30-9:15 AM: Keynote Address

9:15 AM-12:15 PM: Morning Sessions A and B

12:15-1:30 PM: Lunch

1:30-4:15 PM: Afternoon Sessions C and D

4:20-5:00 PM: Mini-Sessions

Workshop Tracks

The Conference features 5 workshop tracks on the topics of Treatment, Adoption, Donor Options & Surrogacy, Emotional Health and Complementary, Financial and Other.  Click here to review the workshop tracks and choose which sessions are right for you.  You will be able to customize your own track based on your interests and choose from from nine different workshops for each of the 4 main Sessions (A and B in the morning, C and D in the afternoon), a Lunchtime Topic Table and 1 of the 8 different Mini-Sessions.  Each Workshop corresponds to the following tracks, as indicated by the key below:

7:45-8:30 AM: Registration & Exhibits Open

Complimentary continental breakfast included. The fertility resources and exhibit hall is open all day so you can pick up information and ask your questions from over 20 organizations.

8:30-9:15 AM: Keynote Address by Judy Carr

Judy Carr is our featured keynote speaker at the 21st Annual Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices and Adoption Conference, and she is the first woman to give birth after IVF in the United States. babies_carrs_01Her daughter, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, was born in 1981 in Norfolk, VA and was the first baby born in the US through IVF. We are honored to have her join us and share her unique story, ‘Raising an IVF Child, One Mother’s Perspective’!

Carr is an educator and current adjunct faculty in Biology at Mount Wachusett Community College.  She was a RESOLVE National Founders Aware Recipient in 1999.  She has spoken on television shows Nova, Good Morning America, The Today Show,  and Inside Edition as well as presented about her experience at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.  She has also been interviewed for many magazines and newspapers such as Family Circle, Discover, and US News and World Reports.

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Morning Workshop Sessions

9:15-10:30 AM: Session A

A-1: Infertility 101
Learn about the infertility workup and how to interpret results, fertility medications, when to move on to IVF, success rates, new treatments on the horizon, and how to assess whether to pursue these options. Presented by: Samuel Pang, MD, Medical Director, IVF New England

A-2: Diminished Ovarian Reserve: What it Means & the Treatment Options
A frequent finding in women who are undergoing treatment for infertility, this workshop explains the meaning of diminished ovarian reserve, how it is determined, and what treatment options are appropriate for women who have it. Presented by: Vasiliki A. Moragianni, MD, MS, FACOG, Fertility Solutions

A-3: Adoption Options: Overview of Domestic, International and Foster Care Adoption
This session provides an overview of all types of adoption: domestic, international and foster care adoption. It includes strategies for starting the adoption process, as well as an overview of resources. Presented by: Anne Coleman, PhD, LMHC, Adoption & Beyond Counseling Services

A-4: A Fork in the Road: Choosing Egg Donation or Adoption – or Both
How do people decide between ED and Adoption? We’ll look beyond “how to’s” focusing on how children experience/understand each option. Participants will be encouraged to build a family story that they can proudly and confidently share with their children. Presented by: Jen Erbe Leggett, LICSW, Director and Psychotherapist, The Leggett Group

A-5: Will this child be mine? Family bonding and attachment in adoption and donor conception
Gain an understanding of how bonding happens in adoptive and donor families, the similarities and differences in parenting, and the common fears about loving a child not related by blood. Presented by: Deborah Silverstein, LICSW, Private Practice in Cambridge

A-6: Preparing the Way for Egg Donation and/or Surrogacy: A Medical Overview
A medical overview of the egg donor and surrogacy process, as well as information about donor screening, coordinating the donor with the recipient, and known and anonymous donors. Presented by: Rachel Ashby, MD and Holly Hughes, RN, Third Party Reproductive Nursing Coordinator, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

A-7: Donor Sperm: The Real Story
Donor sperm insemination can be a viable option for couples where IVF/ICSI may not be possible, as well as for single women and same sex couples. This workshop details the donor selection and screening process, and legal considerations with use of both anonymous and known sperm donors. Presented by:Eric Kendall, Clinic Liaison, European Sperm Bank USA/ESB-USA and Catherine Tucker, Managing Attorney, Law Office of Catherine Tucker

A-8: Tips and Techniques to Maintain Your Emotional Health
In this session participants will learn how to take back control of their minds and bodies, i.e., to begin to feel the way you were before infertility. Skills acquired include physical (relaxation training, nutrition, exercise recommendations) as well as emotional (how to deal with the pregnancies of others, how to feel less isolated). Presented by: Karen S. Marans, PhD, Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, Boston IVF

A-9: You Are What You Eat: Optimizing Your Nutrition for Fertility and Pregnancy
Learn how nutrition and diet play an integral role to your overall well being and how it can help as you work towards a pregnancy. Presented by: Monica Morell, PhD, Holistic Health Care Practitioner

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11:00 AM – 12:15 PM: Session B

B-1: Navigating a Cycle: What to Expect and How to Manage
This workshop walks you through an IVF cycle learning how to plan your life around a cycle, including both the typical process and how to manage the unexpected. Presented by: Jill Attaman, MD, Fertility and Reproductive Health, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates & Andrea DiLuigi, MD, The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, UCONN Health Center

B-2: Approaches to Improve Embryo Quality
Lack of pregnancy during IVF treatment can be due to poor or suboptimal embryo quality. An overview of several approaches to improve embryo quality will be discussed. Presented by: Catherine Racowsky, Ph.D, IVF Program and Serene Srouji, MD, IVF Program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

B-3: Overview of Domestic Infant Adoption
Join two adoption agency directors for an exploration of key themes in domestic adoption. Presenters will cover: the home study process, preparation of the adoptive family’s profile, options for outreach & matching, open adoption, trans-racial adoption, adoption education, costs and how to minimize medical and legal risks. Presented by: Marla Ruth Allisan, JD, LICSW, Director, A Full Circle Adoptions and Betsy Hochberg, LICSW, Director, Adoption Resources

B-4: Adoptive Parents Speak
Adoptive parents share their stories, including how they made decisions along the way and advice they feel is important to share with others. Moderator: Amy Berlin Cook, Esq., Altman & Cook, LLC

B-5: Infertility to Adoption – Honoring Endings and New Beginnings
Explore the multitude of factors which assist and complicate the decision to end medical treatment and begin the process of moving towards adoption. Emotional obstacles of making family building decisions as well as how one explores new options while coping with the experiences and losses associated with infertility will be discussed. Presented by:  Ellen Glazer, LICSW, Family Building Counselor and Coach, Co-author of “Having Your Baby through Egg Donation” and author of “The Long Awaited Stork”.

B-6: Finding a Donor Through an Agency Learn how to find a donor with an agency, how the process works and the costs involved. Presented by: Julie Richardson-Paige, Senior Director of Egg Donation Services, Tiny Treasures, LLC

B-7: Surrogacy: Practice and Legal Issues This workshop provides an overview on how to locate a suitable gestational carrier, the differences between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy and the financial issues including insurance coverage and legal issues.Presented by: Victoria T. Ferrara, Principal, Ferrara Hayden PC and Robert Nichols, Esq., President, Center for Surrogacy & Egg Donation

B-8: How to Keep Your Relationship Strong During Infertility
This session addresses how the different reactions of men and women to infertility affect a couple’s relationship, how to manage conflict and rebuild trust and connection, and how to nurture emotional and sexual intimacy. Presented by: Jeffrey LaCure, PsyD, MSW, LICSW, Marriage and Family Therapist, Nationally Recognized Author and Clinician and Founder of Relationship Renovation

B-9: Complementary and Alternative Fertility Treatments: What Does the Scientific Evidence Show?
This workshop examines scientific evidence of efficacy of complementary and alternative fertility treatments including acupuncture, meditation, DHEAS, Growth Hormone, and Embryo Glue to help patients make informed treatment decisions. Presented by: Elena Yanushpolsky, MD, Asst. Prof. of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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12:15 – 1:30 PM: Lunch

  • Lunch is included with registration for all attendees. Please note: Attendees who register after Oct. 31, 2012 (including walk-ins on the day of the Conference) may not be guaranteed lunch.
  • Join one of our optional Lunchtime Topic Tables: Looking to connect with other people struggling with infertility? Our Lunchtime Topic Tables are for you! During lunch, tables will be set aside for informal discussion groups on various topics. Make connections and find support knowing that everyone at these tables can relate to you and your journey. Lunch topic tables are entirely optional and there will be plenty of non-topic tables available for those do not wish to participate. Topics: General Infertility; Thinking About Adoption; Thinking About Donor Conception/Surrogacy; Secondary Infertility; Pregnancy Loss
  • Visit and speak with over 20 fertility and adoption exhibitors.
  • Stop by the Love and Infertility book signing with author Kristen Magnacca.

Afternoon Workshop Sessions

1:30-2:45 PM: Session C

C-1: Journey Through the IVF Lab
Embryologists explain how they make critical decisions during the care and development of embryos. Using microscopes for demonstration, they explain techniques critical to the success of a cycle, including development and selection, assisted hatching, ICSI, and day 2, 3 and 5 transfers.Presented by: Karen Duggan, Technical Sales and Support Representative, Fertilitech Inc. and Darlene Davies, Senior Embryologist, TS (ABB), Laboratory Supervisor, Fertility Centers of New England

C-2: Why Infertility Shouldn’t Be Unexplained
Learn the importance of an early and thorough evaluation to enable diagnosis and treatment and review the shortcomings of proceeding with treatments that are unlikely to be successful when the cause of infertility is unknown. Presented by: Kim Thornton, MD, Boston IVF

C-3: Overview of Foster Care and International Adoption
This workshop looks at the options of adopting through the foster care system and well as what goes into considering international adoption. Presented by:Ava Sarafan, LICSW, Wide Horizons for Children and Mary M. Ward, LICSW, Adoption Development and Licensing Supervisor, Department of Children & Families

C-4: Defining Open Adoption/Working with Birthparents
This presentation discusses the spectrum of adoption openness and shares the myths, realities and benefits for all involved parties. Also learn how to work with birth parents, from initial contact through ongoing contact after the adoption is finalized. Presented by: Raquel Woodard, LICSW, BCD, Coordinator, Birthparent and Children’s Services, Adoption Choices with parent panel

C-5: Donor and Surrogacy Parents Panel
A panel of parents through donor conception will talk about their experiences and answer questions. Moderated by: Gina-Marie Mariano Madow, Esq., Circle Egg Donation

C-6: Surrogacy & Donor: Psychological Aspects and Disclosure
This workshop discusses the emotional and ethical issues for men and women, secrecy vs. privacy and also deciding how and when to talk with your child and others about donor egg, donor sperm and surrogacy. Presented by: Nancy Docktor, RNCS, Private Practice 

C-7: Overwhelmed? Create Every Day Certainty
Learn how to create certainty and a clear vision while dealing with the emotional, physical and spiritual journey to create your family. Presented by: Kristen Magnacca Darcy, coach, motivational speaker, and author of “Love and Infertility”

C-8: Pregnancy Loss: Emotional Issues and Coping Strategies
This workshop is for individuals who have experienced a pregnancy loss and those who want to learn how to best support someone who has had a miscarriage. Discussion focuses on coping strategies, how miscarriage affects men, cycling after a miscarriage, recurrent pregnancy loss and pregnancy after miscarriage. Presented by: Jennifer Burbridge, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital and Private Practice

C-9: Dealing with Insurance Issues while Dealing with Infertility
This workshop covers issues around insurance, the infertility appeals process, as well as how to advocate for yourself. Presented by: Rosa Nichols, Financial Coordinator, Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center

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3:00-4:15 PM: Session D

D-1: When Treatment Isn’t Working
Fertility treatment plans should be constantly evaluated by managing physicians and adjustments made when treatment isn’t working. This workshop explores treatment alternatives, protocol adjustments to consider when treatment isn’t working and what to expect from a second opinion. Presented by: Beth Plante, MD, Fertility Centers of New England

D-2: Environmental Factors and Infertility
Learn about new research that shows how chemical/environmental exposures and lifestyle choices can affect fertility, and find out what changes you can make that may affect treatment outcomes. Presented by: Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD, Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology and Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School and John C. Petrozza, MD, Chief, Vincent Reproductive Medicine & IVF; Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center

D-3: Adoptive Parents Panel
Adoptive parents share their stories, including how they made decisions along the way and advice they feel is important to share with others. Moderated by: Susan Myers, MSW, Adoptions From the Heart

D-4: Overview of Domestic Infant Adoption
This workshop offers a step-by-step guide through the domestic infant adoption process. The discussion will focus not only on the necessary concrete tasks involved, but on many of the accompanying legal, social, and emotional issues in the process as well. Presented by: Dale Eldridge, LICSW, BCD, Coordinator, Adoptive Parent Services, Adoption Choices and Kristen Hirsch, LCPC, Clinical Director, Stepping Stones

D-5: Donor conception: Practice and Legal Issues
This workshop provides an overview on how to locate a suitable donor, how the process works, and potential legal and financial issues including insurance coverage. Presented by: Catherine Tucker, Managing Attorney, Law Office of Catherine Tucker

D-6: Donor and Surrogacy Parents Panel
A panel of parents through donor conception will talk about their experiences and answer questions. Moderated by: Julie Richardson-Paige, Senior Director of Egg Donation Services, Tiny Treasures, LLC

D-7: Dealing with the Outside World: Family, Friends and Work
Gain ideas, support and resources for coping with insensitive or awkward interactions with friends, family and co-workers during the struggle and isolation of infertility. Presented by: Harriet (Holly) Simons, PhD, LICSW, Private Practice

D-8: When is Enough Enough? Deciding When to Stop Treatment
This workshop covers a consideration of the medical and emotional factors that help in deciding when to end infertility treatment and move on to other options. Presented by: Merle Bombardieri, LICSW, Private Practice and Selwyn Oskowitz, MD, Boston IVF

D-9: Financing Treatment, Adoption and Donor Conception
Compare adoption and donor conception from a financial perspective and learn about the costs and finances of each family building option. Presented by: Jennifer Adams, CFP®, Aspire Wealth Management 

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4:20-5:00 PM: Mini-Sessions

Mini-sessions are informal opportunities to gather additional information on a topic of interest or to experience a way to unwind after a long day.

MS-1: Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologist

Come have a chance to talk directly to a reproductive endocrinologist and get your questions answered!

MS-2: Talking About Male Infertility

Men – come get any of your questions about your fertility issues answered.

MS-3: Ask the Adoption Professionals

Come with your questions about adoption and have professionals in the field answer them!

MS-4: Ask the Donor Conception Professionals

Get your questions answered from professionals who specalize in donor conception.

MS-5: Ask the Surrogacy Professionals

Come with your questions about surrogacy and have professional in the field answer them!

MS-6: Relax and Unwind with Yoga

End your day with a relaxing yoga session led by an expert in fertility yoga.

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