2015 Annual Conference Schedule

November 7, 2015

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:


Conference Schedule (PDF)

Register online

Conference Home Page

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 Ali D. Domar, PhD

Domar Photo-4583_2x3 at 300 DPI

Dr. Ali Domar, our featured keynote speaker, is a pioneer in the application of mind/body medicine to women’s health issues. She not only established the first Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health but also conducts ongoing ground-breaking research on the relationship between stress and women’s health conditions. We are honored to have Dr. Domar join us to discuss the stress/fertility connection in language we can all understand! She has earned an international reputation as one of the country’s top women’s health experts. The author of numerous books, Dr. Domar has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Dateline NBC, CNN, PBS, and the CBS and NBC Evening News, to name a few.


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Morning Workshop Sessions


9:15-10:30 AM: Session A


conf2015TreatmentA-1: Infertility 101
This session will help you understand various aspects of infertility treatment, including the infertility workup; how to interpret results; medications; new treatment options; and how to assess your next steps. Presented by: Albert L. Hsu, MD, Assistant Professor, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

conf2015TreatmentA-2: Diminished Ovarian Reserve
This workshop explains the meaning of diminished ovarian reserve – a frequent finding in women who are undergoing treatment for infertility – including how it is determined, and what treatment options are appropriate for women who have it. Presented by: Samuel C. Pang, MD, Medical Director, IVF New England

conf2015AdoptionA-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, and costs. Presented by: Marla Ruth Allisan, JD, LICSW, Director, AAA Full Circle Adoptions and Betsy Hochberg, LICSW, Director, Adoption Resources

conf2015AdoptionA-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

conf2015TreatmentA-5: Your Next Steps: Egg Donation, Adoption, Both?
When IVF brings disappointments, many people begin to explore other paths to building or expanding their families. This workshop will focus on how and when some choose egg donation, some choose adoption and some head down two paths at once.  We will address practical, financial, social and ethical issues and hear from a panel of parents.  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”.

conf2015DonorA-6: 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: Catherine Tucker, Managing Attorney, Law Office of Catherine Tucker, Eric Kendall, Clinic Liaison, Seattle Sperm Bank

conf2015EmotionalA-7: “Don’t tell me to Just Relax!”: Effectively Reducing Stress During Infertility
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: Alice Domar, PhD, Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, Boston IVF

conf2015EmotionalA-8: Aphrodite, Shame and the Wandering Womb
This session explores ancient fertility practices and beliefs, as well as the roots of shame surrounding infertility and the value of storytelling as a means of navigating the journey. Presented by: Anne Belden, MS, PCC, Fertility, Adoption and Transitions Coach

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11:00 AM – 12:15 PM: Session B


conf2015TreatmentB-1: Navigating a Cycle: What to Expect & 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 and Alison Zimon, MD, Boston IVF

conf2015TreatmentB-2: Fibroids: When should I worry and what should I do about them?
Fibroids affect at least 20% of women and have been shown in certain cases to affect fertility and pregnancy outcomes.  This talk will discuss the proper tests to evaluate fibroids, what fibroids are more concerning, and treatment options.  How fibroids are managed is crucial to providing the best uterus for conceiving and carrying a pregnancy. Presented by: John C. Petrozza, MD, Chief, Vincent Reproductive Medicine & IVF; Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center

conf2015AdoptionB-3: 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: Nancy Rosenhaus, LICSW, Associate Director, Adoptions With Love

conf2015AdoptionB-4: Overview of Foster Care Adoption
This session will provide an overview of the process of adopting through the foster care system, including how it differs from other types of adoption,  requirements of prospective parents, who the waiting children are, and the supports available to families. Presented by: Diane Tomaz, Director of Family Support Services, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange

conf2015DonorB-5: Finding an Egg Donor Through An Agency
Learn how to find a donor with an agency, how the process works and the costs involved. Presented by: Gina-Marie Madow, Esq., Circle Egg Donation and Circle Surrogacy


conf2015DonorB-6: 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

conf2015EmotionalB-7: 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

conf2015ComplB-8: Acupuncture:   Understanding its role in enhancing fertility outcomes
This workshop will highlight how acupuncture can complement infertility treatments and mechanisms by which it works to improve outcomes.  Participants will leave with an improved understanding of this ancient Chinese medicine, what to expect from acupuncture sessions, as well as a variety of ways that individuals and couples can support their fertility naturally.  Presented by: Jessica Molleur, Lic. Ac. DNBAO, Founder, and Erin Walker, Lic. Ac. MAOM; OMBE Integrative Health Center


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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, 2015 (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: “Surviving the Two-Week Wait” – “Male Infertility” – “Pregnancy Loss, Secondary Infertility” – “Surviving the Two-Week Wait” – “Thinking about Adoption” – “Thinking about Donor Conception/Surrogacy”
  • Visit and speak with over 20 fertility and adoption exhibitors.

Afternoon Workshop Sessions


1:30-2:45 PM: Session C


conf2015TreatmentC-1: Journey Through the IVF Lab
An embryologist will explain – in language all can understand —about how critical decisions are made during the care and development of embryos. The workshop will include discussions of techniques, including development and selection, assisted hatching, intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection, preimplantation genetic diagnosis and screening, as well as day 2, 3 and 5 transfers. Presented by: Linda Siano MS ELD, Chief Embryologist, The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, University of Connecticut

conf2015TreatmentC-2: Why Infertility Shouldn’t be Unexplained
Learn the importance of an early, thorough evaluation to enable diagnosis and treatment, as well as review the shortcomings of proceeding with treatments that are unlikely to be successful when the cause of infertility is unknown. Presented by: Ania Kowalik, MD, Medical Director & Founder, Fertility Solutions

conf2015AdoptionC-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: Leah O’Leary, LICSW, Executive Director, A Red Thread Adoption Services

conf2015AdoptionC-4: Overview of International Adoption
An international adoption specialist will provide an in-depth discussion about the process of international adoption and the latest information on the international adoption reforms. Topics will include the factors in choosing a country and the realities of trans-racial and trans-cultural adoptions. Presented by: Ava Sarafan, LICSW, Wide Horizons for Children

conf2015DonorC-5: 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

conf2015DonorC-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

conf2015EmotionalC-7: Supporting Your Loved Ones (and yourself!) Through Infertility and Loss
Your loved one is struggling to become a parent (and you may be too). It could be your partner, your child, your sibling or best friend. Explore strategies for supporting them through this difficult process, while also helping you acknowledge and address the impact this challenging time has on you. Presented by: Jen Erbe Leggett, LICSW, Director and Psychotherapist, The Leggett Group

conf2015ComplC-8: Dealing with Insurance Issues While Dealing with Infertility
This workshop covers issues around insurance, including the infertility appeals process and how to advocate for yourself. Presented by: Liz Davolos, Financial Coordinator Supervisor, Boston IVF


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3:00-4:15 PM: Session D


conf2015TreatmentD-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 and what to expect from a second opinion. Presented by: Gina Paoletti-Falcone, RN, BSN, Director of Clinical Services

conf2015TreatmentD-2: Environmental Factors & 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

conf2015AdoptionD-3: Overview of Domestic Infant Adoption
Explore key themes in domestic adoption, including the home study process, preparation of the adoptive family’s profile, options for outreach & matching, open adoption, trans-racial adoption, adoption education, and costs. Presented by: Dale Eldridge, LICSW, BCD, Coordinator, Adoptive Parent Services, Adoption Choices

conf2015AdoptionD-4: The Emotional Journey of Adoption
This session will help participants understand more about maintaining emotional health during the entire adoption journey, for both adoptive parents and adopted children. This includes how to talk to your child about how your family was built, what to expect at each developmental stage, as well as the importance of support through both joys and challenges. Presented by: Elizabeth Donalds, Pys.D, Private Practice, and Kelly DiBenedetto, LMHC, Boston Post Adoption Resources.

conf2015AdoptionD-5: Considering Risk in Domestic Adoption Referrals
This workshop will provide useful information for prospective adoptive parents about medical and social information that they may receive. This will include what specific prenatal factors may impact future development and health. Presented by: Lisa Albers Prock, MD, MPH, Director, Adoption Program, Boston Children’s Hospital

conf2015DonorD-6: Donor & Surrogacy Parents Panel
A panel of parents through donor conception will talk about their experiences and answer questions. Moderated by: Abby MacDonald, LICSW, Private Practice


conf2015DonorD-7: 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. Presented by: Lisa Marino, Esq., Partner, Wilson, Marino & Bonnevie, P.C. and Julie Richardson-Paige, Senior Director of Egg Donation Services, Tiny Treasures, LLC

conf2015EmotionalD-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


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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.

conf2015TreatmentMS-1: Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologist

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


conf2015AdoptionMS-2: Ask the Adoption Professionals

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


conf2015DonorMS-3: Ask the Donor Conception Professionals

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


conf2015DonorMS-4: Ask the Surrogacy Professionals

Come with your questions about surrogacy and have them answered by professionals in the field.


conf2015ComplMS-5: Relax and Unwind with Yoga

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

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