PCOS Awareness Symposium 2016 – Philadelphia Speakers
Get Answers from Some of the World’s Leading PCOS Experts
William D. Schlaff, MD
Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Thomas Jefferson University
Topic: Improving Fertility in Women with PCOS
Dr. William Schlaff is an renowned expert on PCOS and fertility. In 1989, Dr. Schlaff was recruited to the University of Colorado in Denver where he founded the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and built it into one of the preeminent divisions in the country. He has been named one of the Best Doctors in America annually for over 20 years. Dr. Schlaff is also a prolific clinical researcher who has been continuously funded for his research by the National Institutes of Health for over 15 years and who has published more than 150 scientific papers. He has held numerous national leadership positions including the Board of Directors of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and was elected President of the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in 2004. In 2011 Dr. Schlaff was recruited to Philadelphia to become the Paul and Eloise Bowers Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University.
Katherine Sherif, MD
Director, Jefferson Women’s Primary Care
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Medicine
Thomas Jefferson University
Topic: The Impact of Insulin Resistance on Long-Term Health in PCOS
Dr. Sherif is a leading expert on PCOS. As an internist in the 90’s, she was studying insulin resistance when she discovered a special group of women with exaggerated insulin resistance: women with polycystic ovary syndrome. She started prescribing insulin sensitizers in the 90’s based upon the work of Italian clinical investigators. In 2000, she co-founded the first academic center for Center for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome with Dr. Shahab Minassian. Dr. Sherif is also a top speaker and a writer in a number of areas including menopause, hormone replacement therapy, omega-3 fatty acids, and heart disease in women. She is author of Women’s Health in Clinical Practice: A Handbook for Primary Care and Hormone Therapy: A Clinical Handbook.
Anuja Dokras, MD, PhD
Director, PENN Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Center
Medical Director, Reproductive Surgical Facility
President, Androgen Excess and PCOS Society
Topic: Understanding PCOS
Dr. Dokras is an internationally renowned leader in the field of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. She is the President of the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society. Dr. Dokras directs the PENN PCOS center which offers comprehensive gynecological, reproductive, dermatological, metabolic, nutritional and psychological care to women with PCOS. She received her medical degree from University of Mumbai, Seth G.S. Medical College and has been in practice for 26 years. Dr. Dokras did her residency and fellowship at New Haven Hospital (Yale University).
Richard S. Legro, MD, FACOG
Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of
Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Topic: Updates on PCOS Research
Dr. Legro established one of the first clinics devoted to the treatment of women with PCOS at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He has been the principal investigator on a number of National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants including the NIH Reproductive Medicine Network since 2000 where he has been the lead investigator of the Pregnancy in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome I and II trials. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in medical journals and multiple books in the field of reproductive endocrinology.
Sasha Ottey, MHA, MT (ASCP)
Executive Director, PCOS Challenge, Inc.
Topic: Advocacy and Support Resources for Women and Girls with PCOS
Sasha Ottey is Founder and Executive Director of PCOS Challenge, Inc., the largest support and patient advocacy organization advancing the cause for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome worldwide. Since its programs started in 2009, PCOS Challenge has quickly grown to 35,000 members and has helped many women find answers that have helped them overcome their struggles with infertility, weight gain, anxiety and depression and reduce their risk for life-threatening related conditions. Sasha is a Clinical and Research Microbiologist. She is also Executive Producer of the national award winning cable television series, PCOS Challenge®, host of the PCOS Challenge radio show and publisher of PCOS Challenge magazine.
Angela Grassi, MS, RD, LDN
Founder, PCOS Nutrition Center
Topic: Lifestyle Management of PCOS — Nutrition and Exercise
Angela is an internationally recognized nutrition and health expert on PCOS. She was recently named one of the Top 10 incredible RDs making a difference by Today’s Dietitian. She is the author of The Dietitian’s Guide to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, The PCOS Workbook and The PCOS Nutrition Center Cookbook. Angela is the owner of PCOS Nutrition Center where she provides nutrition counseling to women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Having PCOS herself, Angela is dedicated to advocacy, education and research of PCOS.
Andrea Mechanick Braverman, PhD
Associate Director of the Educational Core
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine
Andrea Braverman, PhD is a Clinical Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Braverman is the Associate Director for the Educational Core for OB/Gyn. She is a health psychologist with a specialty in medical health management and infertility counseling. She received her M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Braverman has published numerous articles and lectured internationally. Dr. Braverman received the Timothy Jeffries Memorial award in 2011 for outstanding contributions as a health psychologist from the American Psychological Association.
Maureen Kelly, MD
Founder and Medical Director, Society Hill Reproductive Medicine
Founder and Medical Advisor, The Wellnest
Topic: Natural and Integrative Care for PCOS
Dr. Maureen Kelly is a leading Reproductive Endocrinologist and has been treating women with PCOS in the Philadelphia area for over 20 years. Dr. Kelly is a longtime advocate for a holistic approach to treating PCOS. She is Medical Director of Society Hill Reproductive Medicine, a medical practice she founded specializing in women’s endocrine, fertility, and gynecologic health. She also founded The Wellnest, a wellness center which offers therapies such as nutrition counseling, therapy and acupuncture and which has unique expertise in supporting women with PCOS. Dr. Kelly is an attending physician and surgeon at Pennsylvania Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University. She has garnered numerous honors, most recently including Vitals Patients’ Choice Award and Most Compassionate Doctor Award for 2014.
Rachana D. Shah, MD
Medical Director, Adolescent PCOS Clinic
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Topic: PCOS in Adolescents: Early Detection and Intervention
Dr. Rachana Shah is a pediatric endocrinologist who specializes in Adolescent Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) as well as general endocrine care. She is the medical director of the multidisciplinary Adolescent PCOS Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a faculty member at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Shah runs an active clinical and laboratory research program focused on PCOS and obesity. Dr. Shah received her medical degree and completed Internal Medicine and Pediatrics training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She then completed a Pediatric Endocrinology fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Mary Kaye Johnson, CPE
2nd Vice President and Director of the Council on Education American Electrology Association
Topic: Electrolysis Hair Removal for Women with PCOS
Mary Kaye is the 2nd Vice President and Director of the Council on Education for the American Electrology Association. After a long career in construction and Real Estate, Mary Kaye turned her attention to becoming a professional electrologist in 2005. She was well aware of the benefits of electrolysis from her early experience as a client at age 17 and loves the confidence she instills as her clients rid themselves of unwanted hair forever. Recipient of the prestigious Ballet Gold Probe Award, Mary Kaye is very active in the association and takes every opportunity to educate people about the benefits of electrolysis.
Birgit Rakel, MD
Director of Women’s Health at Jefferson’s Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine Assistant Professor, Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College
Topic: Integrative Medicine for PCOS
Dr. Rakel has been one of the lead physicians at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine since 2001. She earned her medical degree in 1988 in Berlin, Germany where integrating alternative therapies into patient care was part of her training. After her internship in Gynecology, she did her residency in Family Medicine in London, England where she worked as a general practitioner followed by a fellowship at the Royal London Homoepathic Hospital. After moving to the USA in 1996, Dr. Rakel completed her residency and became board certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Rakel received the Bravewell scholarship for a two year training with Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona. She is the co-editor for the book Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Older Adults, has co-authored chapters on integrative women’s health and presents nationally on topics related to integrative medicine.
Christina Lee Chung, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology Drexel University
Director, Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients
Topic: Managing Acne and Other Hair and Skin Concerns in Women and Girls with PCOS
Dr. Christina Lee Chung is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Drexel University. Her areas of interest include the treatment of ethnic skin and women’s health issues. For over a decade, Dr. Chung has worked closely with the Drexel Center for Women’s Health to manage skin conditions associated with PCOS. She also serves as a preceptor for the Women’s Health Education Program and is the Director of the Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients. Dr. Chung is a painter and has pursued post-graduate coursework internationally and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She is fluent in Spanish and Korean.
Meet Some of Our PCOS Patient Advocates
Jennifer B. Jones, PhD
President and CEO, HOCS Strategic Business Solutions
Managing Member, Jones, Mitchell & Associates
Jennifer B. Jones is President and CEO of HOCS Strategic Business Solutions presently originating more than $1.6 billion dollars in documented domestic and international commercial projects and Managing Member of Jones, Mitchell & Associates. As a biomedical, biotechnological and biopharmaceutical scientist, Jennifer’s work has spanned great institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, Meharry Medical College and the pharmaceutical market including Bristol Meyers Squibb, Hoffman LaRoche (Europe) and Johnson & Johnson. Jennifer is a transformational leader, noted philanthropist, community servant, writer and co-host of the weekly broadcast show, Truth 360. Jennifer works closely with PCOS Challenge on legislative advocacy efforts for women and girls with PCOS. She has extensive legislative advocacy experience and contributed significantly to the realization of the Global Vision Community Medical Center, Family Justice Center and Human Trafficking Task Forces, Family Justice Center Foundation and a myriad of community projects, programs and initiatives.
Former CNN-Headline News Medical Anchor
Following her diagnosis in 1997, Kat embarked on a broadcast journalism career spanning nine television networks – including CNN, Discovery Channel, Lifetime, HGTV, QVC, and PBS. Her credentials influence her winning blend of credibility and expertise, yet she has retained her natural ability to see the world through the eyes of the cyster and to be able to demystify complex topics surrounding PCOS. SoulCysters.com, the network Kat started is celebrating over 15 years online and is recommended by healthcare providers around the world as a credible and free resource for PCOS patients. Kat Carney and her Soul Cysters have inspired women around the world to believe there is hope after they hear the words, “You have PCOS.”
Michelle Shwarz, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Temple University
Dr. Shwarz intends to devote her career to PCOS research and advocacy. Her dissertation study on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in mental health practices investigated the current PCOS referral and screening behaviors among mental health providers followed by a brief intervention intended to increase knowledge. She plans on continuing her research and advocacy with the goal of creating treatment guidelines for PCOS in mental health practices. She is also the organizer of the Philadelphia PCOS Meetup.
Teena M. Handline, Esq.
Mrs. Delaware County America 2016
Teena Handline currently holds the title of Mrs. Delaware County America 2016 and will be competing for the title of Mrs. Pennsylvania America in June. Her platform is Living With Invisible Illness: Awareness and Support. As she personal has four chronic illnesses, including PCOS, her mission is to inspire those with an invisible illness, educate about the complexities living with invisible illnesses and advocate the importance of support and compassion from our community.
PCOS Healthy Lifestyle Coach
Tina Marie is a PCOS healthy lifestyle coach and PCOS advocate. She is certified in nutrition with her focus on PCOS health nutrition. 15 years after her own diagnosis, Tina found the power to change her health and now prides herself in sharing her knowledge with the over 8,000 cysters in her private PCOS support group with her goal being to empower all women to stand up, say no more and find that perfect balance between natural treatment and a knowledgeable doctor for their needs. In 2015, Tina launched her website PCOSHelp.org and continues to advocate for herself and others.
Health and Fitness Coach
Alexis Doss is a 25 year old young entrepreneur and online health and fitness coach. She holds a certification in holistic health coaching. Alexis was diagnosed with PCOS in February of 2013 and took her health into her own hands and focused on healing her body naturally. She has lost over 40lbs and helps other women to become victorious in their fight against PCOS. She believes that any and all women can overcome PCOS with a focus on clean eating, daily activity, self love and the support of those around them.
About PCOS Challenge, Inc.
PCOS Challenge is the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization advancing the cause for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) serving 35,000 members. We touch the lives of women with PCOS and their supporters each year through television and radio programming, online and offline support groups, and education and awareness initiatives. READ MORE
PCOS Awareness Symposium 2016 – Philadelphia Highlights