This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 8 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.

Episode 1: Removing the Infertility Stigma Through National Infertility Awareness Week

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is a week dedicated to uniting millions of Americans who want to remove the stigmas and barriers associated with infertility. The best way to remove infertility stigma is to talk about our experiences with infertility, and the best way to remove barriers to fertility treatments like IVF and IUI is to ensure coverage for these treatments are made available to the masses.  

In this inaugural episodewe’ll hear from Barb Collura, CEO of RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association. Before Barb became the CEO, she was struggling to start a family of her own. She says, “When I started experiencing some [fertility] failures, I did not anticipate how emotionally trying that would be on me. So, when I faced some adversity and faced some challenges, I really just fell apart.” We’ll learn about the history of RESOLVE, the origins of NIAW, and how awareness is an important first step to removing the stigma and shame of infertility and bringing access to fertility treatments to those who need it.  

Guests: Barb Collura, CEO at RESOLVEand Mary Pharris, Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Fairygodboss 

Experts: Dr. Marcy MaguireRMA of New Jerseyand Dr. Tanmoy Mukherjee, RMA of New York 

Host: Lissa Kline, Director of Member Services at Progyny 

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Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at thisisinfertility@progyny.com.

Host

Lissa Kline, LCSW, Director of Member Services at Progyny

She oversees the Patient Care Advocates. She worked at Columbia University Medical Center for several years in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Involved in Patient Services and the Donor Egg Program, she loved working with patients while they underwent fertility treatment. Lissa graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.

Guests

Barbara Collura, President and CEO of RESOLVE

She joined RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association in September 2004 as the Director, Chapter & Constituent Services. In April 2007, Barbara was named Chief Staff Officer of RESOLVE. As President/CEO, she represents RESOLVE at a number of national conferences, committees and organizations including the National Committee on the Oversight of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (NCOART), the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and she recently served 4 years as a Board member of the National Health Council. As the official spokesperson for RESOLVE, Barbara is frequently interviewed by the media and is a featured speaker on a variety of topics related to infertility. Barbara is passionate about RESOLVE’s mission as the organization was a source of support and information during her own battle with infertility. She can be reached directly at bcollura@resolve.org.

Dr. Marcy Maguire, board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at RMA of NJ

She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She earned her medical degree from Medical College in Virginia, performed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Tufts Medical Center, and completed her Reproductive Endocrinology fellowship at National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Tanmoy Mukherjee, co-director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York

He’s a board-certified Gynecologist and Reproductive Endocrinologist, is Associate Director of the Mount Sinai Division of Reproductive Endocrinology. He completed his residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he received the Leo M. Davidoff Society Award as well as the Schulman Award, and completed his fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital. The author of numerous journal articles and textbook chapters, Dr. Mukherjee is also the recipient of the prestigious Society of Reproductive Surgeons Award for his extensive research in ovum donation and medical therapy for the treatment of infertility.

Mary Pharris, Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Fairygodboss

She works to improve the workplace for women every day. Prior to joining Fairygodboss, she spent nearly 10 years working in politics and nonprofits as a fundraiser and managed her own firm for two years. She earned her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and holds degrees in journalism and political science from the University of North Texas.