05 Nov AFA Shines Light on Path2Parenthood at Illuminations NYC
I traveled to New York this week to attend the American Fertility Association’s annual fundraising gala, Illuminations NYC, held Monday, Nov. 3, at The Yale Club of New York.
This year’s honorees were leading U.S. biopharmaceutical firm EMD Serono Inc., recipient of the 2014 Advocacy Award; and Owen K. Davis, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine and associate director of In Vitro Fertilization at The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine (CRM) of Weill Cornell Medical College, recipient of the Joyce M. Vargyas, M.D., Visionary Award.
EMD Serono, a major sponsor of Path2Parenthood, is known for its leadership in the development of innovative medications to help treat infertility through the application of recombinant DNA technology. The company is an industry leader in creating custom programs to serve diverse communities such as the LGBT community and military veterans, in advocacy efforts to protect patient access to fertility treatment, and in offering assistance programs for those who otherwise would be unable to afford fertility services. EMD Serono is the U.S. entity of parent company Merck KGaA, a company with 300 years of history in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Dr. Owen Davis is a world-renowned specialist and leader in the field of reproductive medicine, and a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist. He currently serves as president-elect of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and previously served as president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.
This was an exciting year for the AFA, which took the opportunity of the annual fundraising event to unveil AFA’s new rebrand, Path2Parenthood—a name that more accurately encompasses and describes what the organization does: help people discover their path to parenthood, whether it is through adoption or assisted reproduction. The organization also is developing a website where you can literally go as a consumer, answer a few short questions, and be directed to the professionals and resources you need, in your area.
Executive Director of The American Fertility Association, Ken Mosesian recounted the organization’s evolution, including previous name changes—from Resolve New York City to the American Infertility Association to the American Fertility Association, “each evolution inspired by a desire to help more people.
“They have seen an organization originally founded to help educate infertile men and women about their options for having children, become an inclusive family building organization.
“We serve straight and gay, men and women, single, married, and partnered people with unique outreach and education programs that inspire action. We serve those who have served us as members of our military. We work with those living with HIV.
“We deliver leading-edge, patient-focused education on infertility prevention, fertility preservation, assisted reproduction, IVF, donor egg, donor sperm, surrogacy, adoption, and adopting out of foster care. We do so without bias, and with no agenda, except our commitment to helping people make the best choices for their lives.
“For the past two years, the board and staff have been wrestling with how we say who we are. When WE hear ‘The AFA,’ that expansive list of services and the broad demographics I just mentioned immediately comes to mind—for us. But for the vast majority of people with whom we interact, particularly those we’re meeting for the first time, ‘The American Fertility Association’ just does not encompass all that we do and everyone we serve.
“What to do? The mission is perfect. But the name needs to grow, again, to fully embrace that mission. So tonight, with the approval of our Board of Directors, in the city where this all began nearly two decades ago, The American Fertility Association becomes Path2Parenthood.
“’We guide people on their path to parenthood’” is SO much easier than reciting a three-paragraph explanation! We’ve field-tested the name for the past year on populations as diverse as military veterans and drag queens. They all get it. Immediately.
“Besides the name, what changes? A new online experience is being created from a clean slate by one of the most brilliant digital agencies in the country. When completed this spring, it will literally guide visitors on a customized journey to having a child.
“What stays the same? Our mission. Our board. Our staff. Our councils. And most importantly, our work.”
We at International Fertility Law Group applaud AFA for its willingness to change and grow in the cause of reaching more people with the information and resources that will help each of them find their unique Path2Parenthood. For more information about this great organization, visit http://www.theafa.org/.