2014 Hope Awards

Barbara Eck Founders Award
This national award is presented annually to an individual or group who has demonstrated leadership in the field of infertility or infertility resolution.

Lee Rubin Collins, JD

Lee R. Collins NOH 2014Lee Rubin Collins has been a passionate and dedicated infertility patient advocate since 2001, becoming a nationally known expert on infertility advocacy and patient access to care. She has dedicated herself to RESOLVE’s mission for that entire time, and today infertility patients across the country are better off because of her work.

Ms. Collins, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, began her career as a litigator at Ropes & Gray in Boston, ultimately becoming one of the firm’s first female litigation partners.  After a personal experience of secondary infertility, Ms. Collins devoted herself to the cause of infertility awareness and advocacy, and has been a tireless patient advocate ever since.

Her notable efforts on behalf of infertility patients include:

  • Leading RESOLVE’s fight against the President's Council on Bioethics when it proposed intrusive, unnecessary regulation of fertility treatments.
  • Working with RESOLVE to defeat state legislative initiatives such as "embryo personhood" bills that would interfere with IVF and other needed treatments.
  • Writing the bill to expand the Massachusetts infertility insurance mandate, which became a law in 2010.

Ms. Collins served on the RESOLVE Board of Directors from 2002-2012 and was the Chair of the Board in 2012. She writes and speaks regularly about infertility, including presentations at the annual conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the American Bar Association, and the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts.  Awards: RESOLVE's Hope Award for Advocacy, 2010; Patient Advocate Award from Boston IVF, 2008; RESOLVE of the Bay State President's Award, 2002. Ms. Collins served on the Board of RESOLVE of the Bay State, 2001-2009, and the Howard and Georgeanna Jones Foundation for Reproductive Medicine since 2004.  She currently serves as a member of the Ethics Committee of ASRM.  Ms. Collins lives in Wellesley, MA with her husband and two daughters.

The Hope Award for Achievement
Given to an individual and/or organization/corporation whose accomplishments are worthy and whose actions are socially commendable which result in a material contribution to the lives of those diagnosed with infertility.

Rachel Gurevich

www.rachelgurevich.com

Rachel Gurevich NOH 2014Rachel Gurevich is the fertility expert for About.com, whose network of over 1,000 sites reaches nearly 90 million people each month. Since 2008, Rachel has written hundreds of articles on just about every facet of living with infertility, from the concerned-but-unsure stage, to navigating treatment options, to coping with the daily stress. Rachel's personal experience with infertility began in 2003 with a series of three miscarriages and a diagnosis of secondary infertility. It would be seven years before her story would get its happy ending, with the birth of her twins in 2010. Rachel remembers vividly her questions and concerns when struggling with infertility, and she uses those experiences to write compassionate articles that both answer practical questions and offer support. You can find her articles here: http://infertility.about.com/.

Rachel has been writing about women's health since 2001. She is a coauthor of Birth Plans for Dummies (Wiley, 2012) and the author of The Doula Advantage: Your Complete Guide to Having an Empowered and Positive Birth with the Help of a Professional Childbirth Assistant (Three Rivers Press, 2003) and FabJob Guide to Become a Doula (FabJob, 2009). She currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four miracles.

Susan Donaldson James

Susan James NOH 2014Susan Donaldson James has been a digital reporter most recently with ABC News since 2006, covering health, education, culture and politics. Her medical reporting has included in-depth features on infertility, surrogacy, heart disease, suicide, spinal cord injuries and transgender acceptance.

As a general assignment reporter, she covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, as well as these breaking stories: Hurricane Sandy; Newtown shootings; Boston Marathon bombings; and election of Pope Francis. In 2013, she won the Michael A DeBakey Journalism Award for reporting on research that benefits animals and humans.

James is a 2007 graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism, where she won the Baker Prize for a feature story on health disparities facing the children of undocumented immigrants. She is also a Pulitzer Traveling Fellow.

Prior to working for ABC, where she recently retired, James was a veteran reporter and has had stories on a variety of topics published in the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Sun, among other newspapers. She also worked overseas for Swiss Radio International and Voice of America Radio.

The Hope Award for Service
Given to an individual and/or organization/corporation whose work has either advanced RESOLVE or its mission in a significant manner.

Cindy Flynn

Cindy Flynn NOH 2014Cindy Flynn works as an Applications Report Writer for Sutter Health in Sacramento, CA; a not-for-profit health system in Northern California. She has a B.S. in Political Science for California State University, Chico. However, her most important and rewarding job is to a vivacious three year old who calls her Mommy. Her dream of conceiving launched a difficult, but rewarding chapter of her life.

In 2009, five years into her infertility journey, Cindy attended her first RESOLVE peer-led support group in Sacramento, CA. In 2010, she started the RESOLVE Placer County General Infertility support group and in 2011 she became co-organizer of the RESOLVE Greater Sacramento Infertility support network, at the time a collection of three support groups. Today the network encompasses nine support groups which serve more than 200 men and women in the greater Sacramento, CA area.

In 2012, Cindy attended her first Advocacy Day in Washington DC carrying letters signed by friends, family, and members of her groups, giving a voice to those who couldn't attend. She has since attended three consecutive Advocacy Days and carried more than 2000 letters representing men and women in more than 30 states. In 2013, Cindy co-chaired the inaugural Northern CA Walk of Hope and is currently co-chair for the 2014 Northern CA Walk of Hope. She walks for her son who reminds her regularly that the seven year journey to motherhood was worth every tear, shot, procedure, and failed cycle.

Angelica Nassar

Angelica Nassar NOH 2014Angelica Ang Nassar joined the RESOLVE family in 2013 by bringing the Walk of Hope to her home state of Texas, where she has proudly served as the Chair for the first and second Texas Walk events. She has also represented the infertility community at RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day and by speaking at events, including a Senate briefing with the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Coalition and the Cade Foundation: Overcoming Infertility Symposium. In her quest to make it known that the disease of infertility exists and that people with infertility matter, she actively shares her story with local media and writes in her blog, The Perfumed Pig (http://theperfumedpig.com). 

Angelica is a business process and strategy consultant working most of her career for large Fortune 500 corporations as well as the United States government.  She received her BS in Finance from Trinity University in San Antonio, where she also minored in music performance and earned the concert master chair.  Angelica was also accepted and studied under the Houston Ballet Academy Pre-Professional Program and danced in several productions of the Houston Ballet. She sat on the Accenture Community Social Responsibility Committee for five years, acting as Co-President for 2 years, and spearheaded initiatives with local battered women’s shelters, foster care and mentoring programs. 

She lives in Houston with her husband of more than ten years and credits being an active part of the RESOLVE community for helping her through her own current infertility diagnosis of seven years. 

The Hope Award for Advocacy
Given to an individual and/or organization/corporation whose work has raised public awareness, advanced a legislative agenda, or prompted change for the benefit of those diagnosed with infertility.

Michael John Tucker, BSc Comb Hons, PhD, FIBiol, HCLD 

Michael Tucker NOH 2014Dr. Michael Tucker has been advocating for patient rights and access to care for many years, testifying before the Georgia state legislature and serving as an expert on issues including Personhood. Using his expertise as an Embryologist, Dr. Tucker has been able to inform and educate lawmakers in a number of states on legislation that has been key to the infertility community. He has also served as a speaker at RESOLVE educational events for many years.

Dr. Tucker received his bachelor's degree in zoology & physiology from the University of London, and his doctorate in reproductive physiology from the University of Birmingham in the UK. In 1997 he received recognition as a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Biology in England (now the Society of Biology). As a certified laboratory director he has worked in the field of clinical embryology on four continents for over 30 years, spending the majority of the last two decades in the US. During this time Dr. Tucker has received worldwide recognition for his pioneering work in the IVF technologies that have helped to revolutionize the treatment of infertility. In 1992, he helped to advance the ICSI technique and was responsible for the first "ICSI babies" born in the US. In 1997, he led the team that was successful in achieving the first ever pregnancies and births using cryopreserved donor & immature oocytes.

Dr. Tucker has worked with many IVF programs in the U.S. including Fertility Centers of New England, Georgia Reproductive Specialists, Mississippi IVF, Reproductive Specialists of New York and Shady Grove Fertility, as well as cryobank Xytex Cryo International. A father of four, Dr. Tucker lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his family.

The Hastings Center and The Yale School of Medicine

Hastings Center and Yale University LogosResearchers at The Hastings Center and the Yale School of Medicine worked together on a project that resulted in a report titled “ Preterm Births, Multiples, and Fertility Treatment: Recommendations for Changes to Policy and Clinical Practice”, which was released in the spring 2014.  The project was led by the authors: Josephine Johnston, a research scholar and director of research at The Hastings Center; Michael K. Gusmano, a Hastings Center research scholar; and Pasquale Patrizio, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale and director of the Yale Fertility Clinic.  The report identified 6 changes in policy that are needed to reduce multiple births, including insurance coverage for IVF.

The Hastings Center

Founded in 1969, The Hastings Center is the longest-serving independent, nonpartisan bioethics research institute in the world. Its mission is to address fundamental ethical issues in health, health care, the life sciences, and the environment that affect individuals, communities, and societies. The Center publishes two journals, the Hastings Center Report and IRB: Ethics & Human Research, as well as Bioethics Forum, a blog of commentaries on topical issues in bioethics.

The Yale School of Medicine

Founded in 1810, the Yale School of Medicine is a world-renowned center for biomedical research, education and advanced health care.

Among its divisions are one of the nation’s oldest schools of public health and the internationally recognized Child Study Center, founded in 1911. Its 33 academic departments include 11 in the basic sciences, 19 in clinical fields, and 5 in public health.

Affiliated institutions include the 1,541-bed Yale-New Haven Hospital — flagship of the Yale New Haven Health System and one of the largest hospitals in the United States since acquisition of the Saint Raphael campus;and the Connecticut Mental Health Center, Pierce Laboratory, and VA Connecticut Healthcare System in nearby West Haven.

The Hope Award for Best Blog
The Hope Award for Best Blog, which is voted on by the infertility community, recognizes a blog that raises awareness about the disease of infertility and sheds light on what it is like to be living with infertility.

Our Misconception

Our Misconception NOH 2014After 10 years of marriage, two brain surgeries and a 7 year battle with infertility, it has not been an easy road for Chris and Candace Wohl. That is when they decided that in order to overcome adversity, you must stare it directly in the face with humor and positivity. Our Misconception blog was created 2012, which is co-written by the couple,  sharing both a male and female perspective on the daily struggles of living with the disease of infertility.

On July 28th, MTV’s True Life, “I’m Desperate to Have a Baby,” a documentary on couples who struggle with infertility aired. After stumbling across their blog, MTV picked Chris and Candace to be one of the featured couples that allowed cameras to capture the everyday struggle of the emotional and physically pain of infertility.

Candace Wohl also uses her passion for awareness and support to help other couples who struggle with infertility by hosting a local RESOLVE peer-led support group in Hampton Roads Virginia. As a freelance writer and infertility advocate, Candace has written articles featured on The Huffington Post, Still Standing Magazine, FertilityAuthority.com and Adoption.Net.

To learn more about these awards, click here.
Find out who has previously received a Hope Award here.