2013 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.

Robert W. Rebar, MD

Robert Rebar ImageRobert W. Rebar, MD, has served as the Executive Director of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama since 2003 and is set to retire January 1, 2014. Dr. Rebar is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in obstetrics and gynecology and in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of more than 7,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology. 

During his tenure at ASRM, Dr. Rebar has lead efforts that focused on collaboration with other societies worldwide, increased educational opportunities for ASRM Members, and launched ASRM’s first-ever patient focused website.

Dr. Rebar is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (fellow), the Endocrine Society, the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, and the Society for Gynecologic Investigation. Dr. Rebar has served on the editorial boards of several journals and is currently a member of the editorial board for two journals, Contraception and Journal Watch. Dr. Rebar has contributed to many books, as well as authored over 200 articles on menopause, fertility, and reproductive endocrinology. He has also been the principal or a co-investigator on several NIH grants.

When asked to comment on the “state of infertility today”, Dr. Rebar reflected on the amazing advances in improving medical treatment that have occurred during his career, but is still dissatisfied with patient access to medical treatment, as he wishes that anyone who needs infertility treatments has access to them. 

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.

National Council for Adoption

National Council for Adoption logoThe National Council for Adoption (NCFA) is passionately committed to the belief that every child deserves to thrive in a nurturing, permanent family. NCFA’s mission is to meet the diverse needs of children, birthparents, adopted individuals, adoptive families, and all those touched by adoption through global advocacy, education, research, legislative action, and collaboration. NCFA reaches the RESOLVE community through its Prospective Adoptive Parents Day, an annual one-day educational event for anyone interested in learning more about the positive option of adoption, those considering pursuing adoption, or those in the beginning stages of the adoption process who benefit from gaining the knowledge and resources they need to move forward. NCFA and RESOLVE also work closely together to ensure the Adoption Tax Credit remains a permanent credit for all those looking to build their family through adoption.

New Hope Fertility Center and NYU Fertility Center

New Hope Fertility Center Logo
NYU Fertility Center Logo

The physicians and staff of New Hope Fertility Center and NYU Fertility demonstrated that it does really take a dedicated and passionate team to help those diagnosed with infertility. In 2012, when the New York/New Jersey area was hit hard by Super Storm Sandy, NYU Fertility lost power for several days. The staff at NYU Fertility worked hard to ensure patients were not impacted and that their IVF cycles could continue as planned, which is no small feat given the lack of power and the intricate nature of IVF. New Hope Fertility Center opened its doors to NYU Fertility physicians, staff, and patients so that patient’s egg retrievals could continue on schedule during this time.

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.

Carol Langer

Carol LangerCarol Langer first became involved with RESOLVE in the mid-seventies when she reached out to RESOLVE for support and for physician referrals in dealing with her own infertility issues. She joined the national board of directors in the 1990's and served on the executive committee as treasurer for several years. After leaving the board she has remained a friend, advocate, and supporter of RESOLVE and the work it does for all those struggling with infertility.

Professionally, Carol is a retired financial executive with more than 30 years of experience in management of technology companies. Carol currently serves as a director of Edmund Optics, Inc., a multi-national manufacturer of precision optical components, and as a trustee of the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. She has a B.A. from Boston University in English language and literature and an M.S. from Northeastern University in accounting.

Robert J. Stillman, MD, FACOG

Robert Stillman

Dr. Stillman is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist and is medical director of Shady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Centers, which he joined in April 1997. He also serves as a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Stillman has served as a long-time volunteer for RESOLVE including service on the board of directors, as an advocate at the federal and state level, and in fighting attacks on family building including speaking out against the documentary “Eggsploitation.” Dr. Stillman has also been an advisor to RESOLVE on fundraising and corporate partner development. 

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.

Stephanie Dahl, MD 

Stephanie DahlDr. Dahl is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist and board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, serving as the president of the Reproduction and the Environment Special Interest Group. She is the vice-president of the North Dakota Ob Gyn Society, and on the Executive Council for the North Dakota Medical Association.

Dr. Dahl has been a tireless defender of the rights of infertility patients in North Dakota by testifying before the North Dakota legislature on key bills over the past six years.  She has been at the forefront of fighting Personhood legislation in North Dakota and has fought against legislation that would negatively impact fertility preservation treatments for cancer patients. Because of her work, she’s been interviewed by NPR, the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, The Minnesota Post, Ms. Magazine, the Associated Press, and appeared on the CBS Evening News.

Huffington Post

Huffington Post logoThe Huffington Post is a Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, features, and entertainment, as well as a highly engaged community for opinion and conversation. In recent years, The Huffington Post has shown a commitment to covering many issues around infertility, including IVF, adoption, and living childfree.

The Huffington Post has 46 million monthly US unique visitors (comScore April, 2013), posting over eight million comments each month. The site has over 30,000 bloggers -- from politicians, students, and celebrities to academics, parents, and policy experts -- who contribute in real-time on the subjects they are most passionate about. 

Laurie Goldheim, Esq., Rebecca L. Mendel, Esq., Nina E. Rumbold, Esq., and Denise Seidelman, Esq.

These four attorneys are based in New York State and specialize in adoption and assisted reproductive technology law.  Working together since 2010, the attorneys have advocated for overturning the current law in New York which bans compensated gestational carrier arrangements. This ban presents a tremendous barrier to people wishing to build their family using a gestation carrier surrogate. By drafting new legislation and working closely with the bill sponsors in the New York state legislature, Ms. Goldheim, Ms. Mendel, Ms. Rumbold, and Ms. Seidelman have taken on the daunting task of overturning an anti-family law on the books for over 20 years, while making family building much more accessible in New York.

Laurie GoldheimLaurie Goldheim, Esq.'s firm has been helping couples and individuals build their families and realize their dreams through adoption for more than 21 years. Laurie has assisted thousands of families in achieving their adoption goals over the years.

Laurie received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her law degree from Boston University School of Law. She has been on the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys for 5 years and is currently President-Elect for the organization whose membership is by invitation only based on criteria for excellence in the practice of adoption law. She is also a member of the American  Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys and a founding member of the New York Attorney for Adoption and Family Formation (NYAAFF). In October 2007, Laurie was honored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption as an Angel in Adoption. Laurie was nominated by Congresswoman Nita Lowey for her outstanding example and commitment to promoting adoption.

Rebecca Mendel imageRebecca L. Mendel, Esq. is a partner in the New York City firm, Rosin Steinhagen Mendel. She has been with the firm since 1998, becoming partner of the firm in 2004. Mendel graduated from Emory University in 1993, with a B.A. in political science. In 1998, Rebecca received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

At Rosin Steinhagen Mendel, Rebecca’s focus is on is adoption law and family formation law.  Rebecca also represents people participating in assisted reproductive technology matters, such as egg donation agreements, sperm donation agreements, and uncompensated compassionate gestational carrier arrangements. Rebecca is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys.

Nina Rumbold imageNina E. Rumbold, Esq. is a partner in the firm of Rumbold & Seidelman, LLP, practicing exclusively in the areas of adoption and reproductive law. Ms. Rumbold is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys,  a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and a member of the National LGBT Bar Association Family Law Institute. She received her Juris Doctor degree from New York University Law School and is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey. Ms. Rumbold has lectured on adoption law and reproductive law as a member of the faculties of the ABA Family Law Section, Practicing Law Institute, the New York Judicial Institute, and the New York City Bar Center for Continuing Legal Education. She is also the past president of New York Attorneys for Adoption and Family Formation (NYAAFF), an organization of New York attorneys which advocates for legislative reform in the areas of adoption and reproductive law. She is also a regular speaker at the Adoptive Parents Committee Annual Conference.

Denise SeidelmanDenise Seidelman, Esq. is a partner in Rumbold & Seidelman, LLP, a firm devoted exclusively to adoption and reproductive law since 1996. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Washington College of Law. She was admitted to practice in New York in 1980 and in New Jersey in 2006. She began her legal career as a trial attorney for the Criminal Defense Division of the New York City Legal Aid Society.

Ms. Seidelman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. She is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association Family Law Institute. She has presented at the New York Judicial Institute and has also lectured on the legal aspects of the adoption process and on reproductive law before the York State and New York City Bar Associations.

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.

Just Stop Trying and it Will Happen

Just Stop Trying Blog ImageJust like most couples, Tracy White and her husband thought that starting a family would be easy. When more than a year had gone by with no further additions to their family they sought the advice of a specialist. Five years, four specialists, many cycles, one miscarriage, and an unexplained infertility diagnosis later, they still remain somehow hopeful that they will have a family of their own.

Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen was created in 2010 mainly as a means for personal catharsis. In the nearly four years since its creation, this blog has become so much more than just cheap therapy and snarky over-shares. Tracy has helped others smile through their tears and frustrations, become better educated on infertility issues, learned to advocate for their own health with their doctors, and to feel less isolated in a scary world full of constant needle-pokes and transvaginal ultrasounds. Read the National Infertility Awareness Week Blogger’s Unite post here.

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