5th Annual Jefferson Infertility Counseling Conference


Rene Almeling PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Sociology Department, Yale University

Rene Almeling is a sociologist at Yale University who specializes in research on gender and medicine. She is the author of Sex Cells, an award-winning book that offers an inside look at the American market for egg donors and sperm donors. Currently, she is writing a new book, Guynecology,  on the history of medical knowledge-making about men's reproduction and its consequences for individual men. She has also conducted two original surveys, the first on Americans' attitudes toward genetic risk (with Shana Gadarian) and the other on women's bodily experiences of IVF. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and her articles have appeared in American Sociological Review, Annual Review of SociologyJournal of Health and Social Behavior, and Gender & Society. She is a recipient of the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Research, one of Yale’s highest honors. 

Andrea Mechanick Braverman PhD
Associate Director of the Educational Core, Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine
Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. Braverman 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, infertility counseling, and third party reproduction issues. She received her M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Braverman has lectured internationally on treatment issues and reproductive medicine before medical and patient audiences. Dr. Braverman has conducted research and published numerous articles in medical journals about the psychological aspects of infertility, attitudes of parents of children born with the use of ART, issues involved in the decision to end treatment, and psychological issues involved in using third-party donors. Dr. Braverman received the Timothy Jeffries Memorial award in 2011 for outstanding contributions as a health psychologist from the American Psychological Association. She is the past president of the North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology and past chairperson of the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Ann Chandy MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Thomas Jefferson University and Methodist Hospital

Dr Chandy is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Human Behavior, at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She has a special interest in women's mental health, especially mental health issues related to infertility, and run an outpatient psychiatry clinic for women. Dr. Chandy runs the inpatient psychiatry consultation service at Methodist Hospital. Her educational background includes a General Adult Psychiatry residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and a Psychosomatic Medicine fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University. 

Helen L. Coons PhD, ABPP
President and Clinical Director
Health Psychology Solutions

Dr. Helen L. Coons has over 25 years of professional experience with women and families coping with physical conditions, collaborating with health care providers and consulting on women’s health and mental health care at the national level. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Temple University after interning in Medical Psychology at the Duke University Medical Center, and completed the DHHS Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship in 2005. Dr. Coons is a board certified clinical health psychologist and the President and Clinical Director of Women’s Mental Health Associates and Health Psychology Solutions in Denver and Boulder. For the last 17 years in Philadelphia and now Denver, her practice has rotated to women’s multispecialty, primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, reproductive endocrinology, urogynecology, oncology and pelvic pain settings. She routinely provides evidenced based care to women coping with fertility challenges and decisions, pregnancy complications and loss, neonatal complications, perinatal mood disorders, sleep disorders, pelvic pain, bladder and sexual conditions, breast, gynecologic and other cancers and a host of other issues seen across Ob/Gyn settings. Dr. Coons also serves as the UCSOM Department of Psychiatry Faculty Coordinator for Perinatal Mental Health Services. Dr. Coons is a dynamic speaker known at the national level for presentations to health care providers and community audiences on women’s heath and mental health topics. She is also a highly experienced content expert for the media. In addition, Dr. Coons enjoys consulting for Federal organizations such as SAMHSA and NIH’s NIDDK as well as the National Governors’ Association. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Coons was the founding chair of the APA Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology from 2007-2014. In addition, she currently serves on the APA Board of Directors (2016-2018).
Susan L. Crockin Esq
Principal, Scholar & Adjunct Professor
Crockin Law Firm, O'Neil Institute for National & Global Health Law at Georgetown Law Center

SUSAN CROCKIN, JD, has been practicing assisted reproductive technology (ART) law since 1988, after started one of the 1st US legal practices devoted exclusively to ART and adoption law. She now teaches “ART Law” at Georgetown Law Center, writes extensively on the legal, ethical and policy aspects of the ARTS and has expanded her private practice to include medical and 3rd party ART programs, sperm and egg banks. Susan is an adjunct professor and scholar at Georgetown Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law and an affiliate faculty at Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, where she is working on multi-disciplinary ARTs endeavors.  

Susan created ASRM’s “Legally Speaking” column in 1990, and has authored numerous journal articles, chapters, and books; she co-authored her most recent book, “Legal Conceptions: Evolving Law and Policy of the ARTs,” w/the late Dr. Howard Jones in 2010.

Susan was a founding member of both ASRM’s Legal Professional Group and the American Academy of Reproductive Technology Attorneys; she is a former board member of national and Massachusetts RESOLVE; and a current member of SART’s Model Consent Committee. .

Nidhi Desai JD
Partner, Deputy Director
Desai & Miller, Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys
Kathryn J. Go Ph.D. HCLD
Laboratory Director, Clinical Laboratory Director
Boston IVF - The Maine Center, ReproSource Fertility Diagnostics

Kathryn J. Go, PhD, HCLD is the clinical laboratory director at ReproSource Fertility Diagnostics and the director of the embryology laboratory at Boston IVF – the Maine Center. Dr. Go was, for 11 years, the Scientific and Laboratory Director at IVF New England (formerly, the Reproductive Science Center of New England) and for 21 years before that, the Laboratory Director at Pennsylvania Reproductive Associates. Dr. Go holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania and has been a laboratory director for the assisted reproductive technologies since 1984. Dr. Go has been active in both SART and the ASRM, having served as a member of the SART executive council through several terms, consultant to the FDA, course chairman and faculty for several ASRM and New England Fertility Society postgraduate courses, and chairman of the Reproductive Biology Professional group of the ASRM. Dr. Go has also been president of the New England Fertility Society, and was a lecturer at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, the Experimental College of Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Go is the author of many peer-reviewed research articles, abstracts and book chapters, and was a specialty editor for Case Reports in Women’s Health. With a hope and vision for the future, one of Dr. Go’s primary interests is the best preparation of the next generations of clinical embryologists.
Gail Knudson MD
Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Professor
Vancouver Coastal Health & Provincial Health Services, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine

Gail Knudson MD, MEd, FRCPC, is a Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Adjunct Clinical Professor at the University of Victoria, Consultant Psychiatrist at Vancouver Coastal Health and Provincial Health Services Authority, and Chair of the BC Trans Clinical Care Group.
 Dr. Knudson currently serves as President of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and Co-Chair of WPATH’s Global Education Initiative. She is a founder and former President of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH). She has also held leadership positions within the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH).

John E. Kurtz Ph.D.
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Villanova University

John E. Kurtz, Ph.D. is professor of psychology at Villanova University and a licensed clinical psychologist in Pennsylvania. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, doctoral studies in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt University, a clinical internship at the Veterans Affairs and University of Michigan hospitals in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and an NIH post-doctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology and rehabilitation research at Wayne State University Medical School. Dr. Kurtz is former Associate Editor of the Journal of Personality Assessment, and he currently serves on the editorial boards of that journal and Assessment. He conducts research on the Personality Assessment Inventory, adult personality development, and the use of knowledgeable informants in personality assessment. Dr. Kurtz specializes in psychological evaluation for the selection context. He has received clinical training in adult psychology and gerontology, including assessment and psychotherapy with dementia, head injury, and learning disorders.

Angela Lawson Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Psychiatry Northwestern Medical Group

Dr. Lawson is an Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology and Psychiatry at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is a clinical and forensic psychologist specializing in trauma and reproductive health. Dr. Lawson joined the faculty at Northwestern in 2008 in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility where she provides consultation as well as individual / couple’s psychotherapy related to infertility, fertility preservation, and other reproductive concerns. She conducts research on the psychological aspects of reproductive and sexual traumas.  Dr. Lawson serves as a Past Chair of the Executive Committee for the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and is currently a Co-Chair of the Midwest Reproductive Symposium International Mental Health Day.

William D Petok Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Licensed Psychologist
Thomas Jefferson University, Independent Practice

In addition to a full time clinical practice in psychology, Bill Petok is a Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University. He earned his doctorate at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1978. 
Dr. Petok is currently a board member of the Path 2 Parenthood (formerly the American Fertility Association) and a member of the Executive Council of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. He is a past chair of the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  He regularly speaks on sexuality and assisted reproductive technologies at professional meetings.
His publications include book chapters on Infertility Counseling, Sexuality and Gender Based Differences as well as journal articles on Male Factor Infertility, the interface of religion and sexuality and the treatment of sexual dysfunctions. 

Lisa A. Rinehart RN, BSN, JD
LegalCare Consulting, Inc

Lisa A. Rinehart has been involved in reproductive medicine in the Chicago area for the past twenty-five years.  First as a nurse (where she brought years of experience in ICU nursing and hospital administration), and, currently, as a health care attorney and medical practice consultant, focusing on risk management, practice operations, mergers and physician contracting.

Lisa received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois; and, completed a law degree from DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, with honors, and a certificate in Health Law. She worked for several years as a corporate health care attorney, before returning to the medical field as a fertility practice manager and consultant, as well as teaching as an adjunct instructor of Health Law and Healthcare Administration at several Chicago-area universities.

 Lisa is an honorary AAARTA member and has been a very active member of ASRM for over 15 years. She is the current Chair of ASRM’s Membership Committee, and past chair of two of ASRM’s Professional groups - the Association of Reproductive Managers and the Legal Professional Group. Lisa is a frequent speaker on all aspects of reproductive law, risk management, practice operations, and employment law.

William Schlaff MD
Professor & Chair
Paul and Eloise Bowers, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. William Schlaff is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School where he also completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology. He completed his fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Johns Hopkins University where he also served on the faculty for 8 years. In 1989 Dr. Schlaff was recruited to the University of Colorado where he founded the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and built it into one of the leading divisions in the country. Dr. Schlaff has been named one of the Best Doctors in America annually for over 20 years, has a long history of funding from the National Institutes of Health, and has published over 200 scientific papers. He has held numerous national leadership positions and is a Past President of the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. 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 the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University.
Margaret E Swain JD
Principle, Director
Law Office of Margaret E. Swain, Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys

Margaret Swain is an attorney in private practice in Baltimore, Maryland. A former surgical, delivery room and IVF clinical nurse, she focuses her legal practice on Assisted Reproductive Technology Law, Adoption and Guardianship. Ms. Swain is a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, where she chaired the ARTs Committee, and served four years on the Academy’s Board of Trustees, and is now the Director of ART and again a Trustee. She is a long-standing member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, co-chaired the formation of its Legal Professional Group, of which she is a Past-Chair, and has served as faculty on several Post-Graduate courses taught at the annual conferences. Ms. Swain served for three years on the Executive Council of ASRM’s affiliate, The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. She is a member of the ABA and its Family Law Section on ART. Ms. Swain is also a charter fellow of the former American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys and served for three years as its Deputy Director and as Chair of its CLE and Legislative committees. Ms. Swain has authored a number of textbook chapters, is a frequent lecturer, and has taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and a board member of the Family Formation Charitable Trust. In 2008, she was recognized for her advocacy on behalf of adoptive families, birth parents and children by the national Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, and honored as an “Angel in Adoption”.
Julia Woodward PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Duke University Medical Center

Julia T. Woodward, Ph.D. serves as Director of the Psychological Services Program at the Duke Fertility Center. She has a joint faculty appointment in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Duke University Health System. She specializes in working with patients facing infertility, pregnancy loss, third-party reproduction, fertility preservation, and perinatal mood disorders. She trains Clinical Psychology Interns and PhD students in a year-long clinical practicum rotation and serves on the Executive Steering Committee for the Duke Clinical Psychology Fellowship program. Her primary research interest is exploring family and child outcomes after later-life parenthood. She has been a member of ASRM’s MHPG since 2004 and has served on the Membership, Educational Resources, and Continuing Education Committees.