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Elevating Endometriosis to a Public Health Crisis

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January 30 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST

Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disease that affects more than 200 million women worldwide. When endometrial-like tissue grows outside of the uterus, the lesions that form on other organs throughout the body can cause severe pelvic and back pain, as well as pain between periods and with intercourse, heavy menstrual bleeding, and infertility. In fact, 1 in 10 women have endometriosis and 30-50% of individuals with endometriosis experience infertility. 

Although endometriosis can begin in adolescence, it often goes undetected and inadequately treated for a significant period of time. Usually diagnosed in a woman’s 30s or 40s, this journey can be delayed an average of up to 6.7 years due to dismissing symptoms and societal stigma surrounding menstruation and gynecological health. Moreover, because there is no cure for endometriosis, it is critical that women are engaged and empowered throughout their journey with this chronic disease and supported in living a high quality of life. 

SWHR hosted a virtual public forum to discuss the impact of endometriosis on women’s health and to highlight persistent gaps in diagnosis and treatment.

 

Details

Date:
January 30
Time:
11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST
Event Categories:
, , , ,

Organizer

SWHR

Goals

  • Provide an overview of the impact of endometriosis on women’s health across the lifespan, including risk factors, disparities, and barriers to care
  • Address stigma and misconceptions in gynecologic disease and care
  • Highlight the need for increased research funding and clinical education to improve patient outcomes
  • Build awareness about the public health crisis by elevating the lived experiences of women with endometriosis

Panelists

Idhaliz Flores, PhD,

Professor Department of Basic Sciences, Department of OBGYN, Ponce Health Sciences University, Ponce, Puerto Rico 

Idhaliz Flores, PhD,

Professor Department of Basic Sciences, Department of OBGYN, Ponce Health Sciences University, Ponce, Puerto Rico 

Idhaliz Flores is a molecular biologist with 20 years of experience in research on Women’s health, specifically in endometriosis and pelvic pain. Dr. Flores is Professor of Basic Sciences and Ob-Gyn at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU), in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She has been involved in endometriosis research since 2001, specifically looking at molecular biomarkers and genetic/epigenetic factors associated with this disease. She currently directs the Endometriosis Research Program (ERP), which consists of students-in-training, collaborating experts and a biorepository. Research at ERP has helped establish the prevalence of endometriosis in Puerto Rico, discover potential diagnostic markers and immunological correlates, and identify genetic variants associated with endometriosis and/or infertility. More recently, her team has conducted studies on the impact of endometriosis on life, health and work productivity, and on health system utilization trends and costs. Her collaborative work with a team of physiologists and neuroscientists has led to the first demonstration of the negative impact of stress on disease presentation using the rat model of endometriosis, and on the alleviation that results from stress management techniques. She is currently the PI on a project to translate and test the efficacy of an environmental enrichment intervention for endometriosis (1R21HD098481). She is co-founder of Sur180 Therapeutics a start-up that develops novel endometriosis therapies. Dr. Flores is member of the Board of Directors of ENDOPR (Fundación Puertorriqueña de Pacientes con Endometriosis) (www.endometriosispr.com), a patient advocacy foundation in Puerto Rico that provides support and education to patients and their relatives since 2005. ENDOPR Facebook page has >9,000 followers and the Facebook group >4,000 members. 

James Segars, MD

Professor and Division Director, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

James Segars, MD

Professor and Division Director, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

James Segars is the Howard and Georgeanna Seegar Jones Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Director, Division of Women’s Health Research at Johns Hopkins. A major focus of his research has explored the molecular mechanisms responsible for reproductive diseases, including uterine fibroids, endometriosis, PCOS, and infertility. He graduated from Duke University and Duke University School of Medicine followed by a residency in OB/GYN and a fellowship Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Vanderbilt University. After clinical training, he completed 3 years of post-doctoral training at the NIH as an RSDP Scholar. Dr. Segars was recruited to the intramural program at NICHD for 20 years before moving to Johns Hopkins. At Johns Hopkins, his division is engaged in several NIH-funded clinical and translational research studies of fibroids, endometriosis, and infertility. Dr. Segars has published over 230 research papers and serves on several editorial boards. He has received several awards for mentorship and research. 

Jenneh Rishe, BSN, RN

Founder & Executive Director, The Endometriosis Coalition Inc. 

Jenneh Rishe, BSN, RN

Founder & Executive Director, The Endometriosis Coalition Inc. 

Jenneh Rishe is a Philadelphia based registered nurse, endometriosis advocate, founder of the Endometriosis Coalition and author of Part of You, Not All of You. Her advocacy work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, The New York Times and The Today Show as part of Maria Shriver’s “Women’s Wellness Health DisruptHERS” segment. Although Jenneh herself has been diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses, she is dedicated to helping assist in the wellness of those suffering from chronic illness through education, encouragement, and advocacy. 

Sponsor

Support for this educational program has been provided by Sumitomo Pharma. SWHR maintains independence and editorial control over program development, content, and work products.

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