UIRC recently hosted Utah's First Annual Infertility Conference on October 29, 2016 at the Karen Gail Miller Conference Center in Sandy, UT.
The conference was a huge success with 230 in attendance. We received a lot of positive feedback from our vendors, speakers and attendees and we are already planning next year's event.
The conference opened with former Mrs. Utah, Tiffany Alleman, sharing her story about how she has been able to navigate the world of infertility and pregnancy loss. Along with her story, she shared some bits of wisdom with the audience, including the fact that "Infertility is part of you, NOT all of you."
Attendees stated that "Tiffany’s experiences, while heartbreaking, were something many of us could identify with. I’m grateful she was willing to share her story."
"Tiffany was very inspirational & funny. She gave a real ‘human’ perspective that gives hope & understanding."
The conference also featured a lunch panel titled "Pathways to Parenthood." The panel featured various individuals who have navigated different paths of family building when traditional paths didn't work out.
The panel featured perspectives on egg/sperm donation, embryo adoption, using a gestational carrier, adoption through foster care, living childless, and domestic infant adoption. Although each panel member had a different path and outcome, all stated that they were happy and at peace.
Our attendees said: "You really were able to find people from every experience with every outcome who were all happy & gave hope...They were living proof of the conference theme - their stories were all different but there were all happy & where they wanted to be.”
"It’s so great to hear the variety of experiences and see the many ways families were created."
Other highlights from the conference include the advocacy session taught by UIRC's Brooke Walrath. She shared tips on how to tell your story in a way that will compel others to listen.
She was joined by Senator Luz Escamilla who struggled with infertility herself and discussed her perspective on constituents reaching out to their legislators. One attendee said,
"Loved having senators come to take time out to give support.”
UIRC's Whitney Barrell presented on supporting your partner during infertility. Her interactive session focused on the differences between how men and women cope and offered insights on how to be supportive.
"Whitney did a wonderful presentation. She has a great energy and made it fun, funny for the audience & couples while still addressing the seriousness of infertility & navigating your relationship w/your spouse during infertility."
Dr. Dierdre Conway presented on how to improve your health for infertility treatments and gave wonderful information on what lifestyle choices you can make to optimize success.
“Loved learning more about lifestyle changes and improving fertility outcomes. Dr. Conway was very knowledgeable.”
Other sessions at the conference included:
· Understanding the Trauma of Infertility by counselors Jamie Hales & Kelsey Redd
· Financing for Family Building by UIRC's Melanie Jordan
· Introduction to Infertility Treatments by RCC’S Dr. Blauer
· Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine by Bea Hammond and Lisa Andrade
· Male Infertility by Dr. James Craig and Dr. Tim Jenkins
· Coping with Miscarriage & Recurrent Loss During Infertility by counselor Monica Ashton
· Moving to Adoption by adoption caseworker, Kim Perry
· 3rd Party Panel Discussion
· Doctor Meet & Greet featuring
o -Dr Hatasaka
o -Dr Gilliland
o -Dr Gurtcheff
o -Dr Dorais
o -Dr Johnstone
o -Dr. Stanford
The conference concluded with several giveaways, including three $1000 fertility treatment vouchers, an adoption home study and many more prizes.
Overall we received very positive feedback about this year's conference and we are looking forward to next year's conference currently scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd, 2017! See you then!