Dr. Jeff Thorne Wins at ASRM

Today was an exciting one for UCONN HEALTH and The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services at the American Society for Reproductive Meeting being held in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Thorne with his award winning poster

Our third year REI fellow, Dr. Jeff Thorne won 2nd place for best research poster out of nearly 800 entries. The posters title was “Higher rates of mosaic only embryos found in younger patients evaluated by next generation sequencing”. Authors were: Jeffrey Thorne, MD, Alexandra Loza, DO (UConn ObGyn Resident), Leah Kaye, MD (former UCONN/CARS REI Fellow), John Nulsen, MD, Lawrence Engmann, MD, Claudio Benadiva, MD and Dan Grow, MD.

Dr. Thorne receiving award & congratulations from Christos Coutifaris, MD, PhD, current ASRM President

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Thorne! This is the second consecutive year UCONN HEALTH/CARS has been honored in this way. Last year’s third year fellow Eric Anspach Wall, MD won first place for her research poster presentation at the 2017 ASRM meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. It provides a forum for lay public, researchers, physicians and affiliated health workers through education, publications, and meetings. The annual meeting attracts participants for all over the world and is considered the preeminent scientific congress on reproductive medicine. Each year the ASRM presents awards for outstanding papers and posters.

Patient News: HCG Repackaging

“HCG” (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) medication is a frequently used medication for ovarian stimulation cycles for IVF and IUIs. “HCG” comes as a “generic” HCG, a branded HCG named “Pregnyl” and a branded HCG named “Novarel”. Depending upon the pharmacy of purchase, you may receive any of these packaging options.  It is important to please note however that there has been a recent change in the packaging of the “Novarel” branded HCG product. “HCG  generic” and “ Pregnyl” continue to be packaged in a 1 vial formulation of 10,000 units.  “Novarel” HCG brand however is now packaged in 5,000 unit vial formulations. Please note that if you are sent the “Novarel” branded box you will need to follow new specific instructions to accommodate this change –  as the Novarel vial is only 5,000 units (not 10,000 units). The Center has specific written instructions for the Novarel brand packing which will be provided to you. Please call your nurse if you have any questions. Your mail order pharmacy can also assist you with any questions.

Congratulations to the Center’s Lab Team

Congratulations to the Center’s lab team, who under the leadership of Alison Bartolucci, recently passed with distinction a very rigorous inspection of the College of American Pathologists.

The College of American Pathologists (CAP), the leading organization of board-certified pathologists, serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is a member-based physician organization founded in 1946 comprising approximately 18,000 board-certified pathologists. The CAP does accreditation of IVF laboratories under deemed authority by The Society of Advanced Reproductive Technology (SART). Being CAP certified is a SART requirement.

For 70 years, the CAP has fostered excellence in laboratories and advanced the practice of pathology and laboratory science. As medicine, technology and pathology have evolved since 1946, the CAP has led the way to meet new challenges that result in better patient outcomes. People are healthier and IVF is safer and more successful because of excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine.

Alison Bartolucci, Operational Lab Director

The CAP inspection is another example of how excellence does not happen in an hour, day or week. It is the result of a daily commitment to an organizational culture and mission to provide outstanding clinical care and an exemplary patient experience.

Dr. Grow Promoted to Full Professor at UConn

We are pleased to congratulate Dr. Daniel Grow on his promotion to Full Professor in the Health Educator category of the UConn School of Medicine. The Medical School Committee voted on September 1 and decided to grant the promotion.

To be eligible for appointment or promotion to senior rank in the medical educator professional category, candidates must demonstrate:

(A) A high level of professional competence, as well as significant achievement, in one of the following:

(1) Clinical achievement
(2) Research
(3) Education
a) New and/or innovative educational program
b) New and/or innovative curriculum
c) Leadership of new and/or innovative educational programs
d) New and/or innovative assessment tools
e) A recognized leader in the skills of mentoring/advising
(4) Health Service Management

(B) A record of excellence in at least one of the following levels of education:
Undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate (which includes other health professionals)

Dr. Grow is Board Certified in ObGyn and REI and is currently a lead physician at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Servicesand REI Division Chief and Associate Director of REI Fellowship at UConn Health. Dr. Grow was formerly affiliated with Baystate Medical Center at the new University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate, where he also served as Chairman of the Department of ObGyn. Prior to serving as OB Chair he led the IVF Program at Baystate for 15 years, pushing their efforts toward excellence with high pregnancy rates and leading the nation in single embryo transfer and minimizing pre-term deliveries.

Dr. Grow has long had an interest in health care quality. He has contributed to over 40 peer reviewed publication which have focused on optimizing ovarian stimulation, improving embryo transfer and mastering techniques in reproductive surgery. He specializes in the reproductive medicine needs of his patients and gives them individualized care honed through many years of experience.

Dr. Grow graduated with his medical degree in 1987 from Penn State and completed his ObGyn residency from York Hospital also in PA. His fellowship in REI was completed at the famed Jones Institute – Eastern Virginia Medical School. Dr. Grow also holds a MS in Health Care Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services is pleased to congratulate Dr. Grow on his promotion to Full Professor in the Health Educator category of the UConn School of Medicine and proud to have him as part of our team!

Free Public “Science Cafe” on Infertility

Exciting news! Come to a free and open to the public “science cafe” to learn what’s new and upcoming in infertility. Topics will include research pertaining to fertility preservation for young women and those with cancer, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and screening, advancements in lab techniques of embryo biopsy and vitrification, and more. Featuring the Center’s Dr. Evelyn Neuber, Alison Bartolucci, Dr. Claudio Benadiva and Dr. Andrea DiLuigi. Food and beverages will be provided. Please register by clicking on this link.

Learn More About PCOS

September is PCOS Awareness Month. PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrom is a health problem that can affect a woman’s fertility. According to the PCOS Awareness Association, “the cause of PCOS is unknown. But most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. Women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with PCOS.” Learn more about PCOS here.

Meet Betsy Morrell, Medical Assistant

Our video library features profiles of many of our employees. Have you met Betsy Morrell? Here’s what she loves most about her job: “What I love most about my job is watching a new patient come in nervous and leaving with a pregnancy.” ~Betsy Morrell, Medical Assistant


Apply for Nest Egg Grant

The Nest Egg Foundation has opened their 2018 grant application from now through the end of July. Please share this news! The Nest Egg Foundation is a collaborative Connecticut-based non-profit organization founded to help those struggling with infertility by providing grants of financial assistance. The number of grants given is dependent upon fundraising and is variable. Not all applicants who apply and meet the medical and financial criteria will be awarded a grant. Grants will be valued at no more than $10,000. Financial grants may not be used to reimburse any clinic or medical provider for services that have already been provided. The Center is proud to be a Center of Excellence for this grant.