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“Knowledge is Freedom” was the incredibly appropriate theme of the 2001 PCOSupport Conference held on June 7th – June 9th at the Hilton Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA.
“Knowledge is Freedom” was the incredibly appropriate theme of the 2001 PCOSupport Conference held on June 7th – June 9th at the Hilton Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA. The excitement in the air was palpable as the over 230 conference attendees began arriving on Thursday June 7th. The annual PCOSupport conference is always an interesting mix of medical professionals, PCOS patients and others just interested in learning more about this common metabolic condition which affects up to 10% of women today. This year’s meeting was no exception as conference participants were treated to excellent presentations regarding the latest PCOS research and lifestyle strategies.
“Kick Off” for the event was a Thursday evening Reception hosted by MCP Hahnemann University. Dr. Shahab Minassian and Dr. Katherine Sherif, both of the PCOS Center at MCP Hahnemann University, welcomed the group and praised the PCOSA for organizing such an important conference regarding PCOS education. The reception offered a relaxed and inviting atmosphere for a “Meet and Greet” for attendees and presenters. An encore presentation of “Scrambled: A Journey Through PCOS”, a video documentary about one woman’s PCOS experiences completed the evening’s agenda.
Mistress of Ceremonies, Kathy Burke-Howe and PCOSA Executive Director, Kristin Rencher, opened the events on Friday, June 8th with motivational remarks. The day’s activities featured Morning and Evening Fitness Sessions, a PCOSupport Chapter Leadership Breakfast and a variety of presentations ranging from “PCOS: Origins in Early Childhood” to “Moving with PCOS: Real Fitness for Real Women” to “What’s Good about PCOS.” Morning and afternoon breakout sessions were geared for more specific PCOS issues and gave attendees an opportunity to obtain more detailed information and occasion to interact with experts in their particular field of interest. The excellent slate of presenters included Dr. Sam Thatcher, Dr. Mark Perloe, Dr. Selma Witchel, Dr. Rick Legro and Rochelle Rice, fitness expert.
A much anticipated luncheon address entitled “Throwing the Book at PCOS” was presented by Dr. Ronald Feinberg, 2001 Conference Medical Chair. Tracing the history of PCOS literature he proposed a “slightly different way of looking at things.” Since the vast majority of women and physicians feel that the term Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is inadequate and misleading, Dr. Feinberg offered a new way of describing PCOS – “Syndrome O.” For more information about this exciting new movement see http://www.ivf-de.com/syndromeO or http://info.med.yale.edu/obgyn/kliman/feinberg/RFFWelcome. The luncheon also included an update on results of clinical trials sponsored by Insmed Pharmaceuticals for D Chiro Inositol, a not yet FDA approved drug for the treatment of PCOS.
Christine Gray DeZarn, Founder of the PCOSA facilitated a "Share Your Story” breakout at the close of sessions on Friday. Rounding out the day’s events was a “Picnic in the Park” at Valley Forge National Park hosted by the Philadelphia Area Chapter of PCOSA.
The final day of the conference, Saturday June 9th was filled with more excellent PCOS educational presentations and opportunities for interactions between conference attendees and medical professionals. Early morning events included fitness sessions and a breakfast session regarding Community Advocacy and Volunteerism for PCOSupport volunteers. Topics of presentations included “Beta Cell Dysfunction in PCOS”, “Insulin Resistance: What is it? Why is it so important?” and “PCOS and Androgen Dysfunction.” Some of the presenters featured were Dr. David Ehrmann, Dr. Gerald Reaven, Martha McKittrick, RD, Dr. Melissa Himelein and Dr. Ricardo Azziz.
Luncheon Roundtable Discussions afforded attendees the opportunity to “Dine with the Experts” and enjoy getting to know them better. Afternoon events also included an “Author’s Circle” featuring sessions by Dr. Sam Thatcher – PCOS: A Hidden Epidemic, Dr. Elizabeth Vliet – Screaming to be Heard: Hormonal Connections Women Suspect and Doctors Ignore, Rochelle Rice, MA – Real Fitness for Real Women and Wellness Encounters – PCOS MindBody Workout Yoga Video Premiere.
The 2001 PCOSupport International Conference closed with the Gala Dinner – Share Your Dreams: An Evening of Awards and Inspiration. Several PCOSupport volunteers and medical professionals were recognized for their extraordinary efforts to further PCOS awareness in their own communities and on a national level. A special video presentation honored Executive Director, Kristin Rencher for the dedication and positive spirit she offers to the organization everyday. This inspiring video concluded conference events for the year.
For further information regarding the PCOSupport 2001 International Conference please visit www.pcosupport.org where transcripts of presentations will soon be made available.