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PCOS Challenge and Thomas Jefferson University Continue National Lead in Addressing Critical PCOS Healthcare Gaps

PHILADELPHIA, March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- PCOS Challenge, Inc., the leading nonprofit organization for women and girls with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), announces its national PCOS Awareness Symposia to help address seven critical education and healthcare gaps adversely impacting the physical, mental and emotional health of millions of women. These education and practice gaps are causing many women and girls with PCOS to struggle for years undiagnosed or ill-equipped to address the mental, emotional and physical issues that scar their social development and leave them exposed to numerous life-threatening related diseases.

PCOS is a genetic, hormonal, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects 10 percent of women. It is the leading cause of female infertility and has devastating effects on women's and girls' quality of life due to symptoms including excess facial hair growth, acne, hair loss, depression and obesity. Women with PCOS constitute the largest group of women at risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The National Institutes of Health estimates 50 percent of women with PCOS will become diabetic or pre-diabetic before age 40. Additionally, some studies have shown women with PCOS to be at higher risk for various cancers. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism also found women with PCOS are twice as likely to be hospitalized as other women.

Thomas Jefferson University is the Presenting Sponsor for the 2016 Northeast Regional PCOS Awareness Symposium to be held on Saturday, April 16 from 9AM5PM at Jefferson Alumni Hall located at 1020 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. The Philadelphia PCOS symposium is the largest event globally that is dedicated to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The symposium brings together clinicians, researchers, hundreds of women with PCOS and their supporters for a day of sharing experiences, insights and the latest updates about the condition.

For healthcare providers, the PCOS symposium will help improve competence in the field of PCOS and address seven identified education and practice gaps. The symposium will also help improve performance related to quality of care for women and adolescents with PCOS and patient outcomes.

For patients, the PCOS symposium will help women and girls affected by PCOS become proactive about their health and discover strategies and resources to help overcome their symptoms and reduce their risk for life-threatening related diseases. The PCOS conference also includes limited health screenings to help identify and reduce attendees' risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

"We are grateful to Thomas Jefferson University for their national leadership on PCOS," says Sasha Ottey, Executive Director of PCOS Challenge, Inc. "They understand the urgent need to address the condition and the significant gaps in healthcare surrounding it. There are many serious physical, psychosocial and life-threatening consequences associated with PCOS if not properly treated. As a global society, we can do better. We must do better to address the disorder!"

"It is so important for us to have the PCOS Awareness Symposium because PCOS affects as many as one in 10 women and I consider that an epidemic," says Dr. Katherine Sherif, Director, Jefferson Women's Primary Care, Thomas Jefferson University. "I have seen too many women in their forties and fifties who were never diagnosed and had heart attacks or developed type 2 diabetes or fatty liver disease. It is critical that healthcare providers see the whole spectrum of PCOS signs and symptoms and recognize PCOS early."

"We see this as a problem, not just of our local Philadelphia population, but a problem throughout the country and across the world," says Dr. William D. Schlaff, Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. "The PCOS Awareness Symposium provides significant amounts of information for all providers and patients to derive a better understanding of PCOS, its long- and intermediate-term problems, and what can be affected or treated."

Other PCOS Awareness Symposium sponsors include DuoFertility, American Electrology Association, Theralogix, Ideal Image, RMA at Jefferson, The Healing Arts Center of Philadelphia, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, PCOS Nutrition Center, The Baron Solution Group and Independent Kyani Distributor Destiny Calitto.

For more information about the symposium or sponsorship opportunities, visit

Media Contact:
Kali Mincy
PCOS Challenge, Inc.
Telephone: 404-855-7244

PCOS Awareness Symposium Speakers


PCOS Awareness Infographic

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SOURCE PCOS Challenge, Inc.