Foundation Partners with Michigan State University & Inforum Women

Foundation Partners with Michigan State University & Inforum Women

EFA Co-Founders Tamer Seckin, MD and Padma Lakshmi were pleased to join famed scientist Dr. Asgi Fazleabas and noted members of the Grand Rapids scientific community for a series of exciting events focused on endometriosis on April 13 and 14, 2011.  Presented by Michigan State University's (MSU) Department of OB/GYN & Reproductive Biology and Inforum Professional Women's Alliance, these critical education and awareness efforts kicked off April 13 with a premier dinner featuring a presentation by Ms. Lakshmi entitled "Live Well...Give Back", wherein she detailed her evolution from an international supermodel into the multi-faceted businesswoman she is today. Inforum, one of the largest and most prestigious business forums in the nation, organized a festive VIP reception and dinner attended by more than 250 leaders from the medical, professional and scientific communities along with members of the public at the Amway Grand Plaza Wednesday evening. Known internationally as an actress, award-winning author, designer of her namesake jewelry line, style icon, food expert, successful businesswoman and host of Bravo's Emmy Award-winning series "Top Chef," Ms. Lakshmi shared how she turned her passions into her career and discussed how she finds time to continue giving back through her passionate work with the Foundation. Her engaging keynote speech was peppered with humor, personal anecdotes and encouraging advice on forging alliances and making connections that help accelerate lives.  Ms. Lakshmi told the press, "as a businesswoman, my work with EFA provides a way a way to give back. I feel I have a responsibility to pay my success forward by also informing women through my own experience," she said.

Inforum's "Live Well...Give Back" gala was followed on Thursday by the MSU College of Human Medicine's women's health symposium, "A Focus on Endometriosis", hosted by Dr. Fazleabas, Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of OB/GYN & Reproductive Biology and an internationally recognized expert on endometriosis and infertility. MSU is home to a $6.8 million NIH-funded Specialized Cooperative Centers Program for Reproductive & Infertility Research, focused largely on translational studies regarding the etiology and pathophysiology of endometriosis along with adenomyosis and endometrial and ovarian cancers. Under the leadership of Dr. Fazleabas, the Center is leading the way in cutting-edge research in developing animal models and in vitro systems to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that may be associated with the pathology of endometriosis and develop non-invasive diagnostic tests that are so desperately needed for the early diagnosis of the disease.

The symposium launched with a warm welcome and opening remarks from Marsha Rappley, Ph.D, distinguished Dean of MSU College of Medicine and Richard Leach, Ph.D, eminent Chairperson of the Department of OB/GYN & Reproductive Biology, who spoke of the critical need to elevate women's health as a research priority.  Serving as event Moderator, Dr. Fazleabas introduced Ms. Lakshmi, who opened her life with poignant candor to a full house comprised of medical professionals, students and the public, recounting highly personal details about her decades-long, extremely painful odyssey with endometriosis.  Ms. Lakshmi, who  says she feels it is her mission to educate women about endometriosis, detailed her experiences from the first of her many surgeries - in which she never heard the word "endometriosis" - to finally receiving successful treatment and ultimately becoming a miracle mom.  Her heartfelt honesty provided insight to living with a painful, misunderstood disease and empowered several patients in the audience to lend their own voices to the discussion.  Sharing personal experiences, a common theme emerged from those in the audience: anger.  Anger at not being diagnosed earlier, anger at not being given effective treatment options, anger at being largely ignored by the medical community.  One woman even related her significant frustration at having to suffer - perhaps needlessly - through ineffective therapies and the extensive collateral toll it took on her personal and professional life.  The event was an unprecedented opportunity for patients and professionals alike to engage in meaningful dialogue concerning the disease and work in partnership on an agenda to improve the future of endometriosis.

Following his Co-Founder, featured keynote speaker Dr. Tamer Seckin took the podium to lecture on "Endometriosis Surgery for Multiple Organ Involvement".  Educating the audience through a series of medical animations and surgical slides, Dr. Seckin discussed the science of endometriosis from origin and pathogenesis to advanced surgical treatment through expert Laparoendoscopic Excision.  Ranked among America's Top Surgeons & Gynecologists, Dr. Seckin is an internationally renowned specialist in Advanced Excision Surgery for the treatment of endometriosis and associated pelvic pain pathologies. An active educator and philanthropist, he lectures around the world on endometriosis and minimally invasive gynecologic endoscopy techniques.  The day closed with presentations from Grace Janik, MD and Bruce Lessey, MD, PhD, who presented "Surgical Management for Severe Endometriosis" and "New Concepts for the Diagnosis of Pain & Infertility in Minimal & Mild Endometriosis", respectively, both sharing their laudable knowledge of the disease as it relates to pain, infertility and effective treatment.

The ensuing dialogue between the expert presenters and the audience increased awareness not only about the need for early diagnosis and gold standard treatment, but also lent several personal experiences to what is often thought of as an insignificant illness.  On the contrary, endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women and girls globally at a staggering price tag to society estimated at $22-110 billion annually.  "It's unfortunate that this disease is so prevalent, and we know very little about it...women typically endure the condition 8 to 11 years before it is diagnosed because they're told it's part of growing up," Dr. Fazleabas told media at a press conference for the event.

The gala and symposium were part of the Foundation's ongoing efforts to lead research and extensive collaborative efforts with scientists, women's health professionals, patients and the public to further develop widespread knowledge of endometriosis and promote early diagnosis and effective intervention. For even more photos and coverage of these events.

The events were characterized by Ms. Lakshmi as "a way for us to get the word out to a large group of women who are movers and shakers...about a very important women's issue."  Video highlights from her presentations, Dr. Seckin's educational lecture, and key speaker features will be available for download shortly; please check back frequently.

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Patient Reviews

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  • Angela Aro

    I have struggled with endometriosis and adenomyosis since first starting my period at 13. I was diagnosed at 21 and what followed was a series of unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. My case was very aggressive and involved my urinary tract system and my intestines. After exhausting all of my local doctors I was lucky enough to find Dr. Seckin. We…

  • Emi O

    Seckin and Dr. Goldstein changed my life!

  • Kristin Sands

    Like so many women who have tirelessly sought a correct diagnosis and proper, thorough medical treatment for endometriosis, I found myself 26 years into this unwanted journey without clear answers or help from four previous gynecological doctors and two emergency laparoscopic surgeries. I desperately wanted to avoid the ER again; a CT scan for appendicitis also revealed a likely endometrioma…

  • Wilfredo Reyes

    Dr. Seckin literally gave my wife her life back. I am eternally grateful to him for his generous, determined spirit to see that Melanie finally live free from the prison bonds of Endometriosis.

  • Carla

    I am so grateful to Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein. My experience was nothing short of amazing. I was misdiagnosed with the location of my fibroids and have had a history of endometriosis. Dr. Seckin was the one who accurately diagnosed me. Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein really care about their patients and it shows. They listened to my concerns,…

  • Melissa Boudreau

    When I think of Dr. Seckin these are the words that come to mind. Gratitude, grateful, life-changing, a heart of gold. I feel compelled to give you a bit of background so you can understand the significance of this surgery for me. I am passionate about Endometriosis because it has affected me most of my life and I have a…

  • Jaclyn Harte

    Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein radically changed my quality of life. They treat their patients with dignity & respect that I've personally never seen in the literally 25+ doctors I've seen for endometriosis. This summer, I had a surgery with Dr. Seckin & Goldstein. It was my first with them, but my 5th endo surgery. I couldn't believe the difference,…

  • Megan Rafael Moreno

    I was in pain for 2 years. I was getting no answers, and because dr Goldstein and dr seckins were willing to see and treat me I'm finally feeling almost back to normal. They were very down to earth and helpful in my time of need. Dr Goldstein was easy to talk to and caring, she took care of me…

  • Nancy Costa

    Dr. Seckin is one of the best endometriosis surgeon. Every time I go to the office, he really listens to me and is always concerned about my issues. Dr Seckin's office staff are a delight and they always work with me. I feel I can leave everything to them and they will take care of it. Thank you to the…

  • Rebecca Black

    Fast forward 5 years to find out incidentally I had a failing kidney. My left kidney was only functioning at 18%. During this time, I was preparing all my documents to send to Dr. Seckin to review. However, with this new information I put everything on hold and went to a urologist. After a few months, no one could figure…

  • Monique Roberts

    I'll never stop praising Dr. Seckin and his team. He literally gave me back my life.

  • Erin Brehm

    I had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Seckin and his team before, during and after my surgery. I came to Dr. Seckin having already had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 5 years prior, with a different surgeon. My symptoms and pain had returned, making my life truly challenging and my menstrual cycle unbearable. Dr. Seckin was quick to validate my…

  • Anita Schillhorn

    I came to Dr. Seckin after years of dealing with endometriosis and doctors who didn't fully understand the disease. He quickly ascertained what needed to be done, laid out the options along with his recommendation and gave me the time to make the right decision for me. My surgery went without a hitch and I'm healing very well. He and…

  • Nicholette Sadé

    Dr. Seckin brought me back to life! I am now 3 weeks into my recovery after my laparoscopy surgery, and I feel like a new and improved woman! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis, then 25yrs old in 2015, and discovering the severity of my case being stage 4, made me devastated. Dr. Seckin's vast knowledge of the disease, sincere empathy, and…