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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  • Winnie Chan

    I’ve seen many obgyns over the years explaining my monthly symptoms during my period...but eventually it became a daily struggle with these pain. It feels like a poke here and there near my right pelvic region. I was given birth control pills for the past ten years but honestly, it didn’t help at all. I was in bed whenever I…

  • Rachel Grobman

    Dr.Seckin is so much more than a surgeon. His passion for helping endometriosis sufferers and determination to improve the quality of life in all of his patients is undeniable. I remember when my gynecologist first told me I needed a laparoscopy. Her exact words were "I can do the surgery, but if you were MY daughter- I'd send you to…

  • Esin Kocabiyik

    I was there for hysterectomy but then I found out that I also had endometriosis.My both surgeries went excellent and I feel great!.I am so thankful to Dr.Seckin and all his team for making my journey smooth!

  • Samuel Taveras

  • Rena Ebrahim

  • nikoletta pados

    I am a physician who suffered from deep infiltrative endometriosis. I needed laparoscopic surgery, so I went to see my former gynaecologist and he performed the procedure (a surgery which he supposedly does hundreds of times a year) last November. I had severe pain again when I had my period in January and was advised to go on taking a…

  • Grace Larsen

    After years of excessively painful periods, a serious loss of quality of life, and a series of uninformed and uninterested doctors, Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein turned my life around. I was told I woke up from my surgery almost a year ago with a smile on my face, and I haven't stopped since. Before I heard of Dr. Seckin,…

  • Nicole Novakowski

  • Jacqueline Galindo

    Dr Seckin and his team gave me back my life! Tomorrow will be 1 month since my surgery and I feel great. Dr. Seckin, Dr Liu, and Dr Goldstein are not only beyond words talented and amazing Doctors, but they are also genuinely wonderful and caring people. I cannot say enough great things about Holly, Asiye and Kim as well.…

  • Anna Lu

    Dr. Seckin and his staff spared me from years and years of heavy periods and unbearable endometriosis pain. After having surgery with him (my first) I can now function like a regular human. No more eating NSAIDs like candy and calling out sick from work. Thank you, Dr. Seckin!