The Center for Advanced Gynecology is thrilled to announce that we have joined up with EndoWhat? and their national School Nurse Initiative to educate high school nurses about the symptoms of endometriosis.
As you may know, endometriosis is a disease that affects close to 1 in 10 women in our country and symptoms often begin as soon as young girls start to have periods. When severe pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue hit, the school nurse is often the first line of defense. In the past, many girls have been told that their symptoms are normal and they will get used to them. The consideration that severe symptoms can represent a chronic debilitating condition doesn’t come to mind. That is why it usually takes 4-11 years after symptoms begin for patients get a diagnosis.
Shannon Cohn, was one of those girls. She grew up to become an international lawyer and later a director/producer of films for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Several years ago she “started thinking about how little things have changed since she first had symptoms at 16. What if a film could help stop the vicious cycle?” EndoWhat? was born in 2016. Dr. Barron was first inspired by the film at a screening event in Atlanta in 2017.
From the film, Shannon and her husband Patricio Cohn (also a producer/cinematographer) created a non-profit and developed the School Nurse Initiative to use the film to promote endometriosis awareness where it counts. Their advocacy, along with EndoWhat Co-founder Mary Alice Hatch, led them to Capital Hill. Support from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D – Mass) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R – Utah) (see the video) eventually led to funding for Endometriosis research through the Department of Defense for the first time ever!
We are pleased to be a small part of this amazing advocacy effort to raise awareness in Charlottesville and the surrounding Virginia counties. Tina Clements has been heading up the efforts on our end by visiting with school nurses personally. After reaching out to regional high schools, we plan to contact middle schools nurses as well.
Would you like to get a copy of the movie? learn more? Donate a kit to be sent to a particular school?