Hi!

Welcome to my early-stage website. Several irons are in the fire so it’s time to start this blog!

This week I learned that RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and the Family Building Coalition have prioritized Washington State for advocacy around IVF and fertility preservation coverage. They will be investing a lobbyist, a PR firm, and all the bells and whistles to try to pass this insurance mandate in Olympia’s upcoming legislative session! (Won’t it be amazing if it can happen that fast?!!)

I’ve gone to RESOLVE’s federal Advocacy Day for five years and helped train the advocates for the past three, but the Washington State delegation was teeny tiny! So it was amazing that it tripled in size this year. Two doctors, a nurse, a medical assistant, and another patient joined in May 2019, and RESOLVE took notice!

This was our Washington State delegation at Infertility Advocacy Day 2019. Dr. Davis from SRM brought Ruthanne and Hailey, and Dr. Herndon joined me from UW Medicine. I’m on the far right in blue, next to Carol who came for a second year. We missed Bob from Embryo Options this year.

The doctors and I confirmed with RESOLVE’s Chief Engagement Officer that Washington is now a target state, and we have a planning call with her on Wednesday.

After pregnancy loss, a miracle child, and subsequent fertility treatment that was unsuccessful, I’ve completed my family. But if you know the story of how RESOLVE’s presence resurrected in Seattle, you know just how exciting this is for me. Achieving a state insurance mandate for fertility treatment would be a lasting legacy for all Washington citizens who face challenges with infertility today and in the future. I’m so proud to have another opportunity to bring the infertility community together in a big way to create lasting change.

Hopefully passing this law will be swift, but even if it but is not, I am so thankful RESOLVE is sending love our way. After years of hosting support groups, I know the great financial burden carried by people struggling to conceive or maintain pregnancy in pursuing the family of their dreams.

I’m also reflecting on how just one voice can have a ripple effect. After my Advocacy Day presentation to the Seattle Tacoma Area Reproductive Society (STARS), Dr. Lynn Davis of Seattle Reproductive Medicine (SRM) decided that she would go in 2019. She and SRM then created an employee essay contest to send a couple staff members with Dr. Davis, one from Seattle and one from Spokane. They asked me to give a talk, which I called “Writing a New History: Hope for Washington State.” Below is a photo from my visit with their Spokane staff.

In DC, Dr. Davis said, “I’m here because of you, and they’re here because of me.” YES! Yes truly. In both instances, one person truly made a difference. Accumulatively, we established a tipping point that got us to where we are now.

RESOLVE reached out to Dr. Herndon (UW Medicine) after Advocacy Day to explore “why Washington” bullet points to discuss at their planning meeting on August 28th. After their call, he invited Dr. Davis (SRM) and me to brainstorm further with RESOLVE, and then we asked Pacific NW Fertility to join the initiative. These three big repromed providers are central to this initiative!

For change at the state level, your voice really matters. This is the point where it takes a village. We’ll need people to show up at state Advocacy Day (to be arranged), write and call lawmakers, share brief, impactful stories, and ASK FOR SUPPORT.

Brass tacks: You can preview the kind of work ahead, review similar state legislation here, and see other mandates here. I’ve embedded active links throughout this blog.

Please check back for updates. I may relocate this project to a new website in the near future, but this is a good place to follow the news for now.

In hope,

Annie