Boston IVF Reproductive Endocrinologist Kim Thornton, MD Appointed to American Society for Reproductive Medicine Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Task Force
Waltham, MA – Boston IVF, a pioneer in reproductive healthcare and research, is pleased to announce that staff reproductive endocrinologist Kim Thornton, MD has been appointed to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Task Force.
The national task force brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts in reproductive medicine to create actionable recommendations that aim to decrease barriers preventing women of color from accessing reproductive care. An additional objective will include establishing a more diverse workforce in the field of reproductive medicine. The Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Task Force will provide finalized industry recommendations within 6 to 8 months.
Dr. Thornton, with over 25 years of experience as a reproductive endocrinologist, is also an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She sees her new role as an important opportunity for the industry to take tangible steps toward improving diversity in the work force and creating recommendations for improved, inclusive care.
“I am honored to join such a respected group of experts who recognize the urgency to initiate real change in building a more equitable healthcare system and community,” said Thornton. “The task force has a real opportunity to enhance attitudes and practices within our industry.”
Despite significant advancements in medicine, disparities in health care persist. Minorities and other underrepresented communities are at disproportionate risk of being uninsured, lacking access to care, and experiencing worse health outcomes. Progressive policy-making by organizations like ASRM are an essential first step toward recognizing such disparities and treating inequality as a national priority.
“The events that have unfolded throughout our country over the last several months clearly show a crucial need for all people, communities and leaders in healthcare to prioritize actions that lead to change,” added Boston IVF CEO David Stern. “We must no longer accept the traditional approaches to addressing intolerance, systemic racism, and inequality. To have a leader like Dr. Thornton as part of our Boston IVF team and a national voice for change will only help in our mission.”
In addition to her ASRM Task Force appointment, Thornton recently collaborated with investigators at the University of Connecticut Health Center to compare live birth rates in frozen embryo transfer cycles between White, Black, Asian and Hispanic women. The retrospective cohort study, which will be featured at ASRM’s Scientific Congress and Expo conference in October, showed that live birth rates in frozen embryo transfer cycles were lower among black women and raises many questions regarding the determinants of health that may affect the results.
“This study adds to the body of literature highlighting disparities in the reproductive outcomes of minority women,” said Thornton. “The next steps will be to really delve into identifying and addressing the reasons for these disparities.”
Boston IVF’s commitment to the delivery of inclusive, reproductive health care and research extends further to the LGBTQ community as well. In late 2019, Boston IVF researchers published a landmark study detailing fertility treatment outcomes of transgender men. This study showed that transgender men who utilized egg freezing for fertility preservation had similarly successful clinical outcomes to those of cisgender patients. The study, based on 8 years of patient data, found that trans men who had begun the transition process with testosterone therapy had similar egg yields with minimal time off of testosterone therapy as those of cisgender female patients. The study was the largest to ever investigate the clinical results of transgender male patients undergoing fertility preservation.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is a non-profit, multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. It is an international leader for multidisciplinary information, education, advocacy, and standards in reproductive medicine and science, with the goal of ensuring accessible, ethical, and quality reproductive care for every person.