ATLANTA, Sept. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking a leadership role in addressing one of the most neglected areas of health, PCOS Challenge, Inc., Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority and an elite group of healthcare leaders and patient advocates are gathering in Atlanta for PCOS Awareness Weekend 2016, the largest event dedicated to patient and healthcare provider education as well as raising awareness and funds to help fight polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS is a genetic, hormonal, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects over 14 million women in the U.S. and hundreds of millions globally. It is one of the most critical, under-diagnosed and underfunded areas of health, which can lead to infertility, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver disease and lifelong complications.
PCOS Awareness Weekend 2016 includes the PCOS Awareness Symposium on Saturday, September 24th at The Bill Moore Student Success Center and the Bolt for PCOS 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, September 25th at the Instructional Center (IC) Lawn at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The PCOS symposium features world leading experts on PCOS. The event brings together clinicians, researchers, hundreds of PCOS patients and their supporters for a day of sharing experiences, insights and the latest research about the condition. Bolt for PCOS is the largest event in the U.S. dedicated to raising awareness and funds to help fight polycystic ovary syndrome. Proceeds from the Bolt for PCOS event will go toward PCOS research, health screenings, grants, education and support programs, as well as increasing awareness and public support for those with the condition.
"We are grateful to Omega Phi Alpha for hosting PCOS Awareness Weekend 2016 and for their outstanding service and leadership," says Sasha Ottey, Executive Director of PCOS Challenge, the leading support organization for women and girls with PCOS, serving nearly 40,000 members. "For too long, the calls for help by millions of women and girls affected by PCOS have gone unanswered. The system is broken for those with PCOS and it is leading to major health problems that could be prevented if identified and addressed early. 50-70 percent of women and girls are going undiagnosed. Many doctors are missing the diagnosis and it is leaving patients to struggle without appropriate care. Our organization is seeing far too many women who were never diagnosed with PCOS until their 40's and 50's, or who were never told about the associated health risks, and are now battling diabetes, heart disease and cancer. There are serious and systemic problems in healthcare regarding PCOS diagnosis, treatment and support. These problems are compounded by the fact that PCOS support and awareness organizations are severely and disproportionately underfunded, receiving less than 0.1 percent of the funding that other major health conditions receive. The lack of funding extends into PCOS research, stifling advancements. Moreover, there is a general lack of awareness and education about the condition, particularly among those who are responsible for protecting public health, making funding decisions and those who are in a position to influence healthcare policy. There is an urgent need to address PCOS to help improve and save lives. It is time that we make PCOS a public health priority!"
Courtney Shirley, President of Omega Phi Alpha at Nu Chapter (Georgia Tech), says, "The sisters of Omega Phi Alpha are committed to the fight against polycystic ovary syndrome. Through channeling our passion for service, we as an organization have made it a priority to raise awareness for PCOS. Every year, our sisters host the Bolt for PCOS 5K Run/Walk at Georgia Tech. Several of our current sisters and alumni have PCOS, so this is a cause extremely close to our hearts. Omega Phi Alpha is honored to do our part in supporting women with PCOS by partnering with PCOS Challenge and hosting the PCOS Awareness Weekend."
Sponsors include DuoFertility, First Financial Security, Inc., LiSA Initiative, Ideal Image, American Electrology Association, Georgia Reproductive Specialists, Millendo Therapeutics, Tomorrow's Parents International, Sara M. Clay, P.C., Dr. Fiona McCulloch, PCOS Nutrition Center, Theralogix Reproductive Health, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association, The Baron Solution Group and Fairhaven Health.
For more information about the PCOS Awareness Weekend, registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit pcoschallenge.org/register.
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SOURCE PCOS Challenge, Inc.