My name is Theresa Schortgen and I am President of the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to welcome you to the opening of our 37th Annual Meeting, Expanding the Borders of Health and Fertility through the Creighton Model FertiliyCare System and NaProTECHNOLOGY and 50 years of HV.

I’d like to invite Father Joseph Tham, our chaplain for this meeting, to offer the opening prayer.  Thank you, Father Tham.

Attraction to Creighton is obvious. We are individually and collectively actuated by our love for the Creighton Model and NaPro’s medical model and its inseparable union of science and ethics.

Tonight, I would like to create a few images for you to give you hope to take back home. The first is the image of taking you back to EPI. We all recall the joy and excitement on day 1 of EPI. We made it! I especially remember hearing that word infrastructure. Prior to applying as an FCPI —- mind you I had never heard of CrM – the best-kept secret ever – and early in the EP in Bk 1, I read the word infrastructure and I instantly felt a connection. You see, we had purchased a 150-year-old Greek Revival home12 years earlier at an auction. Historians in attendance suggested any structural changes should represent the Greek Revival infrastructure. While I had some idea of the concept of infrastructure back in 1992, we did not fully appreciate its nature. That led to researching Greek Revival homes. Greek Revival market mavens pointed us to dozens of books highlighting Greek Revivals and we discovered shared traits and unique differences, yet all Greek Revivals are essentially the same.  While Greek Revival homes don’t look exactly alike one can identify an essential sameness pattern and confidently ID what is and isn’t a Greek Revival, an ESP or a POC if you will. With our new-found knowledge, yet growing family, we knew discussion would revolve around the infrastructure. So with the evidence, we dug a basement under it and added a full 3rd floor to the back of the house to match the existing roofline on the front of the house. We knew we could make major changes because we had the evidence (blueprints and engineers) that it was structurally sound and kept to the original Greek Revival infrastructure.

My second image refers to the fact we have military sons. If Humanae Vitae is the spiritual element that calls all members of society to freedom in love and life, the Creighton Model and NaPro are its ground forces. If I had only one word to describe the co-developers’ lives – it would be resilient. When you are down, think of the 40+ years that the co-developers invested their lives in this work and 50 years of commitment of Dr Hilgers.

If you want the ground forces focused and well-equipped, it is rooted in the education, the educators’ formation, and turn to the virtuous actions of a relentless commander-in-chief. The genius of the standardized, detailed and scientific research allows us to hit the ground running immediately after EPI training.

We have the penultimate, pro-life, pro-family, natural law product for women – while we struggle in our FCCs in how and who to market our product, the ministry, best practices, which are all standardized, I want you to look around in this group tonight – feel the camaraderie – extend congratulations – remember faces – these are your comrades-in-arms who work tirelessly in the trenches. Whether you are here to ignite the fire – rekindle your passion – engage in the CrM culture, network  – or just trying to weather the storm – become a CrM forecaster. Experience the spirituality of the Communion of Saints right here in this room. We – are building an advertising agency – right here – right now – by WOM – and WOM is the best marketing tool. Historically the Academy has possessed a shared ethical network of members and support system. Creighton Model standards give us a unified voice. This is CrM teamwork!  You can be the oldest in this room or the youngest – all can be leaders – we know who we serve ultimately – we have scientific evidence – now is the time to market the genius of CrM and NaPro protocols, it is trending – use that to influence consumers and gain client satisfaction and confidence in comprehensive healthcare for all women.

My third analogy is the CrM/NaPro Double Helix image. To orient you to the double helix ingredients – there are only four bases – four different bases – that make all the DNA. Consider this analogy – there are four different co-developers. Replication of genes must be expressed into a form that can function to support life. At times the bases do not line up as designed –  fortunately, our body has auto-correct features to correct the mistake. If the four bases don’t line up and the auto-correct ceases to function properly it is likely it will be detrimental to support the life of the cells and will replicate out of control – like cancer. In our Academy the autocorrect features are educational training materials, published research, the Medical Guidelines for referrals, Accreditation, COC, Membership, COQA, and the Ethics committee. Pray for the importance of this vital work as it continues to replicate and support the life of the Academy and all its functions.

Becoming a client is more than an acquisition between a client and a Practitioner.


The Academy creates leaders who go out and set the world ablaze. We are on fire by directing and redirecting women away from harmful approaches to healthcare. When the AAFCP takes care of our professionals and facilitates continuing education, our professionals are nourished for the journey to care for their clients who will tell other women and so on – underscoring loyalty, symmetry, and balance universally.

Now for an inspiring story, a local physician went to his medical interview and through an unusual set of circumstances was interviewed by the entire medical board. He was escorted out and informed there are other medical schools. Two weeks later he received a letter of acceptance. In the fall he asked the Chair of the medical board, what happened it was evident I bombed the interview. The Chair said only me and one other board member stood up for you, I knew you were a good candidate and I was relentless in my quest for you to be accepted. I would not back down. I encourage fellow colleagues be relentless.

We have inherited an authentic message delivered as an allied healthcare professional. The possibilities are endless. The only barrier is us – take the blinders off. This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us, 1 John 5:14. You see dear colleagues we are the HV’s ground forces – hit the ground running – the means to the end matter. It always matters.

Thank you, Dr. Hilgers and co-developers, for the historicity, the standardization and research that fits thousands of women’s health care needs. In fact, I echo Margaret Bereit’s comment on international TV– her husband is the co-founder of 40 Days for Life – she begins to mention Dr Hilgers’ and the subsequent NaPro treatment she had for infertility – she pauses –  then added ‘he is a very holy man’. I proclaim this work has become the seminal ambassador in the world of women’s health care. Creighton has skillfully and ambitiously unlocked an authentic story that is valued by women.

I turn to each one of you and encourage you to pray @ 5:14. May God continue to inspire you to do his great work here on earth and gain many souls for Christ and to be with God eternally in Heaven.

Now, I am pleased to introduce our site host, Marianne Dyogi, to share with you the exciting details of tomorrow. Marianne is a CFCP at Stella Maris FertilityCare Services