National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility

University of Virginia

The Outreach Core of the U54 Center “Clinical and Basic Studies in PCOS” is designed to expand
awareness of the negative impact of obesity on reproductive health and to educate about fitness and nutritional strategies to prevent or treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). As such, the Outreach Core has three main objectives.

First, it will engage youth and families in fun, dance-based exercise programs while educating them about wellness and reproductive health. This will be achieved at the University of Virginia (UVA) by a fitness support group for teen girls and their families and in the surrounding communities with educational exercise programs for children at after-school and summer programs. These programs will encourage an interest in exercise, enhance understanding of the physiology of puberty, develop appreciation for how exercise reduces the risks of metabolic complications related to excess weight (especially PCOS), and encourage interest in human sciences. A webpage supporting these programs will reinforce information provided to families.

Second, it will update local and regional medical providers and students about PCOS-related medical care and ongoing clinical research. Continuing medical education seminars will inform local/regional primary medical providers and endocrine/adolescent specialists about recent advances in PCOS care. A tab on our website for medical providers will serve as a clinical resource and provide contact information for referring patients for subspecialty care or to participate in clinical research. Seminars and summer research opportunities will engage undergraduate/graduate biology and medical students in PCOS research.

Third, it will inform the lay public about the problem of PCOS and the risks of excess weight to reproductive health. This will be achieved via school health educator and lay seminars, public service announcements, and a tab on our website geared towards the lay public.

The reach of this Outreach Core is to provide awareness opportunities first for patients, families, students, and medical providers at UVA and then to extend opportunities to the Charlottesville/central Virginia area and to regional medical centers. We will utilize telemedicine to engage and educate remote medical providers and lay public throughout rural Virginia.