St. Jude set to offer fertility benefits to employees beginning in January

Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:15 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and ALSAC announced they will offer fertility benefits for all employees beginning January 2021.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infertility affects 1 in 8 women in the United States.

“Infertility is one of the most profoundly lonely and frightening and demoralizing health experiences that men and women go through,” said Dr. Erica Kaye.

Kaye is a pediatric physician and researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who struggled for eight years to start her family.

She recently wrote an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine hoping to help physicians and others who may be struggling with infertility as well.

”Our mission at St. Jude is to better the lives of patients and families. Our mission is centered on improving the health and wellness of our patients and families and essential to that mission is ensuring the health and wellness of our employees and our staff who are here to serve,” she said.

Kaye is grateful that beginning in January 2021, St. Jude will become one of the few organizations to offer fertility coverage for all employees.

”There’s so many pathways to parenthood and I think by adding these specific services, it really opens it up to all of our employees and not really excluding anybody,” said Melissa Carlton, Director of Employee Benefits, Health and Wellness at St. Jude.

She says this is something that has been in the works for years saying it is what employees want.

”We’re offering what we call a one cycle approach which would be the full fertility cycle and then we also have an option to do a second cycle if for some reason the first cycle is not successful,” said Carlton.

Currently, there are only 19 states that mandate fertility coverage -- Tennessee is not one of them, but there’s a big push through grassroots organizations like Tennessee Fertility Advocates to get fertility-friendly legislation passed statewide.

Kaye and her husband welcomed their first child a few years ago through IVF and their second through adoption.

She’s grateful that St. Jude is blazing this trail for the millions of men and women struggling with infertility.

“I think that St. Jude will be a role model for other healthcare organizations around the world.”

For more information about Tennessee Fertility Advocates click here:

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