September 28, 2022
Pioneer in the Field of Reproductive Medicine Recognized for Lifetime Achievement
Known as the grandfather of IVF in Canada, Olive Fertility Centre co-founder and co-director Dr. Albert Yuzpe receives prestigious award for contribution to fertility treatment.
VANCOUVER Canada-Olive Fertility Centre is proud to announce that Dr. Al Yuzpe, co-director and co-founder of Olive Fertility Centre, Chief Medical Officer for The Fertility Partners, and a pioneer in reproductive medicine, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 68th Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) Annual Meeting.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is a special recognition of an individual for extraordinary commitment and proven long-term contributions to the nonprofit CFAS and the field of reproductive science.
It would be difficult to overstate the impact that Dr. Yuzpe has had on the lives of thousands of individuals and couples in British Columbia, Canada and worldwide. He has been called the “grandfather of IVF in Canada” and is the recipient of numerous awards for his distinguished career in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and his dedication to women’s health. During his over 50-year career Dr Yuzpe has been internationally recognized for his pioneering work and has helped untold numbers of infertile couples realize their dream of having a family.
“And beyond his contribution to the advancement of fertility treatment and women’s health, Dr. Yuzpe has been a shoulder to stand on, a mentor, and an inspiration to so many of us in the field of fertility, not to mention a compassionate and beloved doctor to the thousands of individuals and couples he has helped to create a family,” says Dr. Jason Hitkari, co-director, and co-founder of Olive Fertility Centre.
Dr. Yuzpe has contributed to many ground-breaking advancements that are not only the cornerstones of modern fertility treatment but have helped save the lives and improve the health of millions of women. Dr. Yuzpe is responsible for the development of an emergency contraceptive method using regularly available birth control pills, also referred to as the “Yuzpe method.”
He is renowned for his contribution to the development of laparoscopic surgery. During the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Yuzpe helped to develop and refine the method by which surgeries could be done through small “keyhole” incisions, thereby reducing pain and recovery times for patients. The field of laparoscopy has now revolutionized medicine in Canada and internationally as minimally invasive surgery has become the norm in virtually every surgical specialty from fertility treatment to gynecology, to orthopedics, to general surgery.
Dr. Yuzpe is a leader in fertility treatment in Canada. When he first began his career there was little that medicine could offer infertile couples. Dr. Yuzpe has been instrumental in developing the cornerstone treatments and protocols which are now the standard for fertility treatment worldwide, including developing the fertility drugs, clomiphene citrate and human menopausal gonadotropins.
Early on, he recognized how in vitro fertilization (IVF) could revolutionize the treatment of infertility and how it had the potential to help millions of couples struggling to have a family. Because of his work with the Nobel Prize-winning scientists Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards, the U.K. physicians responsible for the world’s first IVF birth in 1978, Dr. Yuzpe was instrumental in bringing IVF to Canada, and in 1982 he founded one of the first IVF centers in Canada at the University of Western Ontario.
“Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with Dr. Al Yuzpe,” said CFAS Executive Director Dr. Goldi Gill. “Reflective of his knowledgeable and humble character, he is always willing to lend a helping hand to both me and the CFAS, an organization he has been an integral part of for so many years. I am thrilled that he is receiving this prestigious award, as it demonstrates his dedication to the CFAS, as well as the greater field of assisted reproductive technology (ART).”
“When I first began my career in obstetrics and gynecology in the 1970s, we didn’t have very much to offer those who suffered from infertility,” said Dr. Yuzpe. “Now there is so much we can do. I feel fortunate to have worked with so many great minds over the years and to have been a part of the growth of fertility medicine. Thank you CFAS for the honor. Together, we have achieved great things.”
Not only has Dr Yuzpe been a visionary in the field of infertility, but he has also led the way in making family building accessible to all. At a time when fertility treatment was only available to married couples in British Columbia, Dr. Yuzpe and co-founder Dr. Margo Fluker opened a clinic that they envisioned would be available to anyone who wished to create a family.
“When the original clinic we were part of was born in 1995, Al and his working partner vowed to make the clinic all-inclusive, in other words, welcoming and accessible to all those wanting to create a family, regardless of their gender, sexuality, and relationship status,” says Wendy Baker RN, Coordinator Donor Sperm Program, Olive Fertility.
“We have always held tremendous respect for Dr. Yuzpe’s decades of experience and tireless commitment to improving fertility medicine,” said Dr. Andrew Meikle, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Fertility Partners (TFP). “The CFAS Lifetime Achievement Award is a great honor and well deserved. I know the entire TFP network is beyond proud to consider him part of the team.”
Olive Fertility Centre olivefertility.com is one Canada’s leading fertility and prenatal diagnosis clinics, offering an award-winning IVF lab, personal care teams, and innovative programs including specialized genetic testing, egg freezing and prenatal NIPT testing.
Media contact Mairi Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org 778-885-3500
Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Olive Fertility Centre. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.
Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).
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