Her Promise. Her Future.

Expanding Access to Family Planning Options Around the World

June 2, 2022

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The decision of when—and whether—to start a family is one of the most important choices a woman can make.

However, nearly half of all pregnancies worldwide – about 121 million in total – are unintended. According to a 2019 study, an estimated 218 million women and girls (ages 15-49) in low-and-middle income countries had an unmet need for modern contraception.

Organon is aiming to expand access to family planning options to address this global need. Through our Her Promise Access Initiative, we work with organizations around the world to provide education, training and access to affordable contraceptive options in 69 of the world’s least developed countries.

By working to expand access and address gender-related disparities in health, Organon aims to build a more sustainable future for women, families, economies and societies.

Together with collaborators around the world, we aim to provide education, training, and improved access to family planning options.

Her story

You’re not alone: Our colleagues share their fertility journeys

For three leaders at Organon, fertility is personal

December 20, 2021

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At Organon, our goal is to help people on their fertility journey. This aspiration is personal for many, including our own people. We sat down with three of our colleagues to learn how they use their personal experiences to inspire their work. Read on to learn why Mozhgan Emamifard, Executive Fertility Clinical Account Specialist, John Rebis, Senior Sales Customer Representative, and Kate Vossen, Executive Director Global Communications, have such a deep commitment to Organon’s fertility work.

Tell us about yourselves and your fertility journeys.

Mozhgan: I’ve been with Organon for 25 years. I started my journey with infertility at age 27 and it ended up with a “miracle baby” at age 37. For our second in vitro fertilization (IVF). cycle that ended negatively, the way I received the news was just heartbreaking. So, there was a delay for three years before I could gather myself and be ready for that emotional roller coaster again.

John: I’ve been working in fertility space for 29 years. This work is incredibly close to my heart, as my wife and I went through infertility. Our son Jake was conceived on our third try with IVF. Now he’s in high school, 17 years old and towers over both of us.

Kate: I was involved in communications for the launch of Organon. Given my personal infertility journey, I instantly connected with the mission of our new company. I had my daughter after my first round of intrauterine insemination (IUI), but then tried for a second child, this time with IVF. Though I got pregnant, I had a miscarriage and that really affected me. It was taking such a toll on my husband and the daughter I did have that I realized I couldn’t keep trying to have more kids.

Tell us more about the complex emotions involved.

Mozhgan: I really took it personally. I felt like we were defective, and that’s a feeling many people who have gone through infertility can empathize with. I felt embarrassed that we had trouble starting our family.

John: We were successful on the third try, but on the first and second tries, when we got the call, and it was negative … well, it felt like a grieving process. To know we were so close, but it didn’t work out, it felt like a devastating loss for us.

Kate: I think one of the hardest things for me to cope with was knowing that I wasn’t guaranteed success on the journey. Because of this, I tried so hard to not get my hopes up. I set myself up to think it’s not going to work, and I later realized that’s counterintuitive. Typically, if I’m fighting an illness, I would do everything to be optimistic. But this time, the devastation of getting my hopes up and then being unsuccessful seemed so much worse.

What is the physical process like?

Mozhgan: When I went through it, it wasn’t easy. It created a lot of stress.

John: While I wasn’t the one going through the physical process, I could empathize. There’s myriad pressures and stresses that all parties on the journey can feel.

Kate: I was traveling almost every week at the time. I was carrying around needles and injecting myself in hotels. I felt like a factory. Plus, it’s a huge time commitment, with so many doctor visits and blood tests.

What would you want others to know about treating people with empathy who might be on a fertility journey?

Mozhgan: Empathy is so important. One thing I don’t recommend for people to instantly say is, “I know how you feel.” I believe that there is no way someone could know exactly how that person feels because everyone’s journey is so different.

John: People who go through infertility have a different pregnancy journey, too. On the third cycle, I was so guarded and ready for negative news that I couldn’t even express joy when they told us we were expecting. People going through this can often feel like they are always walking on eggshells.

Kate: People always used to ask, “Are you going to have another kid?” People often have good intentions, but when I was asked that, I felt very emotional. As blessed as I felt to have my daughter, I felt like my family wasn’t complete at the time.

Final thoughts?

Mozhgan: It’s important to offer help. It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a lot of help and support throughout the fertility journey. I hope that with education, we will be able to take the stigma out of infertility so people are more willing to share their journeys and get the emotional and physical support they may need. 

John: Whether there are other colleagues experiencing, or people who are dealing with the intensive process, it’s important we remind everyone that they are not alone.

Kate: As a women’s health company, I believe we can help pave the way for how you should treat colleagues who are going through something difficult, like infertility. Try to just be there to listen. Not everyone wants to hear advice; people should be mindful of what others have been through already.

Our people

Aspiring to help shape the fertility journey of the modern family

November 3, 2021

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Elisabeth Weis
Elisabeth Weis
Associate Vice President, Global Commercial Lead, Fertility

Spending time with my two adorable grandsons reminds me of the joy that couples, women, and other family members aspire to feel at the beginning of a fertility journey, as they imagine the reality of building a family. This time together also reminds me of the emotional and physical aspects of the journey that hopeful parents to be must navigate together. While the boys can’t join me on the job, their constant presence in my mind motivates me in my work every day: leading a team of people who aim to help others who experience infertility, an increasing problem for women and men around the world.

People living with infertility may feel alone and isolated in their experience. They very often face difficult
decisions along the way. During treatment, they may receive overwhelming amounts of information
about treatment choices and costs, while experiencing emotional and physical aspects of the journey.

I strongly believe that every couple and aspiring single parent, who is looking to start a family, should be offered support on their path, and I’m proud to work for a company that is committed to listening to understand what is important to aspiring parents on this journey. It is especially valuable for me to learn more about today’s modern family, which includes heterosexual couples, gay couples, and single parents. At Organon, we aspire to work with a broad range of healthcare providers including nurses and reproductive endocrinologists, advocacy groups, treatment centers, and others to provide women and men with relevant quality information to enable an informed dialogue about what the fertility journey entails. At the same time, we appreciate that the aspiring couple or single parent is mostly accompanied on their journey by so many others, beyond the care team, including family, friends, and other loved ones, and of course we need to acknowledge them, as well.

At Organon, our aspiration is to help people, who may be on the journey alone, seeking fertility treatment by focusing on these key areas:

  • Working with advocacy organizations, individual healthcare providers, and treatment centers to learn more about unmet needs and collaborate on creating educational resources future parents can use through every step of the fertility journey
  • Championing care equity by increasing access to our treatments as we work to reach more couples and women around the world
  • Collaborating with clinics and research institutions to drive innovation and solutions that meet the diverse needs of women and men
  • Elevating fertility education, with the goal of increasing awareness of treatment options and providing resources to help future parents along their fertility journey, including how to talk to their care teams and loved ones
  • And, of course, investment in our current fertility products and future opportunities to broaden our portfolio and identify new treatments, diagnostics, and devices built around patient needs

I’ll be the first to say that we don’t have all the answers. But as I think about my grandsons, and the joy that may seem out of reach to so many people, I am determined, with my team, to help navigate the fertility journey for others. We are passionate about what we do and we will continue to listen and
strive to help address the needs of future parents all over the world.

Her story

Navigating life with Crohn’s disease

Founder Stefanie Fish Shares Her Daughter’s Story

September 22, 2021

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Stefanie Fish, Associate Vice President and her daughter

Here’s her story in Stefanie’s words

I remember my daughter as a healthy child, hardly ever sick. But around age 12, everything changed. Suddenly, She wasn’t just sick – she was severely ill.

It took about a year for doctors to figure out my daughter had Crohn’s disease. She was fearful of doctors, and became good at hiding her symptoms. We received and later ruled out several diagnoses. In the meantime, she was getting more and more ill.

Finding a diagnosis

During her first hospital stay, doctors finally discovered her Crohn’s disease. A team of doctors listened to our pleas and admitted my daughter for her stomach pains; their battery of tests then revealed an intestinal virus seen only in extremely immunocompromised patients. Then a colonoscopy confirmed Crohn’s disease.

By the time we realized the extent of her illness, her immune system had all but shut down – but not before it had severely and permanently damaged her colon.

Managing the disease

My daughter’s life with Crohn’s disease has been difficult. She has regular flare ups that have to be managed, sometimes with trips to the hospital. The pain can be challenging and the flare ups require a liquid diet, sometimes for weeks or months at a time to help her gastrointestinal system heal.

My daughter has learned what foods she can eat and which she can’t – popcorn and steak are huge no’s. Sometimes we never know what brought on a flare. She’s sadly used to having them at the most inopportune times, like vacation and summer camp. Life with Crohn’s means sometimes visiting doctors out-of-state. Over the years, she’s missed many days of of school, and though she proudly graduated high school this year, she feels her disease undermined some of the things she could have experienced. That’s tough to think about.

A positive attitude

With her positive, inspiring attitude, you’d never know how tough life has been for her.

I try not to remember that lost year when she suffered without a clear diagnosis. She is considered immunocompromised and must manage that.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, she must make tough decisions like whether to be virtual for her first year of college as a molecular biology major.

My daughter makes the best out of her disease. When she’s pain-free, she appreciates her life in a way few people do. And though her Crohn’s will never go away, through it all she has found a village of loved ones and friends who support her. She’s come so far. There’s nothing more beautiful than that.

Her story

Two months too early: A story of preterm labor

Janine Colavita shares her story of preterm labor

August 31, 2021

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At Organon, our vision is to create better and healthier every day for women. This includes shining a light on the health issues that matter to her, like preterm labor. Organon’s Janine Colavita, Director in Global Communications, is passionate about sharing her preterm labor experience to inspire other women and Organon’s mission.

Here’s her story, in her own words:

I dealt with pre-term labor in both my pregnancies: first with my twin boys, Conner and Hunter, and then again with my daughter, Maddie. But it’s the twins who especially stick in my mind, given the complications we faced when they were born too early.

I was only 26 weeks pregnant when my doctors told me I needed to go on complete bedrest to help keep the twins in utero longer. For two months, I worked from home – really, from the couch – and only got up a few brief times a day. Though it was an intense time, and difficult mentally and physically, I was able to stay pregnant for nearly another two months.

That is, until 33 weeks into my pregnancy, when my water broke and I went into a very quick labor. There wasn’t time to administer the steroid shots commonly used to strengthen babies’ lungs. Nearly two months early, Conner and Hunter were born weighing just 4 lbs. each.

Conner was born not breathing and was whisked away to the NICU where they discovered several issues, including a hole in his heart. It was a week before I could hold him. Both boys experienced sleep apnea and required 24/7 monitoring to make sure they were breathing. I went home from my delivery without my new sons. Instead, I spent the next several weeks visiting them in the NICU.

I was grateful my hospital had a NICU that was state-of-the-art and capable of helping the twins – not every hospital is ready for preemies.

We were very lucky. They managed to fix the hole in Conner’s heart, and though the boys lost weight and frightened us a lot, they eventually held their own. After three weeks of care, the twins came home.

But they came home attached to sleep apnea monitors 24 hours a day, spending their first two months with us attached to wires. We had to learn infant CPR before the hospital would release them, and it turns out, we needed it. A few times we had to help remind them to breathe. Once we even landed in the ER.​​​​​​​

The complications from that early delivery stay with Conner especially. He spent the first 10 years of his life visiting cardiologists for regular monitoring. His teeth didn’t have time to develop properly, and his enamel is weak requiring a lifetime of dental work ahead of him.

Both boys were small for their age until they got older – often in the negative percentile of growth.

I faced preterm labor again with my daughter, once again at 33 weeks. Thankfully, I was able to carry her until full-term. But the pain and worry of that moment are not easily forgotten – I still remember begging the doctors to stop my labor, too frightened of what another NICU baby might mean while I had two small twins at home.

Today, the twins are healthy 16-year-olds. You’d never guess they were born two months too early, but the birth pictures of my tiny boys, covered in wires and tubes, don’t let us forget all we’ve been through.

I’m so proud to work for Organon. My experience reinforces why the company’s vision to advance women’s health is one we desperately need.

Our people

A different path to parenthood

Celebrating an Organon family

July 21, 2021

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At Organon, we believe there are many different paths to parenthood.

We’re celebrating our colleagues like Louise who are building families, complete with struggles and joys along the way.

Respecting all families

For Louise Allan, an Organon employee at the Cramlington, UK, manufacturing site, becoming mothers with her wife wasn’t the issue – it was the discrimination the couple faced afterward that remains a painful reminder society must still work to respect all types of families.

Her partner, Gemma, is the biological mother of their daughter, 5-year-old Sophia. They used a private sperm donor, and once Gemma was pregnant by early spring 2015, the couple married in July 2015.

Louise and her wife live in a small town made famous as the site of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. The registrar who helped with their marriage license was also on hand for Sophia’s birth certificate six months later – which meant she knew the couple had not yet married when Sophia was conceived.

It came as a shock when local laws meant Louise could not be added to Sophia’s birth certificate along with Gemma. They had to have been married at the time of conception or have certification from a fertility clinic. Without either, they had no way to remedy the situation unless through a formal adoption process.

“They make it as awkward as possible,” reflects Louise. “I know families who have multiple children, and the parents aren’t even married, yet both are on the birth certificate.”

Discrimination against Louise’s family continued when the healthcare worker visiting baby Sophia wrote a report indicating the child “would suffer later in life from same-sex parents.”

Notes Louise, “Sophia is a happy little soul in a loving home. It was heart-wrenching to see that written down.”

Finding acceptance

A few years ago, Sophia was diagnosed with autism, but Louise notes they’ve found a loving, accepting school community for the three of them. “Sophia is thriving,” she reports. Thankfully, those early prejudices have not followed their family. But with the pandemic, and busy lives, they haven’t had a chance to make Louise a legal parent just yet. “We just want to concentrate on Sophia,” she adds.

Louise notes that most forms and processes she encounters assume a father and a mother. “We are getting much better in society, but in a perfect world, we wouldn’t be a gay couple – just a couple,” she says.

Luckily, Organon has been an inclusive, happy place for Louise. After 23 years of service, she has always felt welcomed.

“I’ve never been treated differently,” she explains. “I’m just like one of the lads.” And someday, she’ll make sure she is added to Sophia’s birth certificate, too. 

Our community

Organon is a new member of the Biosimilars Forum

This coalition aims to promote awareness of and access to biosimilar medicines

July 12, 2021

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Organon has been announced as a new member of the Biosimilars Forum: an organization with the intent to advance biosimilars in the United States by expanding access and availability of biologic medicines and providing biosimilars education and advocacy programs.

Biosimilars are biologic medicines that are highly similar, but not identical, to biologic medicines that are already approved.1 Biologics are created using living organisms such as yeast, bacteria, or cells from animals or plants, and are highly complex to manufacture.1

In 2019, biologic products accounted for 43% of all US medicine spending.2 Through adoption of biosimilars, it is estimated the health care system could save $104 billion from 2020 – 2024.2 Biosimilars also enable multiple sourcing options for prescribers, and may allow for increased access to biologic treatments.1 What generics were to the US health care system in the 20th century is what biosimilars have the potential to become in the 21st century.3 The Biosimilars Forum supports public policy legislation supporting increased uptake of biosimilars.

At Organon, we are committed to broadening the reach and realizing the greater potential of biosimilars for the healthcare system. To that end, we look forward to working with this important organization on our shared goals.




1. Biosimilars Patient Materials. Food and Drug Administr ation. Accessed at https://www.fda.gov/drugs/biosimilars/patient-materials. Accessed July 1, 2021.

2. Aitken M, Kleinrock M, Muñoz E. Biosimilars in the United States 2020–2024: Competition, Savings, and Sustainability. IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science report. September 29, 2020. https://www.iqvia.com/insights/the-iqvia-institute/reports/biosimilars-in-the-united-states-2020-2024. Accessed July 1, 2021.

3. US Food and Drug Administration. Remarks from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., as prepared for delivery at the Brookings Institution on the release of the FDA’s biosimilars action plan. July 18, 2018. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/remarks-fda-commissioner-scott-gottlieb-md-prepared-delivery-brookings-institution-release-fdas. Accessed July 1, 2021.

Our people

A story of strength and healing: Celebrating my son, who is gay

Why Organon’s Karen Sillas Takes Extra Pride in June and All Year Long

June 24, 2021

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June is not just another month for Karen Sillas, US account executive. Ten years ago, her family’s life changed when her son Andre came out as a gay man. Though she and her husband were supportive and accepting of Andre’s news, their extended family were not. Their family’s journey to a place of healing was difficult, but forever changed them for the better. Here’s her story.

My son Andre told us he was gay at age 16. It wasn’t a surprise, and, in many ways, it was a happy moment. But we still went through a spectrum of emotions – I was saddened that he had worried about my reaction and concerned for how he’d be treated as an openly gay man. Plus, with my husband’s career in an industry that does not always accept the LGBTQ+ community, it was sensitive news.

That’s why we waited two years to share it further, finally telling our extended family and friends when Andre was 18 and about to go off to college at University of California, Davis. Suddenly, the dynamics of our life changed. The love and acceptance we felt for Andre was not matched by everyone in our circle of loved ones. It was incredibly painful – many of these people had known Andre since he was born but could not accept him as a gay man.

The situation became so difficult that we moved north from our hometown in California to a new town. There, we were near family who were happy for Andre. We established our lives again and thought everything was fine. Andre seemed fine.

But my son is a great actor. Oh man, is he a great actor. The pain of losing the connection to beloved friends and family – simply because he was gay – became more than he could bear. His freshman year of college, my honors student went on academic probation and slipped into a deep depression.

His anguish became so great that he later told me he contemplated suicide. If not for a planned trip home that he realized would provide some relief, he might have followed through. I’m still haunted by the thought.

Andre ended up leaving school to heal. But he fought his way back, going to junior college to improve his grades. He finished his degree in psychology and genomics from UC Davis after all, a feat few who leave school can accomplish. He’s also a proud leader with a suicide prevention foundation. Together, we participate in fundraisers and strive to help people like Andre.

Because the facts are scary. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2015, lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth contemplated suicide at approximately three times the rate of heterosexual youth.

In August, Andre will head to a university on the east coast for graduate school. His research focuses on the genetics of autism, but he is interested in studying the LGBTQ+ community, too. I have no doubt he’ll do amazing things.

He has a boyfriend of six years, and a close group of friends. I’ve learned that when gay youth are turned away from family, they often form their own. Today, I’m the “mom” to many, and despite the hurdles we faced, Andre still considers himself one of the luckier ones.

We’ve healed so much in the past decade. Time and distance have left us open to reconciliation with some family. I’ve learned that if we are asking for acceptance, we must give it, too. I still worry about Andre – he’s faced discrimination and scary situations just getting a cup of coffee. But he is happy. And we are so proud of who he’s become and who we’ve become with him.

We had a rough chapter. But it’s still one really happy story.

Her story

“I’m a survivor”: A mother’s story about PPH

Jaclyn Strauss is a survivor of two battles of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). This is her story, in her own words.

June 16, 2021

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What is PPH?

Postpartum hemorrhage (also called PPH) occurs when a woman experiences heavy blood loss after giving birth. It remains the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide.

10.8%

Worldwide, women experience PPH in 10.8% of all deliveries

3-4x

Women of color in the U.S. experience 3–4 times more maternal deaths than white women.

40,510

Worldwide in 2016, 40,510 women died due to maternal hemorrhage

In her voice: Jaclyn’s story

Jaclyn Strauss, an account executive at Organon, is a survivor of two battles of PPH, including one that nearly took her life. Here’s her story, in her own words.

With my first child, son Jordan – now 10 – they managed to stop the PPH quickly. But with my daughter, Leah – now 6 – it was different. Shortly after her delivery, I knew something was wrong.

It was 45 minutes before anyone realized that my intuition was right

I started bleeding severely. Suddenly, it was a mad rush to get the hemorrhaging under control.

I knew something was very wrong

I remember the look on my father’s face as he walked in with Jordan in his arms, my son eager to meet his new sister. Instead, they found chaos in the room. I begged them to leave, worried my son would be scarred by the traumatic scene as I struggled to maintain consciousness.

Somehow, doctors managed to stop the bleeding – or so it seemed. I still didn’t feel right, and five minutes later, it started again. Now it was time for more involved interventions in an operating room (OR). As they wheeled me away, my doctor asked my husband if we had plans for more children, concerned I might need a hysterectomy to save my life. Meanwhile, I was worried I might never meet my new daughter or be there to raise my son.

A reason to worry

I had reason to worry. When I reached the OR, doctors were telling my parents and husband to prepare themselves for the worst.

During my time in ICU, I remember being so scared.

Instead of taking happy newborn family pictures, I spent those early days fighting for my life.

Even after I returned home, my weakened condition was so poor I needed full-time nursing support to care for my baby.

My advice to future moms

I want all future moms to feel empowered and compelled to educate themselves about PPH. Talk to your doctor ahead of time to understand more about PPH, like the risks and options available to you. You have the power to advocate for yourself or bring an advocate into these conversations.

I wish I knew more about PPH before my life was at risk, but I hope my story will inspire other women to take action in learning more and partnering with their doctors early.

At Organon, we believe that women’s perspectives should be heard, loud and clear. Share your voice at HereforHerHealth.com

Our people

Organon CEO and Chairman talk vision at the 2021 BIO International Convention

Discussion with BIO’s chief executive covered Organon’s vision, board diversity and patient-centered approach

June 15, 2021

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Organon Chairman Carrie Cox and CEO Kevin Ali spoke with Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) in a session at BIO’s annual conference. Participating from Organon’s new Jersey City, N.J., headquarters, Kevin and Carrie communicated their shared vision for improving the health of women, the strength diversity gives Organon’s board of directors, and the role of listening in developing a patient-centered approach to address women’s unmet needs. 

Watch Carrie’s and Kevin’s interview below

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Kevin Ali talks about taking the patient point of view

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Board Chair Carrie Cox discusses Organon Board’s diversity