The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has selected Barb DePree, MD, as the 2013 NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner of the Year (NCMP). The award acknowledges Dr. DePree’s “exceptional contributions” to menopause care, in particular her work speaking out publicly and to midlife women about how sexual intimacy changes as we age and how to deal with those changes.
“It means so much to me to have this kind of recognition from my peers. It's very gratifying on a personal level, and it's an endorsement of the importance of sexual health for midlife women, and the role we play as practitioners,” DePree said. “I look forward to continuing and expanding our conversations and our ability to empower our patients.”
The nomination, submitted by a health care colleague, highlighted the outreach, communication, and education that DePree does via Web-based and social media tools.
“Finding few resources to support her work with her patients, Dr. DePree founded MiddlesexMD, a thoughtful and thorough reference that helps women understand how their sexual health may change with menopause and, even more important, what they can do to adapt and compensate for those changes,” cited the nomination.
MiddlesexMD is organized around five “recipe” elements—Knowledge, Vaginal Comfort, Pelvic Tone, Genital Sensation, and Emotional Intimacy—and provides a factual guide on how they contribute to a healthy sex life, how they change with menopause, and how to use different sexual techniques and products to compensate for these changes. The information is current, reassuring, and clear. And the products are tasteful and selected specifically for midlife women who may be new to sexual aids.
“My patients and I are from a generation of women who have redefined female sexuality and are now redefining menopause,” DePree said. “As pioneers, we all had a lot to learn, and still do.”
MiddlesexMD shares practice-tested, clinically sound information and offers vaginal lubricants, kegel exercise tools, intimate compact massagers, and other products that help us work with the physiological changes we’re experiencing.
NAMS will formally present DePree as the 2013 NCMP during the Society’s Annual Meeting being held October 9-12 in Dallas, Texas.
As an OB/GYN and menopause care specialist, DePree has treated thousands of women during her twenty-four years of practice. In addition to her work with MiddlesexMD, she serves as director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital, an outpatient program that provides health care specific to perimenopausal and menopausal women.
A popular community lecturer on women’s health issues, DePree maintains a blog and contributes posts to Vibrant Nation, EmpowHer, and His & Her Health. The media frequently use DePree as an expert resource for helping midlife women learn the different ways perimenopause and menopause alter how they experience sex and what they can do about it.
DePree is certified as a menopausal provider through NAMS and board-certified by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). She is also a member of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH),
DePree earned her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine, in Detroit, and her undergraduate degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She also holds a master’s degree in medical management from Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. She lives with her family in Douglas, Michigan, where she is an active member of several boards and community outreach programs.
Written by: Beth Parenteau