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Title: Characteristics of Female Sexual Health Programs and Providers in the United States

Published August 2022 in Journal of Sexual Medicine, this study by Stanley and Pope remains relevant and informative to the Scientific Network and its members as it provides an overview of female sexual medicine clinics and providers in the US. A comprehensive search using both Google and the ISSWSH provider database was completed by the authors to identify female sexual health programs and clinics in the US whose websites were then analyzed to determine services offered, locations, settings, and providers’ training.

The authors found that there are approximately 235 clinics around the US that are focusing on female sexual healthcare. Of these, only 17% were in an academic medical setting, whereas 83% were in private, community, or other settings. Non-academic settings were significantly more likely to offer aesthetics services like protein-rich plasma injections and/or laser therapies. Of all identified clinics, less than a quarter focused solely on sexual healthcare, and only 2% offered care specific to those with cancer.

In addition to the type of clinics, the authors examined the provider type and clinic locations. They excluded clinics that were solely staffed by psychologists, counselors, or physical therapists. Of the remaining clinics, the majority were staffed predominately by Ob/Gyn physicians, followed by advanced practice providers (including nurse practitioners and physician assistants). Other physician specialties were also represented, as well as other interdisciplinary team members housed within these clinics. Of these clinics, the majority were located in Texas, California, and Florida respectively, while nine states did not have any practices offering female sexual health programs.

Authors conclude that barriers to accessing evidence-based sexual health care for women in the US include the geographic distribution of clinics and the number of clinics offering treatments considered investigational. Increasing the availability of clinics in academic settings could address these barriers by supporting evidence-based care and facilitating the training of new providers.

Member Spotlight

Kelly Scherger, PhD

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I’m a clinical health psychologist currently living in Charlotte, NC, with my amazing husband, one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and two dogs. I was born in New Hampshire and grew up in Florida. I got my PhD from East Carolina University, completed my predoctoral internship at the James H. Quillen VAMC, and postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric hematology oncology at Levine Children’s Hospital.

Where do you work and what is the focus of your research and/or clinical practice?
I work at Levine Cancer Institute (Atrium Health) in Charlotte, NC. I am the clinical lead of our new/developing Sexual Health Clinic within Levine Cancer Institute. Clinically, I see individuals and couples with sexual health concerns related to cancer or cancer treatment. I am also hoping to develop meaningful research on effective interventions through this growing sexual health clinic.

How long have you been a member of the Network?

I just joined this year!

What do you find meaningful and/or how have you benefited from Network membership?

It has been amazing to connect with Network members from a variety of disciplines and settings. I also greatly enjoyed Dr. Lori Brotto’s talk, as it is so relevant to my work! I’m looking forward to continuing to connect with more Network members in the future.

What is an interesting fact about you, or what is your favorite hobby?

Not sure if this is about me, my late grandmother was a psychologist and sex therapist – she inspired me to pursue psychology and sexual health!

New and Noteworthy

  • The Scientific Network’s newly revised mission is to accelerate rigorous science, promote evidence-based education and practice, and foster networking and collaboration.

    Join us in this mission by becoming a member or renewing your membership for 2024. We are excited for the future of this organization and we are looking forward to fulfilling our vision of creating a world where all women and girls affected by cancer will have access to evidence-based education and care to promote their sexual well-being and optimize sexual outcomes!

  • Celebrating Members’ Contributions to Building Oncosexual Health Programs Across the Country

    As the article featured in this issue’s Research Spotlight underscored, we know that high-quality, evidence-based sexual health services for female cancer populations are sorely needed across the country. Many of our Network members have been involved in the recent implementation or current development of an oncology sexual health program within their organization, and we would like to highlight and celebrate their strides in closing this gap in care and improving access to oncology-specific sexual health services for survivors!

  • Jutta Deininger, DNP, WHNP-BC, is part of a multidisciplinary team with the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Sexual Health Program in Milwaukee, WI. This program began providing services in 2023 and continues to grow.

  • Nicole Dreibelbis, CRNP, WHNP-BC, started an Oncology Sexual Health clinic in central PA for vulva-owning patients in April 2023, and would love to connect by phone (610.675.4824) or email ( with any members who are interested in networking.

  • Kelly Scherger, PhD, is the clinical lead of a small Sexual Health Clinic multidisciplinary team within Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, NC. The clinic has been in a “soft launch” phase in 2023, with hopes of expanding to a full launch phase in 2024. She would love to connect with members interested in networking via email at

If you are doing this great work as well, we’d love to hear from you! Please email to have your program or clinic featured in an upcoming newsletter.

  • Educational Opportunity

    Immediate Past Chair of the Scientific Network Dr. Sharon Bober recently presented a webinar titled Sexual Health and AYA-O Care for AYA-O POWER, a program designed to provide oncology trainees with education and resources to improve care delivery and outcomes for AYAs diagnosed with cancer. A recording of the presentation is available and can be accessed for free here.

  • Scientific Network Annual Meeting of Members

    If you missed the State of the Network Annual Meeting of Members on November 16, never fear! You will have access to the PowerPoint and Meeting Minutes in the membership portal of the Scientific Network Website. The meeting agenda items included an end-of-year financial overview, a membership overview, and a celebration of all of the hard work that the Outreach, Newsletter, Education, and Scientific Committees have been involved with this past year to keep our organization rolling and relevant to the needs of our members. The future of the Scientific Network is looking bright!

Upcoming Related Meetings

16th Breast Gynecological International Cancer Conference
January 18-19, Cairo, Egypt

2024 AASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium
January 25-27, San Francisco, CA, USA

ISSWSH Annual Meeting 2024
February 22-25, Long Beach, CA, USA

SGM Cancer CARE Workshop 2024
February 29-March 2, Houston, TX, USA

AUA Annual Meeting 2024
May 3-6, San Antonio, TX, USA

17th Congress of the European Federation of Sexology
May 23-26, Bologna, Italy

2024 ASCO Annual Meeting
May 31 to June 4, Chicago, IL, USA

Welcome New Members

Caroline Dorman, PhD, Durham, NC (Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University)
Aliza Leiser, MD, New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey)
Tara Rick, PhD, MPAS, PA-C, St. Paul, MN (University of Minnesota Physicians)
Michele Larzelere, PhD, New Orleans, LA (Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center)
Lucy Finkelstein-Fox, PhD, Boston, MA (Massachusetts General Hospital)
Chiara Acquati, PhD, LMSW, FAOSW, Houston, TX (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work)
Beth Matthews, MSN, RN, OCN, Asheville, NC (Sarah Cannon/Mission Health Navigation)
Noel Arring, DNP, PhD, RN, Knoxville, TN (Univeristy of Tennesee, College of Nursing)
Tiffany Telverton, Long Beach, CA (Entice Me Soirees, Inc.)

Let’s connect!