All members of APOPS Internal Development Committee have experienced pelvic organ prolapse, enabling them to understand and identify with the significant impact of POP to women physically, emotionally, socially, sexually, and within fitness and employment. 

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Director Mary Pippen, POPS Forum Administrator, External Development Committee, Internal Development Committee

Mary Pippen was diagnosed with POP at the age of 50 in 2014. She joined the POPS Facebook Support Forum where she immediately benefited from the support of the women on the forum. After two surgeries, Mary became a voice of support for other women in the forum, and gained a passion for the mission of APOPS. In November of 2015 Mary joined the POPS Administration team, APOPS Facebook based online support forum, providing support to women from around the world with POP, and a structured, and guiding the structured, safe, secure forum environment.  Mary additionally engages at a significant level in the development of APOPS vision, projects, and activities, including APOPS annual Stigma Stride walkathon and APOPS annual Women’s Pelvic Health Conference. Mary participated as a patient on the POP Patient Panel at APOPS 2016 Women’s Pelvic Health Congress and APOPS 2017 IUGA workshop patient panel.

Mary is a Recreational Therapist at the VA Medical Center for 16 of the previous 24 years, and is currently a VA Volunteer Service Specialist.  

Kathy Vater RN, Internal Development Committee

Kathy Vater was initially diagnosed with POP at the age of 29, during her first pregnancy. POP concerns returned again at the age of 39. Years of nursing related heavy lifting compounded pelvic organ prolapse concerns, and Kathy opted to have surgery.  Kathy found APOPS support structure around three weeks post-op and wish she had found it sooner.  APOPS POPS Support Forum helped herto cope with herdiagnosis, her recovery, and the few post-op setbacks she have experienced.  Kathy chose to pay forward the value she found in APOPS support structure and became interested in helping others to cope and giving back for the support  she received. 

Kathy is a Registered Nurse working in both acute care (Intensive Care) and Surgical Services in a variety of capacities.  Her primary passion in nursing is Clinical Practice – the how and why nurses do what they do.  Kathy is the former Co-Chair of the Nurse Practice Council for the healthcare system she works at. Her medical services include developing policies and procedures, mentoring other nurses, and being a unit Electronic Health Record expert.