Director of the OB Hospitalist Service, WakeMed North Family Health & Women’s Hospital
Women. Health. Community. Education. These have always held a special place in my heart. My passion for women’s health and improved community health led me to the profession of obstetrics and gynecology more than 20 years ago. I joined the WakeMed Physician Practices – Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) team in 1992, and I continue to seek ways to enhance the quality and availability of healthcare for women. I am honored to now serve as director of the OB Hospitalist Program at WakeMed North Family Health & Women’s Hospital.
Women are most commonly the healthcare decision-makers for the family. I believe that educating women on their health leads to healthier families and therefore healthier communities. I truly enjoy my involvement in the lives of women and their families, and in the community that we all share.
In addition to educating women about their health, I feel it is important to participate in the education of our future physicians. Therefore, I serve as a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology for the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. In this role, I teach OB/GYN, family medicine and emergency department resident physicians during their rotations at WakeMed. I also teach medical students and served as the medical student clerkship director for the OB/GYN rotation at WakeMed for many years. I have been a professor for more than 20 years, advancing from clinical assistant professor to clinical professor during my career. Teaching within my field of practice has been both challenging and rewarding, and I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my profession with so many talented young physicians.
At WakeMed, I’ve also had the privilege of serving in numerous leadership roles for the Raleigh Campus hospital, including chair of the Department of OB/GYN, chair of the hospital-wide Medical Staff Quality Improvement Committee and president of the Medical Staff. Patient safety and helping to improve the quality of medical care we provide to our community have always been of utmost importance to me. I am proud to have been part of such a strong, dedicated team on the Raleigh Campus, and I am excited to have the opportunity to extend these services to WakeMed North.
The Birth Experience & My Relationship with My Patients
Throughout my career, I have cared for thousands of women and delivered thousands of babies. For me, it is an honor and a privilege to be part of a family's birth experience and to be present for one of the most important events in their lives. I believe in treating my patients as if they were close friends or even members of my family, and I hope that this philosophy creates a level of trust and comfort. Safety is always my top priority, but I also work hard to help women have the birth experience they desire.
In addition to this personalized level of care, I think my patients appreciate the way in which I openly communicate with them during labor and delivery. I make every effort to ensure that mothers, fathers and family members understand everything that is happening during their birth experience.
Leading the WakeMed North OB Hospitalist Team
While the OB Hospitalist concept is new to this area, it is not a new concept in healthcare. Studies have shown that hospitalist programs improve the quality of care offered by a hospital. At WakeMed North, we are extremely excited about the opportunity to set this standard and develop this type of culture right from the start.
In labor and delivery units across the country, hospitalists who are present in labor and delivery 24/7 help lower cesarean section (C-section) rates and improve vaginal birth rates. A C-section is major surgery and proves to be riskier for patients – having one or more can increase the patient's risk for complications in subsequent pregnancies. It is also more costly. After a C-section, the newborn has more difficulty transitioning to life outside the womb, and the mother endures a more difficult recovery in addition to an extended hospital stay.
Because the WakeMed North OB Hospitalist Program involves having an OB/GYN physician at the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week, patients receive dedicated, uninterrupted service. And not only are the hospitalists always there for patients, but they also have the opportunity to build stronger relationships with the nurses and other care team members, leading to better teamwork, more education and enhanced communication.
Working with Your Community Physician
Our goal at WakeMed North is to work as an extension of the private practices throughout this community, helping them serve a growing patient base and working as an extension of the services they offer. We will work together to help our community’s private OB/GYN practices be more successful.
Our highly qualified, experienced, board-certified physicians will work in direct communication and coordination with a patient’s private doctor, and we will send patients back to that doctor for follow-up care post-discharge. We will be able to evaluate patients in the emergency room and triage area, then admit them if they are in labor. If a patient’s private OB can’t make it to the hospital in time or is not able to get there at all, the OB hospitalist can manage the patient’s labor, deliver her baby, and discharge her from the hospital to follow up with her private OB for postpartum care.
We are committed to full coordination of care and communication with a woman’s OB practice group. We look forward to serving the women and physician practices of the north Raleigh community and in doing so, we hope to enhance the health and well-being of our entire community.