When I moved to Sonoma County and established the Center for Women’s Health, I had already had a long career as a traditional OB/GYN, delivering babies and taking care of mothers. During these years, I recognized a lack of attention for women with hormonal issues and other gynecologic needs as they aged and worked to hone these skills becoming a specialist. In addition to this I also wanted to take care of my patients holistically, focusing as much on prevention as treating whatever issues arose.
During COVID, we have been able to provide a lot of care virtually. By asking the right questions and really listening to the answers, a lot of what a physician does involves providing medical information and counseling so this works a lot of the time. We’ve implemented strict safety procedures and work really hard to make people feel confident and comfortable coming in for appointments in person as well. These procedures are a crucial aspect of our role during the pandemic as we remind patients about how important it is to keep up with their regular screenings and following through with important tests like labs and mammograms. Many people are nervous right now and that anxiety can contribute to health issues. This is why personalized care with a provider that you trust is so important!
I think the knowledge I’ve gained as a physician has broader applications, and that part of my professional and personal responsibility is to serve my community as well as my patients. I’ve had the honor and privilege to be on the Board of the Healthcare Foundation as well as Healdsburg District Hospital’s Strategic Planning Committee. The Foundation’s vision is to eliminate health inequities. Recently the District Committee has been working hard on a plan keep the hospital and ER open and expand access to more comprehensive medical services for our community. Both of these organizations serve significant roles in our community to address the gaps where inequities, especially around health, exist.