One thing Karen Potts knew about fertility treatments was that she couldn’t miss her early morning ultrasounds, even if it meant driving through a snowstorm two hours from her home in West Point, New York, to New Haven, Conn. Last March, the Yale Fertility Center opened an office in Westport and the trip got a little shorter.
“We wanted to see a particular doctor,” says Potts, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy. She and her husband had been trying to conceive for almost a year when they decided to pursue vitro fertilization (IVF), which meant three to six visits a month to monitor her progress with injectible hormones and other treatments. She became pregnant in May.
“I just love our doctor. I really didn’t want to go to someone else, even if it was more convenient. But the shorter drive helps,” she says.
Patient needs are changing
While many people think they have to drive to New Haven to see a Yale specialist, the new office in Westport is one of more than 60 Yale Medical Group Hospital and office locations that dot the state. “We see health care needs changing in Connecticut, and we’ve been making our own changes to meet those needs,” says Karin Render, director of strategic planning for the group. “We opened some of our satellites because we’ve seen a gap in the services provided in a particular area of the state, or we see a density or aging of the local population.”
The Yale Fertility Center, which offers state-of-the-art care in both female and male infertility, is the latest practice to open a new satellite. Specialists in the practice also see patients one day a week in an office in Guilford. “Fertility treatments often require many visits, so patients appreciate having an office that is as close to home for them as possible,” says Ryan Martin, MD, who sees patients in the Westport office five days a week.
Retrieval and transfer of embryos is still performed in the renowned embryology lab in the center’s office on Sargent Drive in New Haven. Otherwise the Westport office is a full-service site. Emre Seli, MD, provides egg donation and gestational surrogacy services. A financial counselor is available--while many states offer some infertility coverage, Connecticut is one of seven states that has an insurance mandate that covers IVF.
“There is a large population of reproductive-age women in Fairfield County and Eastern New York, many of whom delay childbearing as a result of educational or business pursuits, and those are sometimes the people who seek fertility care. We’re already seeing couples who would otherwise go into New York City for this,” Dr. Martin says.
Other new satellites
Other recent satellite offices to open include:
- Yale-New Haven Transplantation Center, Danbury Hospital
- Therapeutic Radiology/Oncology Center, Trumbull
- Yale Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, Waterbury
- Yale Urogynecology & Pelvic Reconstruction, Old Lyme
- Yale Cardiology/Electrophysiology, Derby
- Yale Pediatric Orthopaedics, Shelton
- Yale Otolaryngology, Stratford.
Yale Medical Group Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation established its first satellite about 20 years ago and now sees at least 40 percent of its outpatients in offices in Guilford, Middlebury, Milford and Shelton. Specialists in the Therapeutic Radiology practice see patients in seven satellite locations, in addition to Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.
Pediatric cardiology’s long history
Yale Medical Group Pediatric Cardiology practice, which established its first satellite about 30 years ago, has found that convenience is especially important to families with children. The group now has locations in Brookfield, Guilford, Backus Hospital in Norwich, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, and St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury. Patients still visit Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital for intricate diagnostic and interventional care, but may visit satellites for consultations and monitoring with echocardiography or electrocardiography with on-site equipment or portable echocardiography machines.
Alan Friedman, MD, interim chief of pediatric cardiology for Yale Medical Group, says the satellite offices are primarily a way to make life easier for patients. “Our objective has always been to provide a convenient option for parents who already have chosen our practice, so that they don’t have to miss work and children don’t have to miss school to see their doctor,” he said.
To contact the Yale Fertility Center, please call 203-785-5682.