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CHANGES WITHIN THE PRACTICE:

In light of the rapidly changing healthcare environment, the vast majority of OB/GYNs in Walnut Creek and a growing number in the San Ramon area have recently merged together into a large fully integrated group, called Women’s Health Partners of California, Inc. (WHPCA).  Our integration into this group, however, should be invisible to you.  My office will continue to run as it has with care provided by me, my two Nurse Practitioners, and the staff you are accustomed to seeing; I will also continue to share on-call duties with my current 4 call partners with whom I have worked for the last 12 years.

As other health systems invade our geographic area, the OB/GYNs in the area felt compelled to join together to survive and maintain our autonomy in providing quality care as we have in the past. Additionally, new healthcare policies are forcing us to face significant additional expenses into our practices that integration will help mitigate against.  As decisions for patient’s healthcare are progressively being made by other entities, physicians are finding that we, too, must adjust in this environment if we hope to survive.

WHPCA is working with the health plans we have previously accepted to ensure that your care will not be disturbed.  In the event that you receive information from your insurance company that our office providers are not in-network, please call Jody in our office 925-935-5356 to discuss this so we can make sure that it will not impact your account.

Additionally, please do not hesitate to contact WHPCA’s billing department with any questions that you may have about your account.  They are available Monday – Friday, 6am to 4 pm and can be reached at 1-866-740-7984.  Note that you may receive two separate statements for account balances for a while, one from us with balances prior to 2013 and one from WHPCA’s billing department for later visits.

PLEASE WELCOME SONYA JUBB, CERTIFIED NURSE MIDWIFE!

I am thrilled to be able to offer my patients a new service!  For the first time ever, John Muir Medical Center is now offering well-trained and certified nurse midwives the opportunity to deliver low risk patients on their Labor & Delivery unit.  Although commonplace at other hospitals in the Bay Area, this unprecedented move finally places John Muir on the cutting edge in providing a comprehensive spectrum of birthing options for women.  In response to survey results from my patients, where over two thirds expressed interest in a midwife option, I began the arduous task of presenting data to John Muir’s Obstetrical Department, Interdisciplinary Committee, Medical Executive Committee, and finally the Board of Directors.  Their response has been overwhelmingly supportive, and approval on all levels was swift.  This nine-month journey will soon be completed with the addition of Sonya Jubb, CNM to my team!

The questions many patients will be asking depend on their desires for childbirth.  First is why bring on a midwife, and not another doctor?  My response is simple: to offer my patients another alternative.  I appreciate that patients like my style of practice and trust my judgment and skill.  I am also sensitive that some patients may prefer a more low-intervention experience, and am humble enough to recognize that a midwife like Sonya has been specially trained to provide such an experience.  Midwives like Sonya also historically provide care to women in childbirth that is associated with lower incidences of cesarean sections and vacuum or forceps use.

Another question patients may ask is related to an age-old stereotype.  The simple answer is no, midwives don’t just do homebirths.  In fact, only 2% of midwives do them.  Another 2% deliver in freestanding birthing centers.  The remaining 96% of midwifes in the United States deliver women in the hospital, under supervision from Obstetricians, and within well-defined policies and procedures.

In regard to personal benefits of having Sonya attending birth, she can provide much needed labor support throughout the birthing process, and deliver your baby.  An important part of that process is that as a trained medical professional, she is able to identify problems if they occur and respond appropriately.  Should a woman’s labor change to a more complex situation requiring an obstetrician for operative delivery, she will continue to be able to provide support before, during and after delivery.

So as you consider what type of delivery would be best for you, let me explain how care will be offered in my office.  First, it is important to understand that Sonya will only attend low risk births, and although she will be available many days to attend delivery, she will not be available every day.  She will be seeing women in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays for OB checks, Annual Examinations, and routine gyn issues.  She will be on call on those nights and on a few weekends every month.  We will likely share in delivering women, and I will still be in my same call group, sharing call with my obstetrician partners.  If I am on call, I will be the face you see for delivery.  If I am not on call or am on vacation, then you will likely see Sonya or you can choose instead to be seen by one of my obstetrician call partners.  My goal is, as it always has been, to have nearly all of my patients be delivered by a “familiar face”. I am thrilled to have Sonya join my practice and hope you will enjoy all that she will be able to offer to make your birthing experience everything you hope it to be.

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