2016 Issue 1, Quarterly Newsletter


2016 Issue 1www.ElCaminoWomen.comJanuary 25, 2016


Welcome to our first issue of Women’s Health, a quarterly newsletter dedicated to your health needs.

Dr. Sutherland of Women’s Physicians GYN Medical Group, who has recently retired, encouraged us to continue a quarterly newsletter to share with all our patients to help keep women informed of new studies, updates in guidelines, new treatments and other things that often come up before a patient’s next visit.

This first issue will be dedicated to introducing our office, El Camino Women’s Medical Group, and the services we offer. I started solo practice in June of 2009, on the campus of El Camino Hospital. In August of 2014, Dr. Amy Teng joined me and we began designing a small women’s medical group that could provide comprehensive support for our patients beyond just a physician visit. 2015 was a busy year with many changes, including a move to our new office on Hospital Dr. and the opening of our satellite office in San Jose, and the addition of Dr. Rania Awaad and her mental health services. 2015 also saw the retirement of Dr. Sutherland and the change in practice of Dr. Crystal, both of whom chose El Camino Women’s Medical Group as the practice with whom to entrust their patients. Dr. Erika Balassiano, joining us on the first of this year, makes the third OB/GYN in our practice and has already begun the expansion of our infertility services. We look forward to the return of both Barb Dehn, NP and Dr. Crystal to clinical practice with us later this spring after their sabbaticals.

We are now the only small women’s medical group in the El Camino Hospital, Mountain View area. We are also the only OB/GYN practice in the area that has a female physician on call, every day, to be there for the urgent obstetric and gynecologic needs of our patients, any time of day. We take great pride in the comprehensive, excellent care we provide our patients and are confident the recent changes are in the best interest of your health.

As the first issue, this is being sent out to all of our patients as well as the patients of Drs. Sutherland and Crystal. Issues will only be sent out every 3 months and future issues will focus mainly on relevant health issues and office updates when needed. Your privacy is extremely important to us, we do not share any of our patient information with anyone, with the exception of in the context of your own, personal medical needs.

We look forward to a productive and healthy 2016, and wish each of you and all your loved ones the same!

In this issue:

About El Camino Women’s Medical Group

Welcome to the patients of Drs. Sutherland and Crystal

Our San Jose office

Mental Health Services

Infertility Treatment

Minimally Invasive Solutions

Nutrition Services and Weight Loss Clinic

Lactation Support Services

General Office Information

About El Camino Women’s Medical Group

At our office, we understand that women’s health care includes much more than forms and labs. During a woman’s lifetime, she will deal with many unique issues, whether it is during adolescence, pregnancy, or during the perimenopausal or menopausal years. We are committed to a very sensitive, personal approach to every patient’s problem, we take the necessary time to listen and get to know each of our patients, and we believe the best path to wellness is by keeping our patients educated and central in making their own decisions about their health.

You will find our office environment is comfortable and private. We have up-to-date office technology that allows us to provide efficient, comprehensive, and cost-effective care. Located on the campus of El Camino Hospital, in Mountain View, CA, we are directly across the street from the Women’s Hospital of El Camino Hospital. Our office staff will do it’s best to make your visit smooth and enjoyable.

The office of El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers complete obstetric and gynecologic care, as well as infertility and urogynecologic evaluation and treatment. We see patients every day and we also have evening and Saturday appointments. You can book your appointment online here or by contacting our office.

Welcome to the patients of Drs. Sutherland and Crystal

We would like to welcome patients from the practices of Dr. Katherine Sutherland and Dr. Ruth Ann Crystal.

It is with mixed emotions that we learned of Dr. Sutherland’s retirement plans. She’s been an asset to the El Camino Hospital community of physicians and it will be sad to see her leave active practice. However, after her long, dedicated career to the health of women, we are happy to see her pursue her retirement plans of travel, family, and medical missions.

When Dr. Crystal decided to make a change in her practice structure, we were very excited to have her bring her excellent clinical skills and bedside manner to our group. We look forward to her joining us in the spring of this year.

We are taking care of all labs, imaging results, and prescription needs for the patients of both practices. If you are having any issues please call our office,650-396-8110. Patients from these two practices are also being given the same care as our own existing patients, in terms of access to urgent appointments and, when appropriate, referrals and similar needs by phone or email. We were definitely overbooked through the end of 2015, but most of our scheduling issues have resolved with the opening up of Dr. Balassiano’s office hours.

Patients needing appointments, may book online at any time or by phone or email.

We have also become custodians of all the charts for these two practices. If you need access to your records or want a complete copy of them, please fill out a release of information and send it to us by mail, fax (650-336-7359) or email.

We accept all major PPO insurances as well as HMO plans affiliated with the Physicians Medical Group of San Jose, including most plans from the California Health Exchange, also known as Covered California. We are currently working on our credentials with Medicare, however, currently we are only able to accept Medicare patients assigned to the Physicians Medical Group of San Jose, or on a self-pay basis. We will post an announcement on our website when our Medicare contract becomes active.

At El Camino Women’s Medical Group, the physician-patient relationship is central to our philosophy of care. Using the latest evidence-based medical guidelines and focusing on patient education, we believe our role is to help you achieve your goals. We hope very much to live up to the standard you have been used to with Drs. Crystal and Sutherland.

Our San Jose office

In August of 2015, Dr. Teng began seeing patients in an office in San Jose, near O’Connor Hospital (and Valley Fair Mall). This convenient location has proven very popular for our patients. We were hoping to expand our hours in 2016, but unfortunately we have lost the space we had, rather unexpectedly, as we were only subletting a space from another practice. We have located and leased a new location nearby, 1685 Westwood Dr, and will resume our office hours after the 1st of March. Both Dr. Teng and Dr. Balassiano will be seeing patients at that location, doubling our current hours. The new space is beautiful, more spacious and has ample parking. The disruption of services in San Jose for January and February has caused a lot of difficulty for many of our patients, now that we will have our own, fully leased space, we hope to avoid any scheduling problems in the future.

Mental Health Services

Dr. Rania Awaad, clinical faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University, joined our office in the summer of 2015. Her office hours with us allow for our patients to have access to a highly regarded psychiatrist who has a special focus on women’s mental health. Though well versed in all treatment modalities, Dr. Awaad’s practice focuses on therapy over medications, when appropriate. We are also excited to announce that we are working on bringing her into our insurance contracts. Starting February 1st, 2016, she will be in-network for patients with Cigna PPO/EPO plans. By March 1st, we hope to add other major insurance networks as well as our HMO affiliate, the Physician’s Medical Group of San Jose. Watch our “Women’s Mental Health” page for updates on what insurances she accepts.

Infertility Treatment

For women who have been unsuccessful in attaining pregnancy after 6 months, a visit to the gynecologist is a good idea. For all couples, a comprehensive screening is done to determine the next best steps. Some patients may need some counseling and more time, others will need testing, and still others will need assistance.

Our infertility evaluations are thorough and every couple has a personalized plan forward. When treatment is needed, we assist couples with ovulation induction using both clomiphene and letrozole. As of January 2016, we are also doing intrauterine insemination (IUI) for appropriate couples in our Mountain View office.

When needed, patients are referred to reproductive endocrinologists (REI) for more advanced treatment. In these cases, we ensure a smooth transition between offices and make sure all records and testing are shared in a timely fashion.

Minimally Invasive Solutions

At El Camino Women’s Medical Group our goal is to provide comprehensive care for women. In addition to our normal hours, which include evenings and Saturdays, we offer a dedicated clinic time set aside for patients with gynecologic problems that can benefit from minimally invasive care. Emphasis is placed on education and counseling on medical management as well as minimally invasive surgical options. Advantages to Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) include shortened hospital stay and diminished pain and recovery time.

With expanded office space we aim to provide access to a gynecologic surgeon within one week of referral for evaluation of the following gynecologic issues:

  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Long acting reversible contraception (Intrauterine device/IUD and implantable rod)
  • Colposcopy and evaluation of abnormal pap smears
  • Permanent sterilization
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pelvic masses, including fibroids, ovarian cysts and uterine polyps
  • Endometriosis and related complications

After review of your records, additional history and physical exam, we will discuss your diagnosis with you, any additional testing that is needed, and what options for treatment are available to you. Our hope is to keep your goals central to your care and to collaborate with you on forming a management plan that best suits your needs and health.

Both Dr. Teng and Dr. Balassiano have special interest in Minimally Invasive Surgery. Dr. Teng was able to focus on minimally invasive surgical treatments during her residency, receiving awards in the field. Dr. Balassiano completed a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery with the world-renowned Dr. Nezhat, in July of 2015.

More conservative treatments can be provided on site in the office while hysteroscopy and laparoscopy will be provided at the El Camino Surgery Center or El Camino Hospital, both of which are located right across the street from our office. Most cases can be completed on an outpatient basis with quick recovery and healing time.

Nutrition Services and Weight Loss Clinic

Having an onsite Nutrition Educator has been a longtime goal of ours at ECWMG. So many health issues can be improved by modest (and sometimes major) changes in nutrition habits.

Aliaa Aldine, educated and trained as a physician in Russia, has joined us to share her passion for holistic care through nutrition education. Her services are available on Tuesdays, to existing patients for the following issues:

  • Weight loss education and follow up
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Prediabetes

Her services are in-network and should be covered by your insurance, co-pays and deductibles apply.Please call the office for more information or to make an apt.Please call the office for more information or to make an apt.

For educational resources please see our nutrition page under patient education!

For patients determined to lose a set amount of weight, there is also a Weight Loss Program that starts with nutrition counseling and genetic testing and includes frequent visits to monitor your progress and more.

Lactation Support Services

Breast feeding is an important part of the post partum period. As beneficial as it is for both mother and baby, there is a lot of effort needed on the part of both to establish successful breast feeding. Sometimes, in spite of trying everything, a woman cannot fully breast feed her child.

Education and support are pivotal in the early post partum when trouble arises. For our patients, we offer a class in breastfeeding in the office, during the evening or on a weekend, once a month for patients in the last trimester. Classes are taught by our lactation education, Nadia Wadalawala, RN.

After going home from the hospital after delivery, Nadia also calls to check on new moms after a few weeks. Should problems be identified, Nadia can continue to provide assistance by phone or will send patients in to see the El Camino Hospital lactation consultants when appropriate.

General Office Information

Address:2500 Hospital Dr. Bldg 8A
Mountain View, CA 94040




Email (billing):moc.n1708698910emowo1708698910nimac1708698910le@ni1708698910mda1708698910

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pop up imaging stating that ECWMG is not accepting new patients starting 3/1 and you can ask to be put on a wait list.