WPMG Newsletter -- Volume 7 Issue 4 -- October 1, 2010
As most of you are now aware, the physicians at Women Physicians Ob-Gyn have reached a point in their careers in which continuing business as usual is not an option. As the business of medicine and insurance reimbursements change, our small group, highly personalized type of care is in jeopardy of extinction. It is with great sadness that we have reached the conclusion that Women Physicians Ob-Gyn, after 27 years of doing business in our community, will cease to do business in early November.
For those of you who have been happy with your care, this announcement may produce anxiety about what will happen next. We, at Women Physicians, have always felt patient care was our number 1 priority, and have planned to make your continuity of care as seamless a transition as possible. Your medical records will be transferred to Dr. Sutherland’s new corporation, and she and Dr. Litwin will continue to offer the same personalized care that has been the hallmark of Women Physicians since its onset. Drs. Sutherland and Litwin hope to incorporate all the positive features of Women Physicians Ob-Gyn, and even add some additional features, like electronic medical records. Please be understanding that this is a time when the employees and doctors have many extra duties and will appreciate your patience during this major change.
Picture a flutter of butterflies emerging from cocoons. Some of the butterflies are the doctors and Barb, all of whom feel very positive about the new directions they will be taking. And some of the butterflies are you, our beloved patients, who can reaffirm that the type of care you have received at Women Physicians contributes in a special way to your well-being.
It is with sadness that I announce my departure from Women Physicians Ob/Gyn Medical Group on 9/30/10. Even medical practices have been affected by the recession in the last 2 years and we have found it increasingly difficult to operate a private practice. I was offered a position with the Kaiser Foundation in Santa Rosa and will start as a staff physician on 10/28/10. I am excited that I will be able to concentrate my efforts on providing patient care without having to worry about the business side of it. I am also excited to work with my brother, who is a General Surgeon at the Kaiser in Santa Rosa. My husband Flint will continue with his job at IDC but since he telecommutes, he will be able to join me in Santa Rosa. We look forward to this new chapter in our lives and are excited to explore a new part of the state.
To my patients, I have been honored that you have chosen me to care for you for the past 18 years and I will miss you all! I will miss your visits and keeping up with your lives. Thank you for the many wonderful notes you have sent—I have been touched by them all. Drs. Litwin and Sutherland will remain to provide your care after my departure—I leave you in excellent hands. My best wishes to all of you and I hope that our paths cross again in the future.
Janet Huang Pulskamp, MD
I wish that I had tallied every baby delivered, surgery done and women I’ve helped through some crisis, but there was never the time. At one point, while we both had young children of our own, Dr. Sutherland and I delivered up to 50 babies a month. We were on call every other night and every night if one of us dared take a vacation! Now, I’ve delivered my last baby, done my last surgery and am preparing for a new, lower key work experience.
The last few years have been difficult with the financial pressures of maintaining a private practice, family illness and my own medical issues with arthritis. Through it all, though, I’ve realized how much I enjoy taking care of women and being there for them through the good times and bad. I am grateful, therefore, that I will be able to continue to provide office gynecologic care and be able to refer my patients to Dr. Sutherland for surgery when necessary.
Dr. Sutherland and I have made the decision to continue to see patients as out of network providers in order to continue to provide women with our unique style of health care. I am very interested in the transitional years—both menopause and teens/young adults. Though, preventative health care is of paramount importance throughout life, these are the times when lapses in good health habits seem to have the most dramatic consequences. I will continue to see patients for well woman care, menstrual problems, evaluation and treatment of abnormal paps, and a variety of gynecologic and general medical problems. I hope to continue my long standing relationship with as many of my patients as possible, for as long as possible.
Christine Litwin Sanguinetti, MD
I am fortunate in that the changes for me and for my patients are the least dramatic. I will continue to see all of my current patients with no alteration in your care. My goal is to take the best aspects of Women Physicians Ob-Gyn Medical Group and to continue those while adding changes that will make Women Physicians GYN Medical Group (my new name!) even better.
One difference you’ll soon see will be the use of electronic medical records. This will increase safety and efficiency, and allow you to have direct access to your records. I hope to have more frequent and easier communication via email, the newsletter, the blog, and Facebook. Please be sure we have your email address. Another change is that from November through March, I will be solely in charge of the care and delivery of the WPMG pregnant patients. I look forward to this as it allows a more personal relationship with those of you who are pregnant. Beginning in April, I will discontinue doing deliveries. This will allow me to concentrate more time on women’s wellness, gyn problems, and new advances in gyn surgery. At some point, my practice location may change, but for the time being it appears I will be able to stay in a portion of the same suite, 221, where I have been for the past 17 years.
One thing which will not change is my relationship with my patients which has been very fulfilling throughout my career. Another thing which will not change is my close working relationship with Dr. Litwin which has been a great resource for me and my patients for the last 27 years. We will continue to uphold the philosophy of providing optimal patient care in spite of the changing overall health care environment. We value your trust and confidence and will strive to meet your health care needs.
Katherine Sutherland, MD
I know that Women
Physicians is a big part of many people's lives, including mine. I plan to stay
in practice with Dr. Sutherland and Dr. Litwin right here in Mt. View continuing
to see patients at least 1 day a week if not more on occasion. It's been
gratifying to hear from so many women recently about how much they love the care
they've received from 4 of the smartest, most compassionate physicians it's ever
been my pleasure to work with. And, thanks to all of you who wrote or called to
make sure I'd be there for them when needed.
Barb Dehn, NP
Starting in mid-December, I will begin my tenure as Chief of the OB/GYN Department (comprised of 10 doctors and 20 nurse midwives) at ABQ Health Partners, a 250 physician multi-specialty group in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am quite excited to take on the challenges that will come with this new role. In addition, I am looking forward to building on my experience with the quality improvement and patient safety projects I undertook during my nearly eighteen years at El Camino Hospital. And I’ll have the best of all possible worlds, because I’ll still be spending the majority of my time caring for patients in the outpatient and hospital settings.
Leaving Silicon Valley was a very bittersweet decision, but I'm looking forward to living in the southwest once again. I find its peaceful, rugged beauty, warm climate and slower pace of life quite appealing. (It was a two-month med school rotation spent on the Zuni reservation, in northern New Mexico, that really got me hooked and then my first practice was in Phoenix.)
In recent years, I've traveled often to Albuquerque to visit dear friends from med school who moved there in 2001. During those trips, I have become well acquainted with the area and have developed a wonderful circle of friends.
Rita Leard, MD
· What will happen to my OB deposit?
All accounts with Women Physicians Ob-Gyn must be closed before the end of the year. If you have an Ob deposit and have not yet delivered, Women Physicians will charge you for the care received so far and refund an overpayment, if necessary. If you are planning to continue your obstetrical care with Dr. Sutherland, her new business will need a new deposit.
· What if Women Physicians Ob-Gyn owes me a refund?
Women Physicians Ob-Gyn has sent out or is sending out all refund checks owing to patients or other creditors. If you feel you are owed money by Women Physicians, you must notify us by December with proper documentation.
· What if I have an outstanding balance at WPMG?
You are still responsible for any unpaid charges. It would be best to clear them up as soon as possible. WPMG will still be employing a bookkeeper and collection specialist beyond November. At the end of December, all outstanding balances will be turned over to a collection agency.
· Where will Dr. Sutherland and Litwin have their office?
For the time being, our lease has been extended in our same office, Suite 221, in Women's Hospital at 2485 Hospital Dr. This may change in the future, but it will always be in the Mt. View/Los Altos area.
· What is the best way for me to get information about the new office location, phone number, or other particulars?
Dr. Sutherland and Litwin will notify patients of important changes via email, so be sure the office has your email on file. There will be announcements in our newsletter and blog. The website will also be updated frequently. If we are unable to keep the old phone number, then it will forward to a new number.
· What if I need to schedule an appointment now for after November 7th?
The receptionist with Women Physicians Ob-Gyn will be happy to help you schedule an appointment in the future with Dr. Sutherland, Dr. Litwin, or Barbara Dehn.
· What about the employees of Women Physicians Ob-Gyn?
Some employees will continue on with Drs. Sutherland and Litwin, but due to downsizing, they are unable to keep all employees.
· What about Barbara Dehn?
Nurse Barb will continue to see patients on a part-time basis.
· Will the new group be taking insurances and Medicare?
At the present time, there are no plans to contract with insurances or Medicare. Drs. Sutherland and Litwin will be considered out-of-network providers and payment will be collected at the time of service.
· What will happen to the Women Physicians web page, newsletters, facebook page, and blog?
Dr. Sutherland has acquired the domain name and the right to continue the webpage, newsletter, facebook page, and blog. There may be some changes to the appearance of these items, but they will continue to provide you with news and updates in a timely manner.
Information on this website is for educational and reference purposes only and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice.
Copyright © 2010
Women Physicians Gyn Medical Group