St. Vincents Carmel: Charting a New Course in Women’s Health

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Julie Schnieders, executive director; Jonathan Nalli, CEO of St.Vincent; Mike Chittenden, president of St.Vincent Carmel

St.Vincent Women’s Center officially opened its doors to the 96,703-square-foot, four-story, facility on the St.Vincent Carmel Hospital campus last month. The Women’s Center is an outpatient facility that includes obstetrics, gynecology, maternal fetal medicine, breast care, concierge patient navigation, pelvic health, preventive healthcare and many more specialized treatments and services.

“The concept of the Women’s Center is to have everything our patients need in one location,” Julie Schnieders, the center’s executive director explained. “The goal is to provide a one-stop shop for women who often put themselves last.”

The center provides personalized patient care with focus on women’s health for patients in all stages of life.

“The opening of the St.Vincent Carmel Women’s Center is another visible example of our commitment to serving the specific health and wellness needs of women in Hamilton County and across Indiana,” said Jonathan Nalli, CEO of St.Vincent.

The center offers a comprehensive menu of services aimed to enhance the patients’ overall experience at the center including navigators to assist the patients and expedite the appointment process.

“Patients who receive care at the St.Vincent Carmel Women’s Center will benefit from access to a multitude of dedicated women’s health clinicians as well as unique programming that focuses on health education, wellness, prevention and various treatment modalities,” said Mike Chittenden, president of St.Vincent Carmel.

The center has the latest cutting edge technology and equipment available at its Carmel campus including equipment that measures bone density more extensively and the latest modality of radiation treatment that offers better precision for earlier detection, the Tomosynthesis machines. There are four of these machines on the Carmel campus that provide the physicians with a 3-D image of the breast, resulting in fewer false-negatives.

“The experience for the patient is the same,” Schnieders said. “However, what the radiologist sees is highly improved and they are finding tumors that are 3 millimeters in size. We believe that this testing will become the standard. When you look at dense breast tissue under a regular mammogram, it is easy to see why tumors go undetected.”

On staff at the center is Dr. Erica Giblin, MD, who is fellowship-trained in breast surgery oncology. Giblin has first-hand experience with the effects of cancer and brings compassion, expertise in traditional surgical techniques and minimally invasive procedures to her department.

The Women’s center has a bone health specialist, Dr. Emily Frank, MD, who specializes in Osteoporosis. The center has the latest equipment that can look at the entire vertebrae rather than the L1-L4 lumbar vertebrae that is typically viewed. “It is important to know what your bone density is and what type of treatment you might need,” Schnieders said.

In addition to the bone health specialist, the center has a pelvic health program with a urogynecologist on staff, cardiology, endocrinology, cardiology, neurology departments and other multi-specialty practices on-site.

Located on the third floor is one of the two OB/GYN groups that are located in the center. The Women’s Health Alliance has seven female practitioners, three female nurse practitioners and 36 exam rooms that span across the third floor.

OB/GYN of Indiana, one of the longest-serving practices in the area, is located on the fourth floor and has 12 physicians and a nurse practitioner. Having two groups offers patients a variety of options. “This group has a long history in Carmel,” Schnieders said. “Phil Eskew, MD, was a founding practitioner.” Dr. Eskew was the Director of Physician and Patient Relations with St.Vincent from 1974 to 2007 and is currently serving as an elected trustee for the third, three-year term on the Board of Trustees for Indiana University.

The center also took great care in providing areas for the physicians in regards to consultation rooms and private call rooms with bathrooms, for the doctors on call.

Patients and visitors of the center will find reflection rooms, family-friendly bathrooms with changing stations with child size
sinks and lavatories, and dedicated areas  for nursing mothers complete with gliders.

St.Vincent, in an effort to offer a healthy alternative to fast-food cafes, has brought in Nature’s Table that serves an assortment of gourmet wraps and paninis, classic sandwiches, signature salads and protein bowls.

The center’s community room will be available for the center’s developing schedule of class and seminar offerings. Healthy eating cooking classes will be offered in this room that is outfitted with a commercial range. Panel discussions, prenatal and post delivery exercise classes will also be available in the community room and outdoor classroom.

The center also houses a rather unique boutique that sells durable medical equipment (DME) such as mastectomy bras, breast prostheses, compression therapy products and more. The boutique’s staff are certified and skilled fitters to better assist the patients with their purchases. Additionally, they carry wigs, bariatric products and nursing products for new moms. Available for purchase are some of the “Mama Said Tees” that were purchased as a tribute and fundraiser for the sons of the late Shannon O’Malia Hall, a teacher and upstanding member of the Hamilton County community who was slain last year. As a continuous act of giving back to the community, a portion of the proceeds from the T-shirt sales in the boutique will be given to Prevail, an advocacy organization for victims of crime and abuse that is located in Hamilton county.

For more information on St.Vincent go to stvincent.org.