Twenty Years, 22 Thousand Babies
Lakeside Women’s Hospital continues to deliver on a promise made 20 years ago, to care exclusively for women.
In October 1997, Lakeside Renaissance Women’s Hospital, as it was called back then, officially opened its doors. Susan Chambers, M.D., delivered the very first baby born at the hospital. “I am delivering babies now for women who were babies I delivered 20 years ago. Taking care of patients throughout their lifetime and then the next generation is pretty cool.”
More than 22,000 babies have been born at the facility to date, but that is only part of Lakeside’s success story. It was the first free-standing, female focused facility in the state of Oklahoma. From routine well-woman visits, to pregnancy and childbirth, gynecological surgery or menopausal care, the hospital offers specialized services for every stage in a woman’s life.
“While delivering babies is one of the best parts of the job, we have always offered more than obstetrics and gynecology. We care for the overall health of our patients. For a lot of them, we are their primary care physicians,” explained Chambers.
The grand-opening was the result of years of planning by eight female OB/GYN physicians. Susan Chambers, M.D., Valerie Engelbrecht, M.D., Sharla Helton, M.D., Deborah Huff, M.D., Laura Mackie, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, M.D., Dana Stone, M.D. and Lisa Wasemiller-Smith, M.D., dreamed of creating a patient-centered, state-of-the-art health care facility developed solely for women.
“Women are busy. They are taking care of everyone and everything so they need their health care to be as quick and as easy as possible,” said Laura Mackie, M.D. She and the other founding physicians felt there had to be a better, simpler, more efficient way to meet the unique and very specific needs women face. The goal was simple: provide everything a woman would possibly need in one convenient yet compassionate location. “We really listened to our patients and found they not only wanted to just be able to park and walk into a facility, but they also wanted that place to be welcoming and warm as they dealt with what could be a vulnerable situation.”
The full-service women’s hospital, located at 11200 N. Portland Avenue in Oklahoma City, was one of the first to house diagnostic laboratories, radiology equipment, surgery suites, labor and delivery rooms and doctor’s offices all under one roof. It was an innovative approach that was quickly accepted and appreciated by women of all ages.
A steady increase in the number of new patients, births and procedures soon lead to the construction of a new wing. Continued growth contributed to the need for more physicians, satellite offices and additional services such as breast surgery, colonoscopy, mammography, hormone replacement therapy, osteoporosis and bone density testing, massage therapy, skin care and hair removal.
The partnership with INTEGRIS in 2013 provided Lakeside physicians access to many of the best specialty care physicians in the region. These include neonatologists, cardiologists, medical oncologists, orthopedic specialists, urologists and uro-gynecologists. Access to these types of specialists helps Lakeside further its commitment to provide the very best, most up-to-date care possible to the women of Oklahoma.
“I think Lakeside changed people’s expectation of women’s care in Oklahoma City; it really changed the landscape,” stated Whitney Driver, M.D., an OB/GYN at Lakeside. “I think Lakeside has high patient satisfaction scores because we provide care that we would expect ourselves.”
Always on the leading-edge, Lakeside Women’s Hospital was an early supporter of robotic surgery technology. In fact, physicians at Lakeside were among the first in the metro to offer a Single-Site hysterectomy performed through a single incision in the belly button, leaving an almost undetectable scar. Today, the vast majority of gynecologic conditions that require surgery can be effectively treated this way with less pain, a faster recovery and a tiny incision. “Patients are more willing to have these procedures done, now that we can offer the same surgery with the same outcomes but with a lot less pain and a much easier recovery,” said Arielle Allen, D.O, a uro-gynecologist at Lakeside.
In keeping with that forward-thinking, Denise Rable, M.D., an INTEGRIS breast surgical oncologist at Lakeside, was the first surgeon in the state to perform a procedure called radioactive seed localization, which is a more patient-friendly approach to pinpointing and removing small breast cancers. And Lakeside is currently working with the Mayo Clinic to bring to Oklahoma City an advanced surgical recovery program based on their years of research and expertise.
While the staff at Lakeside Women’s Hospital marks this milestone anniversary, they look forward to caring for many more sisters, aunts, wives, mothers, daughters, grandmothers and great grandmothers well into the future.
“I’m really excited that our younger partners feel ownership here,” said Chambers. “So when that day comes when we retire and officially pass the torch so to speak, I feel confident they will continue what we started – and make it their own legacy.”