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L IVE WELL NKY: WOMEN ’ S H E A LT H

From left: Drs. Nanci Billock, Jennifer Demos-Bertrand, Maria Reid, Richard Beaven and Emily Woeste of Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers

Bringing the Doctor to the Community

Local providers are finding new ways to educate and provide more services to women BY CORINNE MIN ARD

I

n Northern Kentucky, health care providers are finding new ways to reach patients. Thanks to possible expansions and educational outreach, women are finding more options and ways to keep themselves healthy.

SE VEN HILLS WOMEN’S HE ALTH CENTERS For the Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers office, located at 6903 Burlington Pike in Florence, reaching new patients means lit-

erally reaching out to them with a series of events, both digitally and in person. “The great thing about what we do is relationships,” says Dr. Richard Beaven. “This is an opportunity to make good relationships and start relationships somewhere outside of this office.” People will have the opportunity to meet the physicians from the center at several upcoming events, including the Florence Freedom’s Striking Out Cancer and the

Thomas More College health fair. “It’s nice to see the actual physician come out of the practice setting and see them in a relatable [setting],” says Stephanie Klein, practice manager. At these events, people will be able to meet the doctors and ask questions. For those not able to attend these events, though, Seven Hills is looking to meet people where they already are—on Facebook. Seven Hills will be hosting a series of Facebook Live events on particular topics, www.BestofNKY.com

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LIVE WELL NKY: WOMEN’S HEALTH

Dr. Nanci Billock will lead Seven Hills’ first Facebook Live session June 29 at 5:30 p.m.

such as taking adolescents to the gynecologist, that will be open to anyone. The first event will be held June 29 at 5:30 p.m. Dr. Nanci Billock will be leading the questionand-answer session. “One of the most common questions that I get from a lot of annual exam moms is, ‘When do I bring my teenager in? My teenager’s having this, should I bring her in? She’s never seen a GYN before,’” says Billock. While many young girls fear their first OB/GYN appointment, Dr. Maria Reid says that 16-year-olds aren’t required to have an internal pelvic exam unless they’re experi-

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NKY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017

encing abnormal pain. In fact, patients don’t even receive a Pap smear screening until they are 21. The doctors hope to address these concerns and others during the live sessions. The session, which will be between 30 to 45 minutes depending on the number of questions, will include questions sent in before the event as well as ones provided during the live chat. Other sessions are already planned for later in the year and will include topics like fitness and pregnancy, preconception consultations and college-aged care. “As we look to reach out to the community

and provide this education, it’s, ‘What are the areas of need? Where do people need help?’” says Victoria Dunaway,marketing director. Dunaway says that they are looking to expand into other topics, like understanding your personal risk for breast cancer, later on. Fitness during pregnancy is one area in which Reid has seen the need for more education. “Pregnant women come in for their first visit and they’ll say, ‘Is it safe for me to exercise?’ There’s a thing where they’re worried to do anything because they think it’s going to harm their pregnancy but we actually encourage exercise during pregnancy. They need to be counseled on what is safe and what isn’t because there obviously are certain activities that are and then aren’t.” Seven Hills is working with the local YMCA to create opportunities for the doctors to come to the Y to meet pregnant women. “This would be an opportunity to meet with them in that setting, so you can kind of show them this would be safe during pregnancy but obviously these things might not be,” says Reid. Beaven says that staying fit during pregnancy can help patients feel better—even in their third trimester—and help them during labor. “That’s probably the best thing that somebody could do on their own,” he says. Another area that people seem to know little about is the value of preconception consultations, says Beaven. “I think that’s really underutilized because we wait for people to come in and ask but they don’t. We see them when they’re already pregnant.” Dr. Emily Woeste says that she is often asked if patients need to restrict exercise, alcohol or specific foods while trying to get pregnant. “Most of the time the answer’s no, not until you’re actually pregnant. But reducing consumption of alcohol is very important. Making sure you’re on a good diet, making sure you’re taking a prenatal vitamin at least three months in advance,” she says. “Most patients don’t know that they need to start taking a prenatal vitamin before you get pregnant. Many of them by the time they’re here at their first visit haven’t started one,” says Dr. Jennifer Demos-Bertrand. Women entering college is another group the practice would like to reach. While school health clinics provide a valuable service, a personal OB/GYN can assist with other questions. “[I get] questions about birth control


LIVE WELL NKY: WOMEN’S HEALTH definitely. What options are available, what’s best for them, how often they need to take it,” says Demos-Bertrand. “I think also STD prevention is very important [and making sure they know] that birth control does not protect you against STDs.” More Facebook Live and in-person events featuring the doctors of Seven Hills will be announced in the future. Visit bestofnky.com and facebook.com/womenshealthcenters to keep yourself updated on future events.

C-section,” she says. “I think that’s a huge benefit for women as far as recovery time goes, because your recovery with a minimally invasive surgery can be so much shorter and today women are so busy with taking care of their families and so many of them work outside the home and need income that to have a much shorter recovery time is a huge factor in whether or not they decide to go ahead with surgery.” If Christ receives the certificate, it plans to open the 24,000-square-foot, $24 million center by 2019.

THE CHRIST HOSPITAL HEALTH NETWORK The Christ Hospital Health Network is looking to reach new patients through expansion, says Dr. Anita Weisberger, who has offices in Fort Wright. “Right now Christ is still working on a certificate of need in order to build an outpatient surgery center in Northern Kentucky. It would be at the old Drawbridge Inn site, which would be a great option for women in Northern Kentucky,” she says. The center would allow Christ to offer more outpatient procedures such as tubal

ST. ELIZABETH HEALTHCARE

Dr. Anita Weisberger, Christ Hospital Health Network

ligations and minor laparoscopies. “Pretty much all of the surgery that I do is minimally invasive. The only time I can remember cutting open a patient is for a

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NKY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017

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