Quality Care for a Lifetime
Women of all ages turn to East Norriton’s Einstein Medical Center Montgomery for comprehensive care in all areas of reproductive and perinatal health
by Leslie Feldman

In Montgomery County, women have a high-quality health care provider for every stage of their lives. Whether a woman in the community is having a baby, in need of a gynecologist, experiencing incontinence or facing a cancer diagnosis, she can turn to Einstein Medical Center Montgomery with confidence, knowing she will have convenient access to the highest-quality reproductive and perinatal care available.

A Trusted Name in Health Care
In the Philadelphia area, Einstein Healthcare Network has always been a name to trust for excellent medical care. A rich history has helped Einstein establish itself as a leader in obstetrics and gynecology, and it remains committed to organizing care around each patient to best meet her needs. Since opening in September 2012, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery has been offering a full-service OB/GYN program, including the Arthur and Lea Powell Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“We provide a level of care found only among the most highly experienced physicians, nurses and other support staff,” says Cheung Kim, M.D., chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery. “Our team includes recognized leaders in obstetrics, gynecology and infertility and reproductive endocrinology, as well as neonatal medicine for the specialized care of premature babies in our Level III NICU. The goal continues to be to provide excellent and state-of-the-art quality care in a patient-friendly, community-oriented environment.” 

Remembering its Roots
Einstein Healthcare Network’s mission has always been to care for the community it serves. Through a grant from the Genuardi Family Foundation, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery has expanded its outpatient pre-natal and post-natal care facility in Norristown while expanding its maternal health education programs. With this grant, the Genuardi Family Foundation Maternal Health Center has expanded the facility, located on the fifth floor of the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Medical Building at 1330 Powell Street.

“We have a brand-new hospital with state-of-the-art technology,” says Dr. Kim, “but we never forget where we came from and the mission of our network.”

Delivering the Future
Since its opening almost three years ago, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery has delivered more than 1,900 babies annually, which is significantly more than the number planned. “We anticipated a need in the community, and once the doors opened, we were surprised at the growing number of patients seeking care at Einstein Montgomery,” adds Dr. Kim. “The need for access to critical maternity services is also growing daily.”

The hospital’s obstetrical services are designed to assist women before, during and after childbirth to ensure the best outcomes for mothers and their babies. The process begins even before pregnancy with maternal-fetal medicine experts and genetic counselors to advise women with concerns or questions. Patients are also drawn to the aesthetically pleasing labor and delivery unit, which houses large, private rooms with family accommodations, modern bathrooms and technologically advanced equipment that is tastefully integrated into the hospital environment.

Lower Cesarean Rates
The staff of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery is particularly proud of the center’s rate of cesarean sections to deliver babies, which is below the state (primary cesarean rate is 19.7 percent, total cesarean rate is 31.6 percent) and national (primary and total cesarean rates are, respectively, 24 percent and 33 percent) averages. This remarkable rate is a reflection of the expert physicians and staff, including private practice and hospital-employed midwives, who work collaboratively with patients.

“Our department has adopted a ‘best practices’ standard of reducing primary cesareans by addressing the two most common reasons for cesarean: labor arrest and nonreassuring fetal tracing,” says Dr. Kim. “Rates have come down partly because patients are much more aware and savvy about giving birth and are willing to wait for labor instead of being induced; they are informed by us about the higher success rates for vaginal delivery associated with spontaneous labor compared to inductions.” Dr. Kim also credits the midwives’ focus on physiologic laborphysiologic labor, where the baby is birthed vaginally and without being modified by medical interventions, as an influence on educating patients to support fewer inductions.

The department has also completed an educational module on the interpretation of fetal monitoring to enhance its ability to determine how well a baby is handling the stress of labor. “Our goal is to continue to reduce the cesarean section rate,” Dr. Kim says, “and I think our patients appreciate this philosophy.”

Managing High-Risk Patients

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery’s Maternal Fetal Medicine team offers obstetrical care for women with pregnancies that are complicated by maternal disease, such as diabetes or hypertension, or any problem with the fetus, such as congenital abnormalities. The team includes individuals who are specialists not only in diagnostic techniques but also in complicated surgeries for both the mother and the fetus. The division offers 3-D ultrasounds, blood testing and advanced fetal monitoring on the labor and delivery unit. Genetic counseling and testing is available to patients as needed.

“At Einstein Montgomery, we all work as a team with these patients to make certain they are receiving optimal care,” explains Carlene Quashie, M.D., division director of Maternal Fetal Medicine. “We consult with physicians in other specialty areas, such as endocrinology and cardiology, to manage any medical conditions our patients may have. It is definitely a team approach to care.”

Gynecologic Care, from Routine to Complex

Gynecologic services are also provided from adolescence through menopause, and range from routine care to comprehensive, patient-focused management of gynecologic problems, including management of contraception, pain and bleeding problems, abnormal pap smears and complications in early pregnancy. For a patient’s safety and convenience, many gynecological surgical procedures can be performed by a robotics-certified physician using the da Vinci® Surgical System at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.

Many members of the OB/GYN department perform laparoscopic and da Vinci® robotic hysterectomies, removal of fibroids (myomectomies) and treatment of uterine and vaginal prolapse by a procedure called a sacrocolpopexy, according to Dr. Kim.

Donald DeBrakeleer, D.O., a urogynecologist at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, treats female urinary incontinence of all types, bladder pain and pelvic pain and pelvic or uterine prolapse. The team also performs minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of endometriosis, ovarian cysts and any other gynecologic problems. For example, Mark Shahin, M.D., who is a gynecologic oncologist, treats endometrial cancer with the da Vinci® Surgical System, allowing patients to be discharged in as little as one day.
“Our department takes pride in that a great majority of all of our surgeries are done minimally invasively, allowing patients very short hospital stays and the return to normal activity in just a couple weeks,” says Dr. DeBrakeleer. “There are advanced procedures that I do to treat prolapse and urinary incontinence with the da Vinci® robot, as well as a very minimally invasive laparoscopic technique that I devised and subsequently published.”

In addition, Dr. DeBrakeleer also treats overactive bladder with a number of state-of-the-art techniques, such as sacral nerve stimulation, tibial nerve stimulation and Botox bladder injections. “I also use pelvic floor muscle exercise devices that are computer linked to help patients improve their pelvic floor muscle strength,” he says, “and I work with the physical therapists at MossRehab, part of Einstein Healthcare Network, for associated with Einstein for treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction.”

Team Approach to Care

The OB/GYN team at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery works closely with other departments in the management of care of each patient. Subspecialties work together and can access resources in the Einstein network to treat patients appropriately.

“We are all one big team, working collaboratively with all providers to offer the best outcomes for patients,” says Dr. DeBrakeleer. “Einstein is a good choice because of the medical expertise that is housed in this state-of-the-art facility. Physicians and staff combine excellent personal, compassionate care in a hospital that is as much aesthetically pleasing as it is technologically advanced.”

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery is located at 559 W. Germantown Pike in East Norriton. For more information, call 484-622-1000 or visit Einstein.edu.

Photograph by Kim Billingsley