Delivering Results
Women of all ages and backgrounds rely on the staff at the Women’s Health Care Specialists division of Women’s Health Care Group of PA for specialized, compassionate care in addressing any obstetric or gynecologic need
by Bill Donahue

Most mothers would agree that some of the most joyous moments in their lives tie back to the first time they heard the same phrase: “Congratulations, you’re pregnant.”

With joy also comes uncertainty and the realization that, although an expecting mother will do everything in her power to make sure her baby arrives happy and healthy, she will also need specialized care to ensure everything goes according to plan. Women and their families deserve the care they expect to get. For these reasons, among many others, women throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area have been turning to Women’s Health Care Specialists for decades. 

“We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we really love what we do,” says Joseph L. Castelli, D.O., FACOG, the senior partner of Women’s Health Care Specialists. “I joined Women’s Health Care Specialists in 1988, so by now I have a few babies that I delivered who are now young women starting families of their own.” 

The members of Women’s Health Care Specialists’ team—Dr. Castelli, Philip G. Hirshman, M.D., FACOG, and their nurse practitioner, Laura Horan—collectively have nearly 70 years of experience in obstetrics, adult and adolescent gynecology, and pelvic surgery. In addition to preventative and “low risk” OB/GYN care, the practice treats “high risk” patients. This would include care for women with infertility problems, complicated gynecologic problems as well as those who have pregnancies complicated by high blood pressure, diabetes, prematurity and other medical problems that might affect the health of the mother or the baby.

“One of the things that distinguish this practice from others is that we made a conscious decision to stay as a smaller group so each one of us could get to know all of our patients and their families in order to provide a more personalized care than a large group can provide,” Dr. Castelli says. “In addition to our pregnant patients, we also see a lot of women for preventative care visits and cancer screening, so many of the patients we see during the day are healthy, active women. There are no patients we turn away.”

Drs. Castelli and Hirshman are skilled in high-risk obstetrics, minimally invasive and major surgery, office surgery, infertility, preventive care and contraception counseling and maintenance. Dr. Castelli was born at Bryn Mawr Hospital, where, incidentally, the practice now performs all deliveries and hospital procedures. A lifelong resident of the Main Line, Dr. Castelli received his medical degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Dr. Hirshman, who joined Women’s Health Care Specialists in September 2006, is a native of the area as well. After earning his stripes as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he attended New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and was then assigned to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Fort Hood, Texas. His military assignments included deployments to Southwest Asia and the Middle East, where he served as chief of gynecology for the 21st Combat Support Hospital as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.

Drs. Castelli and Hirshman take great pride in being “family men,” as Dr. Castelli says, and both are board certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. They are joined in the practice by Laura Horan, a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. Horan received her nursing degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1996 and later served as a labor and delivery nurse in the U.S. Air Force, with a rank of captain. From 1990 to 2002, she worked at Bryn Mawr Hospital as a labor and delivery nurse. Since joining Women’s Health Care Specialists in 2001, Horan has built a very healthy practice providing an option specifically for “women who prefer to see another woman,” Dr. Castelli says.

Women’s Health Care Specialists is a division of Women’s Health Care Group of PA (WHCGPA), a medical group of approximately 100 physicians, in separate physician groups, practicing obstetrics and gynecology throughout the Delaware Valley. In addition to general OB/GYN care, WHCGPA provides subspecialty care in perinatology, urogynecology and pelvic reconstruction, as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility. WHCGPA also owns the Centers for Breast Health, which offers 3D tomosynthesis and diagnostic mammograms at locations throughout the area.

“We truly love what we do here, and our families know we love what we do,” says Dr. Castelli. “My wife is a neonatal nurse practitioner who worked in the neonatal ICU at Bryn Mawr Hospital, and Phil’s wife is a physician who was trained in OB/GYN and urology and is a board-certified urologist. Our wives understand the sacrifices doctors must make in order to give patients the care they deserve. We go out of our way to provide individualized, specialized care, and sometimes that means having to sacrifice your personal life.”

To Drs. Castelli and Hirshman, as well as Horan, there’s a simple reason behind their willingness to, say, come into the office on a day off or be available 24/7 even when not on-call for an expecting mother with unique circumstances: It’s a vocation, not just a job.

“When I was coming up through medical school, I found that the field of OB/GYN had everything I was looking for,” Dr. Castelli says. “I like having a close relationship with my patients, and I like that you see those patients frequently during a cherished time of their life. I also knew that I needed to have a surgical subspecialty, because I like operating. Third, it provides a vocation where the environment changes frequently, going from the OR to the ER to meeting with patients in the office. And, being up at night when most other people are sleeping is not an inconvenience, it’s a privilege.

“Besides that,” he continues, “it’s just a fun way to practice medicine. Most of the people you see in the office are healthy. And, if they’re starting or adding to a family, that’s an incredibly blessed time.”

New Advances Provide a Better Quality of Life
Drs. Castelli and Hirshman are experts at performing state-of-the-art office procedures that cure common problems, giving women the freedom of their lives back to them. With the advance of technology, many surgical procedures that were once performed in the hospital needing incisions and general anesthesia can now be done safely and effectively in the office without incisions.

* Women with heavy periods can now be treated with a two-minute NovaSure® endometrial ablation in the office to lighten or, in most cases, end their period. With NovaSure® endometrial ablation patients can avoid major surgery and hysterectomy.

* Tubal ligations used to prevent future pregnancies, previously done through an incision in the abdomen in the operating room, can now be done in the office with the Essure® procedure, using no anesthesia, no incision, and with no downtime. After this procedure women can leave the office and drive themselves home. And, its more effective than the traditional tubal ligation.

Both the NovaSure® and Essure® procedures are covered by most insurance plans.

Women’s Health Care Specialists
A Division of Women’s Health Care Group of PA
610-265-0184 |

Two Offices
Tre C’s Professional Building
583 Shoemaker Road, Suite 104
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Bryn Mawr Medical Building North
830 Old Lancaster Road, Suite 201
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Evening office hours are available at both locations.

Photograph by Jeff Anderson