Women’s Health: A Look Ahead

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Women’s Health: A Look Ahead

Pregnancy is often the first time that a woman experiences a stay in the hospital. With an award-winning nursing staff and a medical team that is enhanced by partnerships with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Penn Maternal Fetal Medicine, the Center for Maternal and Newborn Care at University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP) provides exceptional care for moms and babies by nationally recognized experts in maternal, perinatal, and neonatal health. The growth in the volume of deliveries since the hospital opened makes the case that UMCP is the destination of choice for mothers delivering their babies in the area. UMCP was built with growth in mind, including "shelled spaces" that were created to be converted into hospital rooms when the need arises. This may happen sooner than expected in the Center for Maternal and Newborn Care, where ten additional maternity rooms will be outfitted to benefit families in the years to come.

The Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) Foundation continues to align its funding priorities with PHCS service lines, which are areas where opportunities exist to better serve the needs of our patients. Along with expanding the existing services that UMCP offers to women, growing areas within the PHCS Women's Health service line are services dedicated to pelvic floor health. Far more common than many think, pelvic floor disorders are experienced by one in five women across the country. These issues predominantly affect women, though they can occur in men and children too. The disorders are caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments, which can cause a variety of health issues related to bladder control, bowel control, or pelvic organ support. At UMCP, board-certified urogynecologists Heather van Raalte, MD, and her partner, Nina Bhatia, MD, of Princeton Urogynecology help many in the community realize that effective treatments are available. "I want people to know that they can be helped. In the case of incontinence, 50% of women who have severe symptoms have been unnecessarily suffering for many years. These women have learned to adapt and in some instances avoid the activities they enjoy doing with friends and family," said Dr. van Raalte. "Many times women develop milder symptoms during pregnancy that could indicate a weak pelvic floor, which through early detection can be treated with physical therapy. Enrollment in a pelvic floor health program, including a thorough examination and medical history evaluation, could help determine the best course of action to avoid problems in the future," noted Dr. Bhatia.

On November 13, 2014, Dr. van Raalte; Katherine Robison, MD, an internal medicine physician at Princeton Medicine; and Stacey Miller-Smith, MD, a physiatrist at Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, spoke about women's health to an interested group of women at Bedens Brook Country Club for a PHCS Foundation's Women's Health luncheon. This served as a launch to the array of services offered within the Women's Health service line. Should you be interested in learning about how you can support us in this effort, please contact Julie Mathew at julie.mathew@princetonhcs.org, or call her at 609.252.8706.

Pictured above (left to right): Heather van Raalte, MD; Nina Bhatia, MD; Katherine Robison, MD; and Stacey Miller-Smith, MD. 

Article as seen in Foundation News Winter 2014.


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