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March 13, 2023
Penn Fertility Care – Lancaster General Health is making reproductive health a priority in Lancaster County
Becoming a parent is challenging under the best of circumstances, and with infertility rates on the rise, there is even more to navigate as families begin hoping for what the future could hold.
Under the guidance of Dr. Christine Skiadas, Medical Director, Penn Fertility Care – Lancaster General Health is establishing a personalized approach to fertility treatment in the Lancaster County area. The goal: building relationships with patients and connecting them to the breadth of wrap-around support available locally within Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.
“We’re able to personalize care in a way that other centers may not be able to if they have larger teams across multiple locations,” Skiadas said. “Patients know that when they meet me, I will be the one doing their procedures.”
Dr. Skiadas and her team understand the uncertainty that accompanies infertility. Penn Fertility Care – Lancaster General Health boasts an embryology lab, making it possible to preserve a patient’s specimen securely on site. From testing and diagnostics to fertility preservation and advanced IVF treatments, the compassionate team members at Penn Fertility Care – Lancaster General Health are dedicated to exploring every option available to patients, making them feel comfortable and cared for from their very first appointment. With lab work and treatments localized at the Lancaster practice, patients do not need to travel to receive services, eliminating additional stress from what can already be an overwhelming process.
Every aspect of Penn Fertility Care – Lancaster General Health’s facility is designed with the patient in mind. Large windows stretch from floor to ceiling in the rooms where patients wait for their first procedure and meet with a nurse to talk through the next steps. In each ultrasound room, an LED screen is positioned over the table with a peaceful image of blue sky and trees blowing in the wind. It’s through these simple touches that this practice aims to put patients at ease and welcome them into the caring community that will guide them through fertility treatment tailored for their needs.
“At the end of their appointment, a medical assistant or nurse will go through the next steps in terms of coordinating care, so that patients are leaving every time with a plan,” Dr. Skiadas said. “Whenever possible we try to book their next appointment even before they leave.”
With the center’s proximity to Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s extensive network of specialty health services, Penn Fertility Care – Lancaster General Health has the opportunity to address fertility concerns of patients navigating additional health challenges. Adjacent to the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, this team has helped preserve the fertility of people in the midst of cancer treatments.
“20% of our egg retrievals in 2022 were for patients receiving treatments at the cancer center,” Skiadas said. “One patient was going to be undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and it was unclear when she was going to potentially be able to have a family. Coordinating closely with her oncologist, we saw her within a day or two of referral.”
Dr. Skiadas and her team work diligently to not only provide the highest standard of care but also get to know each patient who visits their office throughout the course of their treatments.
Before relocating to Lancaster County in August 2022, Dr. Christine Skiadas spent over a decade in Boston, Massachusetts. Being a major metropolitan area, she saw a higher volume of patients seeking fertility treatments, making the process feel more clinical and much less personal. She has come to love the tight-knit nature of Lancaster County.
“Having the experience of being in an area where we did a much higher volume of procedures gave me experience to bring to an environment like Lancaster,” Skiadas said. “I get to know my patients so well throughout the process, it’s been really special for me.”
Dr. Skiadas has books of holiday cards and birth announcements tucked away in her office, sent from patients she has treated throughout her 15 years in fertility medicine.
“When people get pregnant, I can hear our nurses’ excitement from down the hall when they see the result, and we’ve had dance parties at the office. It’s been a real struggle for some patients to even get that first positive pregnancy test,” Dr. Skiadas said. “Our whole team is pulling for our patients—from our front desk staff all the way to the embryology team. At many ultrasound appointments, we have people hugging us. Our patients are so happy with the results they see, and for our team, there’s nothing more fulfilling than that.”
Learn more at lghealth.org/fertility.