Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Infertility and the Holidays

Dr. Carolyn Kubik, Medical Director

I made it through Thanksgiving and I'm getting ready for the end of the year holidays. This is usually a happy time full of excitement and preparation, but also lots of stress, especially for the couples that I see in the RHS office. Everybody knows that holidays are especially stressful for couples who are experiencing infertility - overly helpful relatives, exposure to friends and relatives with children or babies on the way, the list goes on. I wish I had a solution with how to deal with the extra added stress that infertile couples experience at the holidays, but as with most things, there is no effective remedy that works for everybody. So, instead, I would like to offer some words of encouragement.

The pictures of the babies and children that we post on our walls at this time of year come from couples that were in your situation not that long ago. Not all the babies are the result of IVF - happily, some of them come along all on their own - Mother Nature's way of reminding us of who is in control. Others have been adopted by loving parents - parents for whom medical science hasn't found an effective remedy to overcome the barrier to conception. The other babies are the result of a variety of treatments that are provided in our offices. We at RHS know that, unfortunately, our treatments will not work for everyone, but we are thrilled that so many of our patients will be successful. I hope that rather than only feeling sad at being reminded of the difficulty that you are having by seeing the pictures, you might also feel a little bit encouraged that everybody at RHS will do everything we can do to make your dream of having a baby come true.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RHS Offers IVF Giveaway!

Robin Musiak, Executive Director

This week marks National Infertility Awareness Week. As you can imagine, this is an exciting week for those of us who work in the field of infertility. We are pleased to be recognizing NIAW by offering a free cycle of IVF to a qualifying individual. For complete information about the giveaway, please visit the RHS website @ http://www.ivfpittsburgh.com/ and click on the link from the homepage. Entries will be accepted until 12/31/08 and the drawing will be held in January 2009.

For additional information and events in recongition of NIAW, you can also visit the Resolve website @ http://www.resolve.org/.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From IVF Patient to Employee

Amanda Wray, RHS Clinical Administrative Assistant

I first came to RHS with infertility back in 2001. I was a patient on and off for the last seven years and have been an RHS employee for two and a half years. I started in the Assay and Andrology lab and now work in the Donor Egg Program.

Dr. Albert saw me through some major hurdles during my fertility journey, and finally this past May, my husband I were blessed with boy/girl twins through IVF. I continued working up until 3 days before delivery, and received tremendous support from my RHS “family.” They enjoyed watching me grow bigger and bigger every month, wondering how long I would keep working and nagging me to tell them the names I picked out.

RHS provides a warm, caring environment during a stressful and emotional time. You will not find better one-on-one attention from a physician anywhere else. Dr. Albert and Dr. Kubik are fantastic! I recommend RHS to any of my friends who are struggling with infertility.

Long ago, my husband asked his mom what she did at work, and she said, “I make money,” so he thought she really MADE money, in a printing factory or something. Actually, she was a private nurse for terminal cancer patients, so the real answer was that she helped people.

So I don’t think of going to work to make money. That’s only part of the reward. The real reward is that I go to work to create and bolster hope for people wanting a family. Speaking from experience, hope is what we need to hang on to in order to make it through this struggle.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Important Insurance Reminder

Brett and Dawn, RHS Finance Office

A reminder to everyone about the importance of knowing your insurance benefits as you proceed with infertility treatment. Every insurance policy is different, even among the same insurer. Prior to your initial visit with RHS, contact your insurance customer service number on the back of your insurance card in order to obtain your benefit information. We will be more than happy to review your benefits with you once you have the information.

No one needs additional stress as they begin treatment - being well informed and prepared when it comes to understanding your insurance benefits can help you to take control of one aspect of your treatment!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Eat Well to Live Well

Robin Musiak, Executive Director

We had our last Nutrition and Wellness lecture on September 4th. Lauri did a cooking demonstration of "Beans and Greens" that was delicious! We were all a little sad to see the series end. Lauri provided everyone with so much useful information. Many of the staff as well as patients have committed to making changes. I think we all have a better understanding of why it is so important to eat well to live well and how good nutrition can impact our well-being. We are hoping to have Lauri back to provide us with some reinforcement to the changes that we have made. Keep checking the blog and our website for information. Should anyone be interested in more information about nutrition or Lauri Lang, R.D, LDN you can visit her website at http://www.laurilang.com/.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, RHS!

Debbie Rossi, RN, BSN – IVF Coordinator

Congratulations RHS!!!
Congratulations to Drs. Kubik and Albert and the entire RHS team for our eight successful years of making patients' dreams comes true. RHS will mark our eight-year anniversary on July 1st, 2008. Over the past 8 years, RHS has been a part of over 650 births through the IVF (in-vitro fertilization) program.

I have been working with Drs. Kubik and Albert for the past 6 ½ years and truly enjoy working closely with the physicians and being part of such a successful team. We look forward to many more years of success and making our patients dreams come true!

Monday, June 30, 2008

RHS Nutrition and Wellness Series

Robin Musiak, Executive Director

I wanted to announce an exciting new 6-week series at RHS about nutrition and wellness. The series is part of RHS's "Balance Within" program. The presentor for the series will be Lauri Lang, RD, LDN. Lauri is a registered dietician, licensed dietician nutritionist, and health educator. Lauri Lang specializes in holistic nutrition, chronic disease prevention, and health promotion. Lauri is also recognized publicly for collaborating with Chris Fennimore on healthful cooking demonstrations on WQED-TV and at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show.

The following is a schedule of the dates and topics for the series.

July 24th @ 12:00pm: Kick off! catered lunch, food demonstration. Focus on the impact of healthier lifestyle habits: good nutrition, exercise, stress management/positive thoughts...on all of our functions, emphasizing that nutritious, whole foods and healthy body weight play a huge role. Discussion of the 10% concept, and how to achieve....

August 7th @ 3:00pm: Discuss framework of Harvard pyramid, portion sizes, time patterns of eating and the effect on our metabolism. Introduce hunger scale concept, and encourage open discussion of obstacles, roadblocks, and what would help to facilitate change.

August 14th @ 3:00pm: Label reading. Be a nutrition detective. What nutrients do we want and what do we want to reduce or eliminate? This is tied to last week's discussion of portion sizes. General guidelines for protein, carbohydrate and fat intake. Segue to next week's topic. Open discussion of observations, positives and negatives, to be shared.

August 21st @ 3:00pm: Understanding your numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, and the impact of specific foods: positive and negative, on chronic disease prevention, including fiber recommendations. We'll also discuss proper hydration and the effects on our health.

August 28th @ 3:00pm: Heart healthy choices. Understand the alphabet soup of MUFA, PUFA, SFA, TFA, omega-3 fatty acids and the impacts on our health, so you know what you want to look for and what to avoid. Open discussion with question and answer.

September 4th @ 12:00pm: catered lunch and food demonstration. Prizes to be awarded. Open Q&A ....discussion of anti-inflammatory foods, organics (dirty dozen, etc..) immune boosting foods. How to maintain positive changes made....Stages of Change discussion....

This is in addition to multiple scheduled mini-consults on these presentation days. Please call our office at 412-731-8000 for more information and to register for the series.

There will be a chance to register for prizes with attendance to each class. Prizes will be awarded at the last session on September 4th. We look forward to seeing you there!!