December 7, 2019
A new clinical space will streamline patient experience, foster clinical collaboration, and bolster research.
Johns Hopkins Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility has steadily expanded over the past several decades, from early in vitro fertilization research by Howard and Georgeanna Jones in the early 1980s to the current breadth of services offered to patients in an outpatient setting. But next year, says Valerie Baker, chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the program will undergo a dramatic expansion with its move to a new space scheduled to open in 2020.
The new fertility center is being custom built to be patient-centered, Baker says. One focus: increasing efficiency for individuals and couples receiving services.
“It’s no secret that fertility treatments can be stressful for patients and their partners,” Baker says. “We’re hoping to lessen the stress by being very respectful of their time and needs.”
Toward that end, the space will allow providers to offer all services centrally: For example, patients will be able to receive diagnostic services and treatments such as hysteroscopy, egg retrieval, and dilation and curettage in the same location. The center will also foster teamwork between all members of the care team, including nurses, physicians, embryologists, medical assistants, financial coordinators and patient service coordinators. For processing and storing eggs, sperm and embryos, the center is slated to include an assisted reproductive technologies lab designed to evolve with emerging technologies and to foster the development of new treatments.
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This year, the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility will move to a new space that will allow providers to offer services in a central location, foster collaboration in care teams and boost innovative research. Click to Tweet
The fertility center has long provided multidisciplinary care for patients, maintaining strong relationships with providers throughout Johns Hopkins to treat fertility-related issues such as fibroids, endometriosis and gynecological cancers. However, says Baker, the improved space will offer easy access to even more specialists within the health system, allowing providers to form close collaborations that can improve outcomes. For example, the center will work with obesity specialists who recently moved into the same outpatient location — a partnership that could help patients increase pregnancy rates due to the documented connection between obesity and infertility. Urologists will also have clinics in Pavilion III, providing a close connection to experts who treat a variety of conditions that impact male fertility.
The new center won’t just focus on treatments that can help current patients, says Baker: “Its broad research program will help patients far beyond the health system into the future.” In fact, Johns Hopkins physician-researchers are leading translational research studies aimed at finding better interventions for a variety of conditions, including endometriosis and fibroids. In the next several months, Baker says, the center will become the hub for a multisite trial to better understand why frozen embryo transfers are linked to pre-eclampsia in pregnancy and how the risk of this serious health problem could potentially be minimized. The trial, which compares patients who undergo a transfer during a natural cycle to those who use hormones to regulate their cycle, will use Johns Hopkins as the data coordinating center and the single institutional review board.
“From the early days of fertility research here, we’ve always looked for new ways to improve the care we provide for our patients,” Baker says. “Our new center will help us do that even better.”
To refer a patient, please call 410-847-3835.