Advancing Women’s Health Care: Associates in Women’s Health Provides Comprehensive Care with Leading Team of Specialists

By Sarah Gooding
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

From its founding 20 years ago, Associates in Women’s Health has carried out a vision of offering the highest level of comprehensive health care for women throughout their lifetimes.


Associates in Women’s Health’s 3232 E. Murdock location houses many of the practice’s 16 OB-GYN practitioners, as well as five subspecialty physicians. Associates in Women’s Health also has offices in West Wichita and Newton.

Today, Associates in Women’s Health is the premier provider of women’s health care in the region, serving patients throughout Kansas and neighboring states with general obstetrics and gynecological care, as well as building up a leading team of subspecialists.

“We want to be able to provide women with all their obstetrical and gynecologic needs, from puberty all the way through menopause,” says Debra Messamore, MD, FACOG, President of Associates in Women’s Health.

Associates in Women’s Health thrives on offering personalized medical care while staying on the cutting edge of its field, and is the only location of its kind filling the need for OB-GYN subspecialists in the region between Kansas City, Denver and Oklahoma City.

“We’re the largest OB-GYN group in the state,” Dr. Messamore says. “We have 21 physicians and four mid-levels, and we have three locations: two in Wichita and one in Newton.”

“We want to provide the leading edge of information, and we stay on top of the standard of care and new technology because we teach. Part of the teaching philosophy is that we have to be ahead of what the learners are learning.”
— Debra Messamore, MD, FACOG, President of Associates in Women’s Health

James Delmore, MD, FACOG; Lindsay Johnson, RN; Brandi Simon, medical assistant; Jacqui Morgan, MD; Kathie Rabe, Patient Coordinator; and Audrey Hartman, RN, form Associates in Women’s Health’s Gynecologic Oncology Department.

Maternal-fetal medicine specialist Darren Farley, MD, FACOG, performs an ultrasound. Dr. Farley works to help identify and manage potential high-risk conditions and birth defects and will see patients by referral from their primary obstetrical provider.

Comprehensive Care

The physicians at Associates in Women’s Health have a diverse set of skills and specialties, and Dr. Messamore says they work cooperatively within the office and with outside physicians.

“Within our practice, we have people who specialize in different parts of women’s medicine,” Dr. Messamore says. “For example, I’m a menopausal practitioner, and a couple of our partners specialize more in vulvar diseases. Some of our physicians are trained in robotic surgery, and others are more skilled in vaginal surgery. We can ensure the patient receives the appropriate care for her condition.”

Each of the 16 general OB-GYNs have their own specialties and passions within the field, and the practice also has five physicians with advanced subspecialty certifications, including Darren Farley, MD, FACOG, maternal-fetal medicine specialist; Kevin Miller, MD, FACOG, and Edgar LeClaire, MD, FACOG, urogynecologists; and James “Jed” Delmore, MD, FACOG, FACS, and Jacqueline Morgan, MD, gynecologic oncologists.

“Our records are all shared, so it is easy for the specialists to see what tests have been done and not have to repeat things. It also helps when the consultant is just up the staircase,” Dr. Messamore says, noting that Dr. Farley reads the sonograms from all the sites, and Drs. Delmore and Morgan can take over treatment of gynecological cancers identified by any of the general OB-GYNs.


Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery is the newest recognized subspecialty within the practice of OB-GYN. Members of the Associates in Women’s Health urogynecology department are Alma Aguilar, medical assistant; Edgar LeClaire, MD, FACOG; Lauren Muzingo-Boring, RN; Sonia Hernandez, PA-C; Kevin Miller, MD, FACOG; and Addie Hayes, RN.
“We want to provide the leading edge of information, and we stay on top of the standard of care and new technology because we teach. Part of the teaching philosophy is that we have to be ahead of what the learners are learning.”
— Debra Messamore, MD, FACOG, President of Associates in Women’s Health

Associates in Women’s Health also works with the Center for Reproductive Medicine for advanced infertility cases, leases office space to Cypress Women’s Imaging, whose services include mammograms and bone density scans, and works cooperatively with Wesley Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cardiologists, who perform their echocardiograms on pregnant mothers of babies with suspected heart defects at Associates in Women’s Health.

“We have privileges at the two major hospital systems in Wichita — Wesley and Via Christi — and Newton Medical Center in Newton, as well as the minor surgery centers,” Dr. Messamore says.


Emily Webb, MD, FACOG; Kent Bradley, MD, FACOG; and Brenda Harkins, MD, FACOG, provide care at Associates in Women’s Health’s Newton office, along with Virginie Nguyen, MD, who is not pictured.

Developing Physicians

“Our goal is to provide the highest level of medical care to our patients and to be on the leading edge of new technology, but we also are dedicated to teaching the next generation of OB-GYNs,” Dr. Messamore says. “We work very closely with the medical school, and we teach students and residents.”

This includes working with OB-GYN residents at Wesley Medical Center, family medicine residents through Via Christi Hospital, and nurse practitioner students and others who rotate through the office.

“One of our big missions is to keep training the future providers of medicine, and especially female medicine,” Dr. Messamore says. “We want to provide the leading edge of information, and we stay on top of the standard of care and new technology because we teach. Part of the teaching philosophy is that we have to be ahead of what the learners are learning.”

Associates in Women’s Health also has become a recognizable part of a number of charitable events benefiting women’s health.

“We’re pretty involved in the community, and we make a lot of donations,” Dr. Messamore says.

The practice takes an active role in the Medical Society of Sedgwick County’s Project Access, which helps provide care for patients who fall between the cracks of Medicaid and private insurance.

AWH physicians and staff also have a strong commitment to fundraising outreaches such as Race for the Cure, March of Dimes, Victory in the Valley and the Wesley Children’s Foundation.

“We’ve concentrated on women’s issues and things that are important to women,” Dr. Messamore says.


For additional information about Associates in Women’s Health, please visit awhobgyn.com or call 316-685-7234 to schedule an appointment.

 

A Subspecialty to Treat Pelvic Floor Disorders


Edgar LeClaire, MD, FACOG, with Brandy Hoffman, RN

Urinary or fecal incontinence, vaginal prolapse, and other pelvic floor disorders have long been a source of embarrassment for women, many of whom Edgar LeClaire, MD, FACOG, says have assumed the conditions are a standard part of aging.

In recent decades, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, less formally referred to as urogynecology, has emerged as a new subspecialty within women’s health care, and it was officially recognized as such in 2015.

“It’s the newest subspecialty within the framework of OB-GYN subspecialties,” says Dr. LeClaire, one of two urogynecologists at Associates in Women’s Health’s Wichita Women’s Pelvic Surgery Center.

“Pelvic floor disorders are a catch-all term for problems that result when the female pelvic floor — either because of childbirth trauma or menopausal changes — stops working as well as it should,” Dr. LeClaire says. “The things that happen when the pelvic floor isn’t working as well as it should are problems like urine leakage, pelvic relaxation, or vaginal or bladder prolapse, and perhaps the most devastating thing we take care of is leakage of the bowels.”

Dr. LeClaire says traditionally women needed to see up to three different types of physicians — gynecologists, urologists and colorectal surgeons — to address the problems.

“The science behind these complex and interrelated conditions has increased, so a dedicated subspecialty was created to focus exclusively on these problems,” he says. “It would make sense to see someone who could address all these issues and who understands how fixing one issue impacts the function of all the other areas.”

Dr. LeClaire says the latest forecasting studies indicate about one in three women will suffer from pelvic floor disorders within their lifetimes, with having babies and going through menopause as the two main risk factors.

“Women are just tired of dealing with these things, and they’re speaking up and becoming more aware that these are not normal symptoms,” Dr. LeClaire says. “A couple of generations ago, women chalked it up to, ‘This is just the way things go after you have babies and go through menopause,’ but that’s not the case. The degree and range of empowerment among women in this country is continuing to grow, and I think they want to take control of things that bother them.”

At the Wichita Women’s Pelvic Surgery Center, Dr. LeClaire says he and Kevin Miller, MD, FACOG, are able to help women address bothersome leakage of urine or stool, as well as heavy sensations in the vaginal or rectal areas, which could indicate prolapse.

Dr. LeClaire says even patients with mild to moderate physical symptoms can benefit from intervention.

“I do have patients whose symptoms are physically troubling, but they’re mostly psychologically bothersome, and that’s equally valid,” Dr. LeClaire says. “I have patients where the problem is they ‘feel like they’re falling apart,’ and there’s a huge impact on self-image. They have bulging or leakage that’s minimally bothersome, but in terms of the impact on their self-image, it’s huge. That affects self-esteem and confidence.

“I see a lot of them smiling again and demonstrating renewed confidence after treatment. Many are able to resume the activities they were doing before because they can now do so without leaking.”


For more information about Dr. LeClaire, Dr. Miller or the Wichita Women’s Pelvic Surgery Center, please visit wwpsc.com or call 316-219-6777.