With a unique vision of what constitutes comprehensive care, Dr. James Lin, a native of Southern California, returned to serve his community. As a third generation physician, Dr. Lin embarked on his path as an infertility specialist at the University of Southern California, where he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Upon graduating from USC, he furthered his studies by attending the Chicago Medical School. Dr. Lin’s subspecialty training began at the prestigious Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, followed by the rigorous clinical and research-focused Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. To advance his understanding of conception at the cellular level, Dr. Lin conducted research in hormone and receptor interactions by examining follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) receptors on developing ovarian follicles and estrogen receptors on reproductive tissues.
Dr. Lin resides in Irvine, California with his family. He is happy to return to the city he grew up in. His favorite past times are sports, walking his dogs (a Newfoundland and two Yorkies), and spending time with his wife and children. Dr. Lin proudly supports the Irvine Public School Foundation, Irvine Ranch Little League, and In Vitro Foundation, among other charitable organizations. In addition to English, Dr. Lin speaks fluent Mandarin and Taiwanese.
Dr. Lin’s expertise and dedication have brought RFC many wonderful patient responses. He has won the 2007 Star of RESOLVE Award, presented by RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, the largest nonprofit organization concerning infertility. He was also the recipient of Patients’ Choice Award – California’s Favorite Doctor. Additionally, he was named Top Doctor by IE Magazine, the Best Doctor of Southern California by LA Times Magazine, and Super Doctors®.
Dr. Rosencrantz is a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist with Kaiser Permanente®. He attended the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He then furthered his medical training at the Obstetrics and Gynecology program at UC San Diego Medical Center. Dr. Rosencrantz was happy to stay at UC San Diego, where he completed his fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Rosencrantz relocated to Orange County, where he joined Kaiser Permanente® as an infertility specialist.
Dr. Rosencrantz feels there is not a more rewarding field in medicine than Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility because he has the privilege to help patients either start or grow their family on a daily basis. This field presents many unique challenges, but Dr. Rosencrantz believes in meeting those challenges by providing the most comprehensive care.
Dr. Rosencrantz resides in Orange County with his wife, also a physician, and his children. His children are an inspiration to him and drive him to provide the best quality of care for his patients so they can too enjoy the joys of parenthood. Dr. Rosencrantz’s other passions include travel, exercise, sports, and reading.
Dr. Rubal joined Kaiser Permanente® Orange County after completing both her Obstetrics & Gynecology residency and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship program at the prestigious University of Southern California. At USC’s prominent fellowship program, she was trained in advanced and cutting-edge assisted reproductive technology techniques and fertility surgeries, with an emphasis on diminished ovarian reserve and oncofertility. Her research focused on examining the effects of chemotherapy on the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicle. Prior to her time in Southern California, Dr. Rubal was accepted to the competitive accelerated 6-year Honors Program in Medicine at the University of Miami (UM), where she obtained her B.S. in Biology along with her medical degree, and was elected into Iron Arrow Society, the highest honor at UM.
Dr. Rubal speaks fluent Spanish. She lives in Laguna Beach with her family and enjoys museums, beach activities, music, and traveling whenever possible.
Dr. Denise Murray graduated with a bachelor of science at University of Maryland. She attended medical school at the University of Maryland, and she completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at George Washington University with accolades in gynecologic surgery. She finished her subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Murray is a specialist in tubal function, with a research focus on the effects of hydrosalpinx on infertility and IVF.
Dr. Oum joined Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) as the Laboratory Director after being the Scientific Director at Columbia University Fertility Center in New York.
Dr. Oum specializes in Intra-plasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Pre-Implantation Screening (PGS), Embryo Biopsy, Surgical Sperm Retrieval, and Cryopreservation. His achievements in ICSI in 1993 – while ICSI was still a new skill to the embryology field – earned him an honor and recognition by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, for his success with Vitrification of Human Blastocyst Embryos. Recognizing his determination, Columbia University invited him to collaborate on other similar projects.
Working at RFC has made Dr. Oum aware of the unwavering care and sincere desire for success evident in our staff members. Dr. Oum is married, has a beautiful daughter, and is a proud owner of two Yorkshire Terriers. He enjoys skiing, walks with his family, listening to music, and singing. His travels have taken him to European countries and his bucket list includes trips to Hungary and Czechoslovakia. At some point, he would like to pack his bags and make that trip to Czechoslovakia.
Dr. Yang is one of the most respected experts in pre-implantation genetic screening research in the world. He has been both a professor and director of IVF techniques and laboratories for over 20 years. In addition to performing thousands of cases over the course of his career as an embryologist, his major academic achievements include the study “Pioneering Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) with Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (zCGHY’ and Pioneering Identification of Protein Markers for In Vitro Maturation (IVM) of Bovine and Human Oocytes.” In addition, Dr. Yang is first author/main investigator of 14 published scientific articles, and 17 presentations in national and international conferences for assisted reproductive technologies.
Dr. Yang is currently the Scientific Director at Reproductive Fertility Center where he works closely with Dr. Lin in applying the latest genetic screening technologies which help to decrease miscarriage rates and increase pregnancy rates, and continuing research to improve pregnancy success rates.
Dr. Yang resides in Orange County, California, and enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Paul Lee is an Embryologist for Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC). He obtained his BSc MD from the Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC) and a BSc double major in Chemistry and Computer Science from the University of Victoria (UVIC).
In his role as Embryologist, Paul values utilizing his skills to complete the needs of his clients to achieve pregnancy and delivery. Because his job requires technical skills, Paul excels in his performance to meet the evidence based protocols established, and cutting edge technology and equipment to achieve the satisfaction of meeting the end goal of successful pregnancies for his clients.
Paul appreciates the team atmosphere at RFC, and being a “people-person” allows for him to work within various roles at RFC. He embraces the fact that he can rely on others and have that experience reciprocated, which creates a mutual bond that is instrumental in team growth and success.
For leisure, Paul participates in hiking, light body building, and swimming. He is an avid movie goer and prides himself in getting to see about 95% of the movies (“save the exaggerated love stories”). Within his scope of goals are travels to exotic places and all things new in technology, which he follows to the minute. Paul relaxes by playing guitar, violin, piano, and singing.
Success in clinical practice and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is almost entirely dependent on the experience level of medical and laboratory personnel. Justin Chen, Andrologist/Embryologist at Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) demonstrates his strength in understanding the conditions for achieving these successes. His adherence to procedure protocols and his ability to make fine adjustments for each individual case has brought him recognition from his peers. With a keen eye toward achieving the end goal of enriching someone’s life by helping them start or grow a family, Justin values his good technical skills, which are crucial and key to the optimal outcomes for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). With an understanding that science is a continuous discovery process, Justin keeps his skills up-to-date and stays on the pulse of current and relevant advances in his field.
At age 13, Justin moved from his native Taiwan to Canada to continue his education, and later to China in 2005 to obtain his Bachelor of Medicine from Peking University Health Center in Beijing, China in 2010.
Justin enjoys his role at RFC and feels connected to his colleagues and peers which he views as passionate and easy to work alongside. “We have good communication within the lab and between the lab and the clinic”, shares Justin. Weekly meetings to discuss and exchange ideas to make the system work better are instrumental in maintaining the open flow of contact needed for continued successes within the group.
On his personal time, Justin enjoys basketball, biking, and other outdoor activities to help him maintain clarity of mind and physically refreshed. He frequents live music concerts, plays guitar, and aspires to travel across the world to visit famous places with fascinating histories. A recent hobby is the collection of action figures from movies or Marvel comic characters.
With over 20 years of experience in the field of reproductive medicine, Margie Dimashkie has been part of the evolution in the treatment that defines infertility today. As a former patient of infertility treatment herself, she has firsthand knowledge and experience on the tribulations of unsuccessful efforts in conceiving naturally. She and her husband beat the odds and now celebrate their 32-year-old son as their joy.
Working in the field of infertility has its fair share of highs and lows. When Margie is asked about her most memorable experience over the years, she shares that “it would take pages and pages to fill that response.” She values meeting patients, listening to their journeys, and helping them as they embark on the journey that will hopefully fulfill their dreams of parenthood. Her memories are many, but the most poignant ones, for her, are the ones that involve those couples that do not give up and persevere to an end that yields the success of pregnancy, and eventually the birth of their baby/babies.
Looking at the times when even determination is not enough to yield success, Margie is most affected by those young couples that face the difficulty of premature ovarian failure. It was devastating for her to see them struggle and come to terms with their diagnosis. Working with the right team of individuals and being guided toward alternatives such as oocyte (egg) donation or adoption takes emotional strength and resilience. Once the couples are able to reconcile with their decision to try other options, it brings Margie great joy in seeing them become parents through these other means.
Motivation and determination are said to “move mountains.” Margie is an example of this determination herself. With a daily commute that totals 3 to 4 hours, Margie continues to push forward to work with the RFC team because she cannot imagine herself working anywhere else. The impetus to get to work is driven by the team she works with on a daily basis. Although her family thinks she’s “nuts” for making the commute, – and she herself questions it when she sits in heavy traffic – she knows that her love and appreciation for the team she works with and the patients she helps is what makes it all worthwhile. “Do you know anyone who has ever said that they work with over 30 people (a lot of them women!) and they all truly like each other, care about each other, and want to come to work every day,” shares Margie. Being Office Manager and trying to navigate the balance between her closeness with her team and maintaining her role can be challenging; however, she knows that she has gained knowledge from her team, and in turn, feels “truly blessed” to be part of this work family.
When not at work, or on the road, Margie enjoys walking, reading, and just hanging out with her family. She also enjoys spending time on hobbies and Sophie (her Miniature Pinscher).
With a profound interest and pull toward the fields of science and medicine, and double degrees in both Chemistry and Psychology from University of California, Michelle became an integral part of the Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) team in 2010.
Her leadership skills, evident in her various roles at RFC, have been in development since her years in college, where she was actively involved in campus organizations, held student-body leadership positions, and gained managerial work experiences. Being able to fulfill such a vast array of leadership roles, and continuing to succeed in field of fertility, have provided Michelle the skills that make up the foundation of her sound and undeterred professionalism and managerial capabilities.
Born in Taiwan, but raised in the United States, Michelle has the best of all worlds in understanding the cultural differences between the two countries, and is able to bridge the nuances of each culture by demonstrating confidence in her ability to meet with, talk to, and educate both American and Chinese/Non-American patients. She shares, “exposure to both culture differences have helped me become more sensitive and accepting of other cultures.”
In describing what she enjoys most about the field of reproductive medicine, Michelle recalls the joy and pivotal moments when she realized how much she loved her job as the time she was able to witness the joy and relief displayed by a newly pregnant couple at hearing the heartbeat of their baby for the first time during their first ultrasound visit.
When not making dreams of family come true at RFC, Michelle is the proud “mom” of her six-year-old Dachshund, Mr. Bentley Wang. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and dog, and on some weekends, lounging at home with family and friends watching drama marathons.
Annette became part of the Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) family in 2005. Annette most appreciates that the field of infertility allows the team to provide individualized care to their patients. When patients return for another child, it gives Annette great satisfaction to see them, and pleasure in knowing that they will have the opportunity to once again help along the journey to pregnancy. With the message that patients and staff should “never give up hope,” Annette delights in hearing the results of a positive pregnant blood test – attesting to the idea that the patients become a huge part of the RFC staff’s lives. Receiving the token of “thank you” cards from the patients brings the greatest satisfaction of all.
Challenged by unknown factors and limitations in science that prevent 100% success rates for pregnancy, Annette has had to deal with the difficulty of seeing the disappointment and tears from some of her patients. The sinking of her heart in not being to provide more positive news to those patients is what sometimes makes the field of infertility difficult. However, knowing that she is there to lend a caring hand and being able to comfort them in their time of need is what allows Annette to see that together they have made the journey.
RFC staff’s attitude as kind, loving, team players are what Annette has coveted as being her favorite part of working at RFC. The challenge to learn various aspects of the business, and after learning the clinical treatment, have made Annette greatly appreciative of her success as a RFC team member. She truly enjoys helping her patients understand the costs associated with infertility while guiding them to the best possible insurance benefit for each individual couple.
Annette is married and her son just graduated from USC. Annette enjoys fine wine, visiting wineries, and watching sports– in particular, the “Cardinal and Gold” (USC) games are where you will find Annette cheering loudly. “Fight On,” appropriately, is her motto!
With over 10 years of experience in the field of infertility and 6 years with RFC under her belt, Cindy Anderson brings a solid background of knowledge and skills to the Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) team. Cindy currently serves RFC as a Nurse Practitioner. Additionally, she specializes in third party reproduction, which is fertility treatments involving donors and/or surrogates.
If Cindy’s educational background isn’t an indication of her love and passion for the care of others, it would be difficult to understand what else it could be. Her undergraduate studies with concentration in Maternal Child Health, Cum Laude from California State University, Long Beach, demonstrate her passion and dedication to this field were clear from the start. She continued on to obtain her Certificate Degree: Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and her Masters of Science in Nursing with a Concentration in Women’s Health from California State University, Long Beach as well. Her career was launched immediately upon graduation leading her to practice her skills as a Nurse Practitioner at Hoag Hospital, and now at Reproductive Fertility Center.
“The journey to conception as a result of infertility is a stressful one,” shares Cindy. Gratification of her work with her patients is in knowing that she is part of the journey with them and that the end result will undoubtedly bring immeasurable reward. Comparison of the stress innate to infertility has been compared to that experienced by cancer patients. The successes of pregnancy through infertility treatments from the point of view of an infertility nurse have brought Cindy tears of joy and tears of disappointment, yet she states that “she would never change her job.”
Cindy sees the most challenging aspect of her role as the inability to send every patient home with the knowledge that they too will be going home with a baby. For as much as is given in treatment, care, alternatives and options, there are scientific limitations to achieving successful pregnancies for some couples. This is devastating not only to the patients, but to the RFC team that so desperately wants to make it happen.
Working at RFC is like being with a second family for Cindy. She loves the people she works with and feels supported and cared for through the emotional and stressful aspects of her work. The help she receives from her co-workers is what makes her job the absolute best.
Married for 10 years, Cindy is the mom to three, beautiful boys and a German Shepherd. She loves her role as a mom and spending time with her boys. Cindy enjoys traveling and wants to see the world. Fortunate to have a close relationship with her parents, Cindy is thankful for the help and involvement her supportive parents provide her and the boys. Outside of family, Cindy likes spending time with friends, going to the movies and working out.
One of the newest members of the Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) team is Heidi Ozaeta. Although she just joined RFC in September 2015, Heidi is certainly not new to the infertility field. She has over 10 years of experience as a Nurse Practitioner in the field of infertility. Prior to joining RFC, her expertise was focused on being a Labor and Delivery Nurse for more than 5 years. She is excited to be part of the wonderful and well-established practice at RFC.
When asked what she enjoys most about this field, Heidi shares – “I love helping patients fulfill their dreams of having a family”. She feels fortunate to be part of “one of the most special times in a couple’s life” and counts her blessings to be able to see the joy that so many families experience.
The challenges that infertility brings is the hardest part of the job for Heidi. She recognizes that there will be unsuccessful cycles and strives to provide the empathy and support needed by the couples during those difficult times. Understanding that infertility “can be a rollercoaster” with respect to the physical, mental and emotional aspects of treatment, Heidi sees her role as someone that will provide the encouragement needed to continue moving forward. “It is a privilege to be part of my patient’s lives during this time, says Heidi. Helping them get through the steps to achieve their ultimate goal of pregnancy is an important part of her role.
Since joining RFC, Heidi sees and values the level of care that both the doctor’s and support staff genuinely bring to the care of their patients. She sees the team as friendly and supportive.
Heidi is married and spends her time with her husband and two boys, David (8) and Daniel (5). They enjoy activities such as watching movies, baseball games and going to Disneyland.
Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) has been Lauren’s place of employment for 10 ½ years. Prior to working at RFC, Lauren worked as a Back Office Medical Assistant with an Obstetrics and Gynecology office. She joined RFC with no background in the infertility field at the age of 21 and was hired to work the front desk area. In time, Lauren gained training in the back office and operating room (which she thoroughly loved). From these experiences, Lauren continued to grow and learn about the infertility field and eventually moved on to the coordination of patient In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) cycles. She excelled in her roles and has developed a global view of the infertility field from first call to positive test results. Her most recent role has been primarily working with new patients, setting appointments, answering all the questions related to the process from start to finish. She sees her role as the one that “gives the fertility 101 lesson over the phone on what to expect going forward”.
The idea that the RFC team is helping patients start their families or grow an existing family, is the most rewarding aspect of Lauren’s job. Gratification comes to Lauren upon hearing that her patients are pregnant. She finds great comfort and honor in knowing that RFC patients are at ease with the staff and their physician, making the experience even more rewarding.
Lauren understands that there are limitations in medicine that don’t allow for guarantees and pregnancy will elude a number of patients. In her diverse background, she has been able to work with and help patients seeking to preserve their eggs due to a cancer diagnosis. Being limited by the ability for their bodies to conceive, these patients understand the challenging journey and find alternatives to make parenthood a reality. One hope that Lauren holds on to is the further advancements in reproductive medicine that will make it possible for more patients to achieve successful and safe pregnancies.
As someone that has seen the RFC team grow and develop, Lauren knows one thing for sure – “the best part of what we do is that we are all doing it together, as a team, a family”. She shares that everyone on the RFC staff genuinely cares about the patients and their success. The bond between the staff members is unbreakable and it “feels like having the type of family you never knew you needed or wanted”. Lauren is grateful every single day of her life to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people that have influenced her in innumerable positive ways. A day does not go by that she is not excited to come to work, a sentiment few people can express. She prides herself in being part of such a unique and caring center that works extremely hard at achieving the maximum number of successful pregnancies possible for their patients.
Lauren is married to her amazing husband, Greg, whom she married in Maui almost five years ago. Together they have a son, Charlie, age 3 and have recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Ella, to the family. Their four-legged family member is Dolce, a sweet Golden Retriever. Lauren enjoys going to the beach, a regular pastime for this beach family. Although they would love to travel more, especially out of the country, Lauren and her family are happy to call Maui their home away from home, visiting every summer or any other chance they get.
Working with patients in the infertility field has been Fawn Townsend’s calling. With more than ten years’ experience in the field, Fawn has contributed to helping the Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) team and the patients that come for infertility treatment. Fawn joined the RFC team after meeting Dr. James Lin and realizing that his patient care and practice goals were sound and in line with her own goals. She has not only grown professionally, but she also continues to grow personally with the life lessons she gains from experience at RFC.
“Getting to know patients, hearing about their journeys, and assisting them in attaining their goal” are the key factors in Fawn’s passion in her role at RFC. She loves the patient care, the TLC and overall care that the RFC team provides their patients and it is what motivates her to continue to do what she loves most…be part of their journey to success in pregnancy.
Fawn has had the privilege of learning the ins and outs of the infertility field by adapting to various roles such as Patient Care Coordinator, Financial & Insurance Coordinator, Marketing and Management. Her current role as Coordinator for the Kaiser doctor’s cases is her most significant due to the long “courtship” Dr. Lin and she worked on in order to contractually provide infertility treatment to the Kaiser patient population. Kaiser was on board to work with Dr. James Lin and the RFC when they realized that the excellent level of care provided to in-house patients would be extended to Kaiser patients as well.
As is true in most of the medical fields, the infertility field is not an exact science. There are successes and disappointments. Fawn’s role in supporting and providing a kind ear to those that are unsuccessful in attaining pregnancy is what yields the positive atmosphere of care and concern for each and every patient that is seen at RFC.
A single mother of four children, Fawn is thrilled to spend time with her kids enjoying the beach, a place they all adore. Their enjoyment of the beach has led them to support and advocate for the cleanliness and protection of our beaches and ocean. Her eldest daughter is President of the Beach Clean Up Club at Woodbridge High School. Staying healthy and enjoying the outdoors by riding her bike to work and running the Irvine trails is what gives Fawn a well-rounded sense of being and enjoyment.
Currently the Manager and Senior Coordinator for the satellite offices at Reproductive Fertility Center, Jennifer Cook has had the unique opportunity of being one of the first staff members since its inception. With a background as a Medical Assistant, Jennifer entered the infertility field after a series of roles in a variety of other capacities. After graduating in 1987, she began an internship at an Obstetrics/Gynecology office. Shortly thereafter, Jennifer switched gears and entered the field of Geriatrics. She truly loved the chance to work in Geriatrics, but at only 18 years of age, she found that it was difficult to continue in a field where so many of her patients passed away.
An opportunity to return to Obstetrics/Gynecology presented itself to Jennifer and she was finding this to be a better, more suitable fit again. Her skills were utilized in billing, medical, the scheduling of surgeries, cosmetic procedures, perinatology, skin rejuvenation and infertility. As luck would have it, one of the nurse practitioners in the OB/GYN office was launching a fertility program in the office and Jennifer seized the opportunity to team up with the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) specialist to assist in the initial evaluation, testing, workup and IUI cycles for their patients. This new venture was exciting and progressive, making Jennifer extremely comfortable in working with the fertility team and patients.
Challenged by her own infertility issues, Jennifer experienced a difficult time of her own attempting to conceive. With the help and support of the team she worked with, she was able to successfully attain pregnancy and her daughter is now 21 years old.
Jennifer met Dr. James Lin through the work at the OB/GYN office and decided to join his team after 12 years with the former group. She continued to train in the field of fertility and has seen the progression of advances in the treatment of infertility for over 25 years. In her opinion, “it only gets better and better”.
What Jennifer shared as her most memorable experience to date is the invitation she received to see one of RFC’s “miracle” babies born to C-section several years ago. She has maintained contact with the couple that invited her and has watched the baby grow into a beautiful young woman. The field of infertility consists of up and downs – emotionally, financially and physically. But being able to be by the couple’s side, being able to comfort and educate them and simply listening to them during their experience is what gives Jennifer the most gratification. The best part of her role shares Jennifer, “is the ability to see our patient’s family grow”.
Although infertility advances have brought successes to thousands of couples, Jennifer still finds it difficult to reconcile the unexplained reasons why some treatments are successful and others are not. Those that can identify the issues have the opportunity for closure, while those that will never know are left with a void of uncertainty. This is the area of infertility that challenges and perplexes Jennifer the most.
Jennifer sees her life as a being part of the RFC “family” from the very beginning. The trust, compassion and support that RFC has extended to her and her family has been instrumental in being able to continue in the face of adversity. Her unsurpassed devotion to the efforts of bringing joy and fulfillment to the RFC patients stems from the underlying goal that RFC has for all those patients that seek their help. She has fond memories of watching the RFC family children grow and mature into productive, compassionate adults in their own rite.
Jennifer Cook is the proud mother of three children that she shares with her loving husband. Other family members include a Doberman named Diesel, a Chihuahua named Cinnabun, along with two cats named Rascal and Binky, a snake and fish. She enjoys sewing, crafting, going to the movies, being outdoors and sharing time with family and friends.
Coordinating IVF cycles has been Paula Hagen’s role for many years. She brought over 10 years of experience in this capacity when she joined Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC).
Being part of the RFC team has been a wonderful experience for Paula. Her role in helping couples achieve the successes of becoming a “family” has brought her great joy. “To call someone and tell them they are pregnant has to be the best part of my role”, shares Paula. Changing their lives with this uplifting news is what makes her role most gratifying.
The field of reproductive medicine is equal to so many other fields in medicine in that not all attempts at attaining success with treatments is realized. There are challenges and Paula realizes that the phone call to share the wonderful news of successful pregnancy is one side of the coin. There are times when she is not able to make that call to share exciting news with her patients. Even with science and technology allowing for leaps in successes with infertility treatments, the science also reveals the downside of embryos that are less than ideal to use. Having to make the call to her patients to deliver the news of unhealthy embryos is sometimes more difficult than making the call to tell them they are not pregnant. Paula understands that although these challenges are innate to the field of reproductive medicine, she can account for there being successes for many couples.
Being part of the RFC team has been by far Paula’s favorite role in her career. She sees the team more as a family unit than as a group of employees. The support and feelings of care and love felt for each other at RFC is infectious and is felt universally. It is not uncommon to hear patients say, “It’s like a family here”.
Paula fills her “away from work” time with her husband and her boys. She enjoys daily exercise, walking, hiking and travelling. Watching football and baseball is a family pastime that isn’t often missed. Her current plans include training her family’s new lab to be a therapy dog. Recently she had an opportunity to experience this wonderful gift by therapy dogs when her husband was hospitalized and she would love to pay it forward.
A valued staff member of the Reproductive Fertility Center team since August 2009, LeahAnne Bruce has been an integral part of the infertility side of Obstetrics and Gynecology for nearly 20 years. As RFC’s 3rd Party Coordinator, LeahAnne handles the challenges innate to bridging infertility and successful pregnancies. Her determination and drive to help couples in their attempts to start families is what makes her a “cheerleader, hand-holder, counselor and medical professional” of stellar caliber. Undeterred by the disappointment that comes with infertility, LeahAnne utilizes her experience and positive outlook in recognizing that her patients come in with the perseverance needed to successfully accomplish the goal of growing their family unit. When asked about the most memorable experiences of her role, LeahAnne shares, “When we are successful in helping patients realize their dream of a new baby, it becomes the most memorable and rewarding part of my job”.
From LeahAnne’s perspective, the most challenging and limiting aspects of the infertility field is the emotional element of the experience. Her patients arrive with hope and fear and it’s her role to encourage them to be optimistic about the outcome that lies ahead. Limitations in science and obtaining 100% success rates is not yet feasible. With the support of LeahAnne and her co-workers, every effort is exhausted in ensuring that the couples leave with the success they seek.
LeahAnne attributes her favorite part of her role as being the ability to work with “the dedicated, upbeat and hardworking staff and doctors at RFC”. She has been able to perform her role at various other centers and recognizes that the doctors and staff at RFC share her own personal goal of striving for the success of achieving successful pregnancies for their patients. The RFC team has taught LeahAnne the value of “teamwork and diversification leading to the excitement and pleasure to come to work each day”.
In her own personal accomplishments, LeahAnne is pleased to share her life with a wonderful husband, three children and 2 grandchildren. As one of ten children in her family, LeahAnne is fulfilled by many happy and fun-filled events and activities. With her own children now grown, she enjoys spending time with her husband doing the things they both enjoy doing together such as traveling (when they can) and going to the movies. LeahAnne enjoys reading and catching up with friends and family whenever possible.
Coming from the service industry, Janelle Chun brought the skills needed to work with people from all walks of life. Her role at Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) reflects that capacity and is what has made Janelle an indispensable asset to the team.
In transitioning to the infertility field, Janelle applied the philosophy that “everyone has a story” and that the journey to having a family allows the RFC team to become part of that story for their patients. With her natural inclination to liking people, Janelle emits this joy and care in her daily interactions both with co-workers and especially with her patients. A reflection of her infectious care is evident in the friendships and relationships that she develops with those that she comes in contact with, whether in her personal life or work life. Janelle was bestowed the highest honor when a patient named her daughter after Janelle as a result of their blossoming relationship.
As is true with medical technology, infertility is limited by yet-to-be-discovered scientific advances and a guarantee of successful pregnancy for all that seek it is not always feasible. This leaves Janelle burdened by the greatest challenge in infertility treatment – the unsuccessful attempts at biological conception. Some patients are able to seek alternatives to carrying a full-term pregnancy or allow for the assistance of surrogacy. However, limited by religious or cultural restrictions, some patients opt to end their treatment when the course yields continual negative results from the use of their own egg and sperm. The end of their dream leaves Janelle saddened by their choice.
But the journey does continue for so many others and that is the experience that Janelle sees as the most rewarding. Being included as a member of what feels like a family, she thanks Dr. Lin and Grace for spearheading the sense that they are all in this together – like families are. In a field that is dominated by females, Janelle never imagined “being able to work with so many females and get along so well with each one of them”. Like all families, disagreements exist, but somehow they manage to get passed the moments that challenge them and move on to the core values that make them a true team. Janelle has learned to depend on others to get things done and count on others to help her each and every day, freeing her from feeling that she has to do it all.
Born under the Chinese sign of the Pig, Janelle enjoys similar pass times – eating and sleeping! True to form, she loves all things piggy and pigs themselves. No bacon, thank you.
Karla Nunez has been a vital component in the infertility field for about 10 years. Her skills have helped in several capacities including Coordinating, Operating Room, Recovery and Back Office support.
Supporting her colleagues at Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) is only the beginning of Karla’s enjoyment. Her experience has presented with the opportunity to be rewarded with those moments of joy and elation experienced by the patients that come to share their “bundles of joy”. Their dreams fulfilled and their families intact is what gives Karla the greatest pride.
Understanding that not all dreams will necessarily be fulfilled, Karla feels that the hardest part of her job is when her patient’s dream is unfulfilled due to financial hardship.
“The team at RFC feels like a family”, shares Karla. The care and attentiveness of the RFC staff is evident and shows in how our patients feel taken care of and welcomed. “Patient care is a priority for every employee”, says Karla. She senses the support of the team and staff in her everyday role when she herself may have some doubts about a task or job. She feels comforted in knowing that she is able to approach any staff for support in her day-to-day role.
Karla enjoys outdoor activities, going to church and spending time with her family and friends.
An after school program in Medical Assistance gave Rosio Zambrano the background she needed to launch her into the field of reproductive medicine. While in high school, Rosio gained experience and was hired to work the front office at Reproductive Fertility Center (RFC) once she completed her high school education. She has been with the group ever since and has had an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the daily activities at RFC. Her fluency in Spanish has also been a tremendous help on those occasions when clients are in need of additional help in understanding the treatments they are undergoing.
Working at RFC has enriched Rosio’s experience and given her memorable moments that she can recollect with great joy. In particular, the times when patients are receiving their first pregnancy ultrasound and get to hear the sound of the beating heart of their baby/babies is emotional not only for the parents to be, but to Rosio as well. She is moved by the experience because she has been on the journey alongside her patients and knows the depth of their desire to become parents. The experience of becoming a parent “is an amazing part of life and being able to help those that aren’t able to conceive naturally is an amazing feeling”, shares Rosio.
The challenges faced by patients that are unable to conceive despite the treatment or due to lack of sufficient insurance coverage or affordability are difficult for Rosio to deal with in her role as a Medical Assistant. She recognizes that not all patients will be successful at attaining successful pregnancies and she says, “it breaks my heart when a patient cannot afford the treatment and their hopes and dreams are delayed or unfulfilled”. The hopes and dreams of some patients are dashed, but the hope is held that they will attain their dreams by some other means.
Her greatest joy in working at RFC is the sense of it feeling like “one big, happy family”. The team of women feels like a sisterhood in that they truly support one another and care for each other in and outside of work. It’s a support system that gives them a feeling that having a bad day or simply experiencing a difficult time personally will always be met by a helpful and caring support team at RFC. Rosio especially enjoys working with Dr. Lin. He shows his kindness and giving nature to all his patients and clearly demonstrates a passion and love for what he does. Rosio has found her time at RFC as being one of growth and continuous learning. In particular, she has gained an appreciation for the work done to address the level of infertility that she did not know existed. She feels reassured that although infertility is an unfortunate situation for some, scientific means will continue to bring patients the hope and possibility of becoming pregnant.
Rosio enjoys her down time from work with her husband Albert and her wonderful, 21-month old daughter Zoey, whom she happens to “love to pieces”. Zoey has brought their family joy and happiness. The family enjoys the company of their dog Troy who just so happens to bring them great love and they absolutely adore. Rosio says, “Troy and Zoey are my hobbies – when not at work, I’m with them and love it!
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