On March 17, 2020, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) released a statement recommending the suspension of all new fertility treatments during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. And when the Director of California Department of Public Health issued the stay at home order for all Californians to take in effect on March 19, 2020, it placed RFC in a climate of anxiety, uncertainty, and feelings of helplessness.
As one of California’s leading fertility centers, we have been blessed to work with thousands of patients, helping our patients achieve their dreams of parenthood. In the same token, as a growing practice, we were privileged to be able to provide steady careers to our employees whom we consider family. The health orders and guidelines initiated mountainous pressure on the practice and RFC was left to make difficult decisions.
While RFC understood the importance of these necessary measures, we also recognize the difficult roads, the heartaches, and the battles our patients and employees are facing. We are keenly aware of the situation. We truly empathize. It was not easy to put a pause on patient care, staff alike. We hope for a return to normalcy. These are truly unprecedented times.
In the past month, RFC remained committed to the fact that reproductive health care is an essential service and strongly believe fertility care is time sensitive. As part of our continued commitment to help people build families, RFC remained operational with limited services, and expanded our care by offering telehealth. It was a great option for our patients to maintain communication with our physician and have continued support from our medical team during this quarantine period.
As the situation continues to evolve, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association (AMA) continues to recognize infertility as a disease and a global public health issue; And the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) is not recommending women to avoid pregnancy during this pandemic.
Needless to say, on April 22, 2020, for the first time in the past month, we felt hope when California Governor Gavin Newson made a public announcement to allow healthcare systems to resume delayed medical care. In agreement with Governor Newson’s declaration along with the American Society of Reproductive COVID-19 Task Force’s recent revised guidelines, it is clear the ultimate decision on when reproductive health services must occur is between a patient and their provider.
Considering the information from all these sources and new recommendations released from ASRM, RFC is proud to announce we are ready to reinstitute fertility treatments. As the situation is fluid, RFC has effectively put in place a proactive plan to ensure we are successfully helping families on their path to parenthood while focusing on the health and safety of our patients, staff and physicians.
- Family Planning
- Fertility Enhancement
- Fertility Optimization
- Fertility Cryopreservation
- Preconception Counseling
- Consultations, including new patient appointments, follow-up visits, treatment planning, preconception counseling are all done by telehealth (phone or video call)
- Screen all patients prior to visit with questionnaires
- Social distancing by implementing no guest policy
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures