Vero Beach’s Partners in Women’s Health, a joint cooperative between the Indian River Hospital District and Indian River Medical Center, is branching out with the opening of its Premier Women’s Health office in Sebastian.
Dr. Deni Malave-Huertas, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with both Partners and Premier, says the northern office is “aimed at opening doors for patients who are looking for gynecological care in the Sebastian area so they don’t have to travel down here to Vero.”
Joining Malave-Huertas at the Sebastian office are Dr. Felix Bigay, Dr. Kristy Crawford, Dr. George Fyffe and Dr. Alfonsia Garcia-Bracero. Those five physicians will work rotating shifts in the new Premium office Monday through Friday.
Both locations are now offering comprehensive gynecologic services, including “well-woman exams,” contraception and menopausal care, minimally invasive surgeries and treatments for sexual wellness including cosmetic gynecology and treatment of breast cancer and reproductive endocrinology problems.
“Our goal,” according to Malave-Huertas, “is to provide the best care that we can. And by opening doors, we can establish patients, we can screen, we can recommend and then – with our network of doctors – we can get patients where they need to be, I think, in an easier way.”
“The goal is for women to have a ‘go-to’ doctor,” Malave-Huertas continues. “We can get you to a cardiologist, we can get you to a pulmonologist, we can get you to the other diverse services we have and you just have to call one doctor when you have a problem.”
“What we try to do is, we either tell you, ‘Hey, come in,’ or ‘You know what, I don’t handle that, but let me make a couple calls. Let me try and get you some care sooner rather than later.”
The new Sebastian office, according to Malave-Huertas, may even help cut back on emergency room visits. “If you go to an emergency room, you’re seeing an emergency room doctor who is very good at what they do. They keep you alive, but then on your way you go.
“To fix problems, you need to see a doctor who specializes in certain things and we can do that for patients where either we fix the problem or we find someone who can.”
And then there’s the question of money – or, more correctly, insurance.
Malave-Huertas freely admits there are often what he calls “hurdles” when dealing with insurance companies.
“Maybe patients will have to talk to their primary care to be referred to us,” he explains, “but we will try and see every patient. We want to help our communities and we try to not let insurance get in the way.”
The benefits of identifying health risks early, Malave-Huertas says, far outweigh those insurance “hurdles.”
“We have a really good network,” Malave-Huertas states flatly, “and if I cannot fix your problem, we will find someone to see you and help you. That’s what we’re trying to do – to prevent bigger problems.”
Meanwhile, Malave-Huertas is and has been for more than a year, a vocal advocate of a procedure known as “vaginal rejuvenation” by ThermiVa, which uses radio-frequency heating to change the collagen contained within the vaginal tissue.
Today, he says, “I still am. I think it’s still a great tool.”
This past July, however, “vaginal rejuvenation” seemed to take a big hit when the New York Times reported the FDA had sternly warned several laser manufacturers to stop marketing their laser devices for procedures also billed as “vaginal rejuvenation.”
Perhaps surprisingly, Malave-Huertas sides firmly with the Times.
The use of lasers in vaginal rejuvenation, he says, “has been marketed as an end-all, cure-all, nothing-else-is-needed, and that’s just not true.”
More to the point, according to Malave-Huertas, ThermiVa is not a laser.
“I’ve had patients walk in and tell me, ‘I want a ThermiVa’ and if it is not for them, I will tell them this is not what’s going to help you. You need something different.”
That might mean some lost revenue, but to Malave-Huertas, as to any responsible doctor, getting his patients the right treatment at the right time means much more than money.
Partners in Women’s Health is at 1050 37th Place, Suites 101-103 in Vero Beach. The phone number is 772-770-6116.
The Premier Women’s Health office is located at 801 Wellness Way, Suite 109, in Sebastian. The phone number there is 772-770-6801.