In 2011, Jennifer Yee went from being a happily married woman expecting her first child to an ovarian cancer patient overnight. The elation she felt after years of trying to conceive was suddenly at risk as her world turned upside down. The questions, confusion and fear could have been overwhelming for someone facing two significant, life-changing events at the same time, but Yee said she quickly knew she was in good hands at Hoag.
“The doctors and all the Hoag staff were beyond wonderful,” said Yee, 36, now the cancer-free mother of toddler, Benjamin. “I wish all doctors could be sent to them for training.”
Hoag is often described as a community hospital, and while that is technically accurate, the generations of people who have been born here, who have received care here when ill and who have returned here to have their own children make Hoag more than a community hospital.
Hoag is a family hospital.
“There is a tie people feel to Hoag,” said Dr. Allyson Brooks, executive medical director of the Hoag Women’s Health Institute. “The obstetric nurses will be invited to baptisms and birthday parties. It goes beyond the episode of the birth. There is a real connection and bond for life.”
Yee agreed, “These are the kinds of doctors you wish could live next door to you.”
Among the accolades and awards Hoag has received, none are more revealing than being named by Women’s Choice Award® as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience four consecutive years, and Best Hospital for Patient Experience in Obstetrics two consecutive years, designations based on a national survey of 10,000 women.
The high quality of care Hoag delivers resonates with women like Yee. More than 6,000 babies are born at Hoag each year because women have made Hoag their choice for the whole family – starting with the youngest and most fragile.
Hoag’s Laborist program ensures a dedicated obstetrician is on site 24/7 to handle deliveries. Hoag is the only hospital in Orange County with an Obstetrics Emergency Department dedicated solely to mothers-to-be. A maternal-fetal medicine physician, perinatologist, is onsite to manage the 14-bed high-risk antepartum unit for complicated cases.
And it is complicated cases like Yee’s that require a team of multi-disciplinary experts to ensure both mom and baby are healthy during pregnancy and after delivery. Hoag provided exactly what Yee and her growing family needed. While her pregnancy began simply enough, a mass on her ovary was detected during a routine appointment with her obstetrician, Jody Lai, M.D., in October 2011. Two weeks later, that mass tripled in size and Dr. Lai referred Yee to gynecologic oncologist Alberto A. Mendivil, M.D.
Cancer during pregnancy is extremely uncommon, 1 in 20,000, but Yee’s mass turned out to be a grade 3 tumor. Dr. Mendivil performed a minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery using the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System and was able to successfully remove Yee’s right ovary and part of her fallopian tube without any danger to the baby.
Yee’s team of experts also included perinatologist Menashe Kfir, M.D., who provided a third set of eyes with continuous monitoring during the remaining months of her pregnancy. In March, 2012, three weeks early, she gave birth to Benjamin.
“Labor was the easiest part of the whole pregnancy,” Yee said.
Hoag’s commitment to providing the highest quality health care services extends to even the smallest patients we see. Hoag’s Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) treats 450 babies a year, and the telemedicine program allows infants requiring more specialized care to be seen by a subspecialist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County through a high resolution camera. Thanks to Hoag’s close affiliation with CHOC and a pediatric subspecialty clinic in Newport Beach, families can enjoy seamless continuity of care.
Even when things are going right, new parents have questions. The Hoag Baby Line, staffed by lactation-certified nurses, fields 90 calls a day providing support, advice and care coordination.
This kind of compassion and integrated treatment is why women like Yee tell us they choose Hoag. A connection to this community hospital might begin in the delivery room, but women return, bringing their spouses, parents and children here for care across all stages of life. Our designation as the only Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™ in Orange County and a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG™) helps maintain a tie that goes well beyond that first labor pain to every check-up and preventative treatment along the way.
Hoag is with you for everything that happens in life. Like family.