A Small Practice Focused on WOMEN in a Big Way

Story by Lynne Hayes

Women see many Physicians throughout their lives, but the relationship they have with their OB/GYN is, well, something unique. Research supports this fact. One independent poll showed that 61 percent of women are more likely to be open and honest with their OB/GYN than with their general practitioner.

Living up that high standard of trust and loyalty is a daily mission for the staff at Western Missouri Women’s Health Center (WMWHC), an OB/GYN practice located on the campus of Western Missouri Medical Center in Warrensburg, Missouri.

“We may be tucked away in a smaller town, but what we offer here is as robust as any women’s health center in any larger city,” noted Celeste Clelland, Service Line Director for Women’s Health. “What sets us apart is that our size creates a sense of family and a very personalized level of care. Why would you drive a longer distance when it’s all right here in your backyard?”
RN, Martha Zink, who manages Labor & Delivery at the hospital, added with a smile, “We can’t go to the movies or to Walmart without meeting someone we’ve cared for. Our patients are all part of our extended family. That’s why they like coming here.”

Complete Women’s Care for Every Age and Stage

The practice is truly a one-stop experience for female patients. Staffed by the only Obstetrics and Gynecology residency trained and Board-Certified Physicians in Johnson County, Missouri, women can look to Western Missouri Women’s Health Center for a full range of care from routine exams in the office to gynecological surgeries performed at WMMC.

“We are a high energy practice that loves caring for women in all stages of life,” said Dr. Ashley Alumbaugh, an OB/GYN with the practice. “We’re committed to evidence based medicine and lifelong learning and that is a tremendous benefit to our patients.”
In addition to a five-person team comprised of OB/GYNs, the practice also includes a team of Certified Nurse Midwives and a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, who offer personalized and professional care from adolescence to beyond menopause including prenatal, delivery, postpartum, gynecological and family planning for all ages of women.

“I think the way in which we work with midwives in a truly collaborative practice model is what makes us unique in that aspect,” affirmed Dr. Alumbaugh. “It’s not just them calling us if they need us, we actually work together and co-manage patients. We meet weekly to discuss patient care.”

Additionally, noted Zink, who has been an RN with WMMC since 1999, “our entire staff is extremely knowledgeable which is critical if you’re caring for a broad spectrum of patients. We are all cross trained, which is an excellent asset for our care, and a great benefit to our patients on both the obstetrics and the gynecology side of our practice.”

Equally reassuring for patients is that the practice has established professional partnerships with other health systems in the region to provide a higher level of care during critical situations, close to home, such as teleneonatology and telepsychiatry.
“If there’s any circumstance where it would be beneficial to consult with another specialist or refer to one, we have close relationships with many critical resources,” added Zink, “which is especially comforting to our maternity patients.”
While obstetrics is typically “the face” of most women’s health centers, Western Missouri Women’s Health Center prides itself in caring for women in all stages of life.

“We love partnering with women through pregnancy and delivery, but we’re also very focused on all of our female patients. As an example, we offer hormone therapy to help with menopause issues and for overall health improvement,” said Kristin Shaw, manager of Western Missouri Women’s Health Center.
Added Shaw, “The medical community has learned so much more about the medical issues women face as they age, and we’re strong believers in helping solve the concerns faced in perimenopause and beyond. We see a lot of patients who delivered with us and are now back to share the joy of seeing us deliver their grandbabies.”

Meeting the Needs of Busy Women

In order to better serve its patients, as well as those utilizing outpatient and inpatient services, the practice recently added an on-staff ultrasound tech to help patients avoid long drives to other facilities for certain procedures.
In order to meet the needs of busy patients, office hours have been expanded to include some Saturdays, and patients now have the option to make early appointments on Thursday mornings and after work appointments on Tuesday evenings.
Additionally, WMMC features a state-of-the-art Women’s & Obstetrics Unit where patients can come for treatments and procedures of all kinds. They also have a certificated lactation consultant and store, the Stork’s Nest.

“The Women’s & Obstetrics Unit is, as the name connotes, for women (and their babies) only,” Shaw pointed out. “We’ve found that our patients, whether they’re at the hospital to deliver, or for a surgical procedure, are much more comfortable among other women patients. We heard that and we responded.”
Shaw described the Unit as an “open, light, and spacious environment with an advanced security system for newborns. It’s a very welcoming atmosphere for both patients and their families.”
Added Zink, “While some rural hospitals have shut down their maternity services, we are expanding. It’s our mission to do what we need to better serve our patients in every way.”

A Feeling of Family

While the practice cares for many of their neighbors in the immediate Warrensburg area, they regularly care for women from other communities. And of course, all are welcomed with open arms.

“Our patients come from a broad area of the region from both sides of the county line,” Clelland said. “We get a lot of rural patients who have multiple choices they could drive to, even as far away as the lake; they recognize the quality of care we provide and choose us. And if one family member has had a great experience here, the rest will follow. We always feel honored when that happens.”
For many of the patients, the staff at Western Missouri Women’s Health Center takes the place of their own family. For example, they care for many women from Whiteman Air Force Base, along with many international students who attend the University of Central Missouri.
“So many folks just don’t have family nearby, so we become like family, caring for them as we would our own,” Zink shared.

The Best Care is In Your Own Backyard

“We love it here and we love what we do,” Clelland declared, adding, “though those words could have come from any of the staff who work here.”

She admitted it may seem corny, but they all really feel this way, and it shows in everything they do for their patients.
“We’re a hidden gem and we want more people to know that and experience it,” Clelland said. “I know we’re a bit of an unknown outside of Warrensburg, but once women and their families get a taste of the highly experienced and compassionate, comforting care we provide, they’re awfully glad they chose us.”

To learn more about the providers and services at
Western Missouri Women’s Health Center
call (660) 429-2228 or
visit: wmmc.com/womenshealth