Welcome to WomanCare Centers and DePaul Medical Center. We are glad you are here. We are a hometown practice with a wonderful story and a long history of caring for women and their families.
It begins as many stories do, with love and with nursing because nursing is the heart of healthcare. Louann Harker loved being a nurse, loved caring for birthing women and she loved Ted Hughes. They had always known of each other growing up in Norfolk but the history of birthing in Hampton Roads took a right turn when Louann and Ted married in 1980, the year before he finished medical school.
The now Dr. Hughes was a resident at the three area hospitals. It was under the tutelage of the nurses at DePaul that Dr. Hughes and his colleagues honed their skills in their care of healthy women. Two of these nurses were Louann Harker Hughes (you hear her beautiful voice when you call our office) and our own midwife, then nurse, Nell Dowell. In 1987 Dr. Hughes and Louann opened Health Care Specialists for Women. They began with 6 patients on their first day. Time passed and another bright star arrived in residency: Marybeth Dixon. In 1993, after 6 years as a solo practitioner, Dr.Hughes invited Dr. Dixon to join him in practice. This was the heart of WomanCare Centers as it is today. We grew from love and friendship and through a commitment to women and their families.
As the suburbs grew and new hospitals opened families birthed closer to their homes but DePaul continued. Many of the families who are having babies with us now were born here at DePaul. As other practices grew, national breastfeeding rates continued to fall and cesarean rates rose, DePaul did not change. Mothers and babies were at the heart of what they did. The Cesarean rate was always lower and the breastfeeding rate continues to be the highest in the state.
In 1999, with the vision of Dr. Hughes and midwives Stacey Starsman, CNM and Neldara Dowell, CNM, WomanCare Centers opened The Midwifery Center at DePaul. The Midwifery Center at DePaul is the first midwifery center in a hospital on the East Coast. The Midwifery Center provides a space for families to be supported in unmedicated birth in an environment suited to natural movement and physiologic birth. The Midwifery Center draws families from all over Hampton Roads and the surrounding areas.
We have continued to grow in service to the families of Hampton Roads and members of our military families. We have grown in number as Blair Conger, CNM, Dr. Hugh Dixon Wolcott Dr. Elizabeth Golpira ,Dr. Ana Basso, Lorena Seitz, CNM, Dr. Kirsten Mosier and Ericka Lavin, CNM have joined us to provide excellent personal care to women at every stage of their lives. You can read about them by clicking here. We have added another service: Centering Pregnancy. Click here to learn more about why women love building community in group prenatal care.
We have also grown by leaps and bounds within our group. Louann and Nell had their babies together while working at DePaul. Louann was nursing her baby when she and Dr. Hughes first opened the practice. Dr. Dixon was the first mother to lie in our new beds in 1997 when The Midwifery Center opened. Valerie Eichenburger, our unit manager and birth center champion at DePaul, had her last baby in The Midwifery Center before she moved with her military family. Dr. Golpira birthed her lovely youngest with us. Nell’s grandbabies were born as part of our Midwifery Center as was Karen Carroll’s grandson. And to bring it full circle, Dr. Hughes and Louann’s daughter, the baby at Louann’s breast when this all started, returned to Norfolk this year and gave them their first granddaughter. Cheers all around. And now we wait with new excitement as we are expecting a WomanCare Center baby among us in 2019!
We welcome you too. It is our goal to partner with you in your ongoing health and wellness. We take care of women through their lifetime for a vibrant future.
Welcome to our practice. We appreciate the opportunity to provide you with healthcare. Our staff is made up of well-qualified professionals, who work together as a team to bring you the highest quality treatment in a warm, caring setting.
We see patients on an appointment basis and ask that you call in advance so we may reserve time for you. Our office hours are: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. If you are unable to keep an appointment, please notify us 24 hours in advance so that we may see another patient in need of care. No Shows are costly to our office and may be subjected to a service charge that is non refundable by insurance companies.
Feel free to call us at (757) 451-0929 if you have any questions.
We encourage you to call with questions you may have concerning your healthcare. Our nursing staff is trained to answer most questions so when they inquire about the nature of your call, please provide them with the necessary information. If they need to consult a physician regarding your care, your call will be returned at the earliest opportunity.
All prescriptions and authorizations for renewals should be requested during normal office hours. If you have your prescriptions filled at a local pharmacy, have the pharmacist call us for the refill. If you prefer to call us directly, press option 3 (refill line) and leave the following information: your name, date of birth, medication, pharmacy name, location and phone number. Please allow 24 - 48 hours and check with your pharmacy.
As a courtesy, we will file your primary and secondary insurance. Co-pays, deductibles and non-covered services are due at the time of the appointment. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Checks and Cash. If you have a procedure with a large copayment our billing staff will work with you to arrange a payment plan to meet your needs.
Our office has medical pamphlets available to our patients on many topics associated with Women's Health. We will gladly make them available upon request.
Medical Record Confidentiality
It is our responsibility to protect your personal health information, therefore, we will not release test results, medical advise or any other patient information to anyone other than the patient unless you have given the practice written permission. If medical records need to be released, a written request must be signed by the patient prior to the release of the information. If medical records are requested by another physician, we will release them at no charge for continuity of care. If a patient requests records for personal use, a nominal processing fee will be charged.