Where Family is of Utmost Importance
As the mothers of a teen, tween, two pre-schoolers and a toddler, it’s no wonder the physicians at Center for Women’s Health have an innate understanding of the roles women play in their families—as wives, mothers, daughters and sisters.
Dr. Katherine L. Williams and her associates Dr. Rachael Cresap and Dr. Lisandra Pagan bring more than their shared experiences to their patients. They bring their exceptional credentials, commitment to quality care and expertise as surgeons. From infertility to pregnancy, from motherhood to menopause, they help their patients through some of life’s biggest milestones.
One of the most respected OB-GYNs in the region, Dr. Williams has been helping bring families to fruition since 1998. In addition to being a leader in the medical community (serving as physician representative on the St. Tammany Hospital Board of Commissioners, chairwoman of the Louisiana Medical Disclosure Panel and an active member of the Louisiana State Medical Society,) Dr. Williams is also certified to perform and train other physicians in da Vinci Robotic surgery. She has performed more than 400 successful robotic surgeries, drastically reducing her patients’ hospital stays while also accelerating recovery.
Dr. Williams finds great fulfillment in the connection she develops with each of her patients. She excitedly shared her experience of a delivery she had just completed where she worked with the Red Cross to bring a solider home from Kuwait in time to be present for the birth of his child. “I was able to witness him seeing his son for the first time. I watched him experience something he and his wife wanted for so long.”
To be a part of such happy occasions is also what helped Dr. Cresap ultimately decide to become an OB-GYN. “For families, the day their children are born are the happiest days of their lives. It’s wonderful to share that experience with my patients.” Dr. Cresap continued, “I really like the continuity that comes with treating patients long term.”
Dr. Cresap became involved with the Center for Women’s Health following her residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. A graduate of Tulane Medical School, she met her husband while an undergraduate student at LSU. Because both of their families are from the Baton Rouge area, she said she knew they would settle within a two-hour drive time from their hometown. “I immediately felt at home with Dr. Williams. She has the same ideals and philosophy on patient care as I do. I knew it would be a great place to work, and I was right,” she said.
We have an environment where our patients can ask questions and know they are going to get the time with us to fully answer them,” Dr. Cresap said. “We make ourselves approachable and available to our patients.
The group credits nurse practitioner, Kelly Brewster, MSN, WHNP, with ensuring that medical staff have the tools and training they need to provide the highest quality patient care. As Medical Director and an excellent women’s health nurse practitioner, she manages continuing education programs, implements quality standards, and manages administrative duties all while giving exemplary care to her patients. “With her administrative skills and her health care background, we have really grown by leaps and bounds,” Dr. Williams said. “I get compliments every day from my peers about how wonderfully our group has come together. I have a great sense of pride about that.”
One of the newest reasons the group is continuing to excel in patient care is the addition of Dr. Lisandra Pagan. A native of Puerto Rico who is fluent in Spanish, Dr. Pagan completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Richmond University Medical Center in New York. In addition to serving as administrative chief resident, she was honored with the Award for Excellence in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.
Dr. Pagan joined the practice in August 2013. Like Dr. Cresap, she knew immediately that the Center for Women’s Health was a perfect fit for her personally and professionally. “It was love at first sight,” she joked. “No other office could fulfill all I was looking for.”
With a special interest in infertility, high-risk pregnancy and minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Pagan said she always knew she wanted to be a doctor. She grew up around medical professionals because her sister Jessica has cerebral palsy.
Dr. Pagan noted that leaving Puerto Rico was probably one of the most difficult decisions she’s ever had to make. “I always helped my parents with my sister and did not want them to think I was abandoning them.” She explained that when her husband (whom she met and married while in medical school), was matched with a surgical training program in New York, she was hesitant to move with him. “My parents encouraged me to go, to pursue my own life and dreams.”
As working mothers themselves, Drs. Williams, Cresap and Pagan make sure they spend time keeping their own families as happy and healthy as they keep their patients. When Dr. Williams built their new office in 2009, she made sure there was a place for their children to visit. Her own children, 7th and 4th graders at Christ Episcopal School, spend their afternoons in the office doing homework before they head home as a family.
In addition to a weekly ritual of a communal dinner, Dr. Williams and her husband Thad Devier (a commercial contractor who built the Center for Women’s Health) spend the week after Christmas on a family road trip. “We determine an area of the country, make a few hotel reservations and then just go,” Dr. Williams said. “It is a great time for us to be together. We laugh the whole time.”
Dr. Cresap’s husband Randy, an attorney by trade, has taken time off from his career to stay home with their children, ages four and two. Passing on their own love for their alma mater, Dr. Cresap noted that their oldest is already well versed in cheering, “Geaux Tigers!”
Dr. Pagan and her husband, Orlando celebrated their son Diego’s first birthday (and Christening) in November with a whirlwind trip back to Puerto Rico. She is committed to making sure his grandparents are as involved as possible—even at 1,600 miles away—by using Facetime and Skype, along with regular visits.
It is interesting to note that none of the physicians knew they wanted to specialize in OB-GYN until they completed their rotations in the field. As Dr. Cresap said, “Being an OB-GYN is something you either love or you hate. Those who hate it know from the very beginning. But if you love it, it quickly becomes your passion.”
For Dr. Williams, she realized it was a field where she could make a difference. “There are so many physical and emotional challenges that we face as women—many of which I’ve experienced in my own life. It has given me an added perspective and made me a better doctor. It is certainly my calling.
Center for Women’s Health is located at 104 Innwood Drive in Covington. To reach them you can call 985-249-7022 or visit their website klwmd.com.