Our care team
At Shady Grove Fertility, support is all around you. We realize this stuff isn’t easy and it often isn’t quick. It’s also something people should never feel like they’re facing alone. That’s why we are all about being there for our patients, in as many ways that we can.
For our patients, we inform, we interact, we consult. We care, we support, and we encourage. We understand and appreciate what you’re going through. Many, many of us have been in your shoes. We identify with you. From a position of empathy and engagement, we will guide you to a better place. A place where, maybe for the first time, you feel like you’re in control—a prideful place with a community of courage surrounding you and embracing you.
Integral members of our support community are our physicians. They are undoubtedly among some of the most respected in the world. And the medicine we practice is some of the most proven and successful. But sometimes the best medicine isn’t just medicine. It’s the legion of believers and encouragers around you. From our nurses to our laboratory specialists, to our clinical assistants and financial services staff, our support staff of 600+ and counting is behind you to cheer you on, comfort you when you’re defeated, and celebrate with you in your successes.
At Shady Grove Fertility, you’re never an island. You’re never without answers. You’re never anything but supported and engaged. Because here, being more means never being on your own.
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From the bottom to the top of the organization, we never stop doing whatever we can to deliver amazing care. I can’t think of any greater privilege than being a part of this passionate team of believers and achievers.
Michael J. Levy, M.D., Founding Partner of Shady Grove Fertility
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Shady Grove Fertility’s physician team is internationally recognized treating patients from across the globe as well as right down the street. Our collective experience has lead to refined reproductive techniques, exposed deeper understandings within the reproductive field, innovative solutions, and success rates that continue to soar.
Our physician team is committed to research and improving patient success, publishing over 100 research studies.
Our physician team is committed to education, training the next generation of physician through residency and fellowship programs. SGF participates in programs with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Walter Reed, University of Maryland, Georgetown University Medical Center, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Lankenau Medical Center of Pennsylvania, Innova Fairfax Hospital, University of South Florida, and University of Colorado.
Our physician team serves as leaders in the field. There are three primary organizations overseeing the field of reproductive endocrinology: American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), and the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI). Among many leadership positions, Shady Grove Fertility’s Medical Director, Eric A. Widra, M.D., is a member of the SART Executive Council and Practice Committee Chair, and Eric D. Levens, M.D., currently serves on several committees including as a SART Executive Council Member and the Quality Assurance Committee Chair, the SREI practice committee, and in the AMA House of Delegates for ASRM.
The advanced practice providers (APP) at Shady Grove Fertility is group comprised of Physician Assistants (PA-C), Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP), and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM). This team is here to enhance the patient’s care and work closely with our physicians in all aspects of the care spectrum from evaluation and management, to many of the procedures.
The role of each advanced practice provider varies from office to office. Their responsibilities include performing ultrasounds, intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), mock embryo transfers, and hysterosalpingograms (HSGs). They review lab results and medical records, as well as counsel patients about genetic screening and educate patients about medications. Several of them also provide care to our donor egg patients. The titles for advanced practice providers may vary based on training. After obtaining undergraduate degrees, most go on to complete a Master’s-level program. Nurse practitioners and midwives are trained in women’s health; while, physician assistants are trained in general medicine and then specialize after graduation. They are all licensed to prescribe medications.
The Shady Grove Fertility state-of-the-art embryology, andrology, and endocrine laboratories have reached national and international distinction for offering highly sophisticated laboratory procedures.
Each physician works one on one with a fertility nurse coordinator and clinical administrative assistant to care for each patient. Together this trio works alongside our patients from the initial consultation all the way through to graduation.
Fertility nurse coordinator
In addition to the physicians, our fertility nurse coordinators are often a primary point of contact with our patients for questions, cycle updates, and results. They help coordinate the care and treatment of our fertility patients by providing education and counseling regarding what to expect throughout the diagnostic and treatment processes. Our nurses provide ovulation induction (OI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure teaching, coordinate patient treatment plans in conjunction with established clinical protocols, and maintain a compassionate environment by providing emotional and psychological support to our patients and their families.
Each fertility nurse coordinator at Shady Grove Fertility is a registered nurse (RN), most of whom have previous experience in a women’s health setting, whether it be at an OB/GYN office or in a hospital in the labor and delivery unit. Upon starting at SGF, each nurse goes through a rigorous fertility training before beginning to work with patients.
Clinical administrative assistant (CAA)
Providing support to patients, physicians, and nurses, is role of your clinical administrative assistant. All CAAs have experience in the medical field, many of whom were previously medical assistants or patient service representatives. At Shady Grove Fertility, the primary role of your CAA is to coordinate your care by scheduling follow-up and monitoring appointments, obtaining prescription authorizations, coordinating lab work and results, and answering general questions. You can certainly rely on your resourceful CAA to help you find answers and point you in the right direction.
While in a treatment cycle—whether it be with intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilitization (IVF), or donor egg—you will come to the office several times for monitoring appointments, which include an ultrasound and bloodwork to evaluate how well you are responding to treatment. During each appointment you will interact with a monitoring team, a well-orchestrated group of professionals whose daily focus is to ensure you have a safe, efficient, and thorough appointment.
Medical assistant (MA)
The first half of your monitoring appointment will likely be with a medical assistant. The MA will draw a blood sample, which the lab will then examine to determine how well you are responding to the medication. This happens to be a part of treatment that many patients understandably fear or dislike; however, you can rest assured in the extensive training and experience of our medical assistants to make the experience quick and easy. From here, your MA will lead you to to the ultrasound area. There, one of our registered sonographers and/or a Shady Grove physician will perform the ultrasound examination and provide feedback.
A sonographer is someone who has completed formal ultrasound training in an American Medical Association (AMA)-approved school, and met the requirements for registry by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), an independent, not-for-profit organization that administers examinations and awards to qualified ultrasound professionals. To operate as a sonographer at Shady Grove Fertility, a candidate must hold a registered vascular technologist (RVT) and registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS) credential as well as demonstrate an understanding and ability to follow clinical procedure protocols. Our sonographers show demonstrated expertise in ultrasound technology administration as well as women’s health and fertility.
The sonographers at Shady Grove Fertility help our physicians by administering and interpreting the transvaginal ultrasounds that are commonly used to help patients at different points in their treatment. Our sonographers performs detailed examinations of the anatomy/pathology, take necessary measurements and calculations, and document results utilizing our electronic medical records system, all while establishing personal rapport with our patients and providing thorough explanations of procedures along the way.
Patient services representative (PSR)
Our caring and compassionate patient services representatives are our front-line staff who answer incoming calls and greet incoming guests, including patients, to our practice. They are the “face” of Shady Grove Fertility and, in some respects, set the tone for the experience. They do so much more than check in patients and help to ensure each patient has his or her completed paperwork, they connect, they console, and they celebrate right alongside our patients. Many SGF team members throughout the practice have been in your shoes, so we are uniquely aware of the highs and lows that often accompany infertility. Our PSRs get involved in your story, hurt when you hurt, and rejoice in your good news. They are there for you to lend you a smile, a listening ear, or some helpful information to make each appointment as easy and efficient as possible.
Every member of your clinical team has a vital role in each patient’s fertility journey and and shares in the joy of creating families.
The financial services representatives at Shady Grove Fertility are integral members of your primary care team—a team whose mission is to enhance your experience. Our patient financial services team members will work very closely with you to make the financial aspects of the process as manageable, understandable, and transparent as possible.
Financial considerations are an important part of any medical care, especially in the decision to pursue fertility treatment. Therefore, Shady Grove Fertility has comprised a team of financial professionals, well versed in the intricacies of managed care, health insurance, and financing to help address your questions and meet your needs.
Our financial services team is comprised of our financial counselors, insurance benefit verification and managed care specialists, billing and collections specialists, financial program administrators, and credentialing and contracting specialists.
A financial counselor at Shady Grove Fertility is someone will who work with you and guide you through your financial journey from beginning to end. Working very closely with your clinical team, he or she is responsible for putting the most advantageous options in front of you and advising you on the pros and cons of each approach, unique to your treatment plan, financial situation, and preferences.
Our financial counselors are at your service to explain to you, in terms that are easy to understand, the cost of treatment and the extent of your infertility insurance benefits prior to starting treatment. Their intricate knowledge of health insurance allows them to help you maximize benefits that may be available to you through your insurance plan. They will provide not only the initial financial consultation to ensure you understand your financial obligations and options but also ongoing financial education and assistance throughout the continuum of care.
Our financial counselors also collaborate with the rest of the patient financial services team to act on your behalf throughout the benefit verification, referral intake, and authorization processing/deposit collection processes. He or she will help you keep your account organized by obtaining, recording, and updating personal, financial, and insurance information.
Your financial counselor acts an educator, advocate, and liaison for you. It is priority #1 to ensure you receive the highest level of customer service possible.
Insurance benefit verification and managed care specialists
Behind the scenes are the managed care specialists who communicate directly with the insurance providers. Their primary goal is to ensure that benefits are verified, authorizations are in place, and documentation requirements are met to avoid delays and denials of coverage. They also work closely with the clinical team and financial counselors throughout the various aspects of the diagnostic and treatment process.
Billing and collections specialists
A billing and collection specialist is responsible for generating timely billing of all charges. He or she reviews outstanding balances to ensure they are processed and paid in a timely manner. They work closely with the patients to collect all balances, from both patient and insurance company, and to see the accounts to resolution. This diligence helps to control overall costs and avoid an outstanding balance being left unpaid. Keeping unpaid fees to a minimum ensures the overall financial health of the practice.
Financial program administrators
Last year, over 3,000 patients participated in a Shady Grove Fertility financial program. These programs are specially designed to help patients access care that otherwise they would not be able to due to financial restrictions and/or a lack of insurance coverage. Two of the most popular programs at Shady Grove Fertility are the Shared Risk 100% Refund Program and the Shared Help Discount Program. Each program has dedicated program administrators who work diligently to intake and process program applications and manage the administrative aspects of the program. These teams ensure a streamlined experience for each patient and strive to make the process as easy as possible.
Credentialing and contracting specialists
In addition to our financial teams who work one-on-one with patients, our credentialing and contracting specialists play a vital role on the patient financial services team. These specialists are focused on ensuring that each physician is appropriately licensed in the states in which he or she practices and meet the requirements set by each individual insurance company. As a result, our physicians are able to accept plans from over 30 insurance providers. This important first step lays the foundation for patients who are planning to use insurance to access the care they need.
All of our financial service representatives are committed to optimizing our patients’ satisfaction and experience. They are available to address any issues that may arise, as well as help you find suitable solutions.
Simply put, the New Patient Centers serves as your first step. Even if you’re not ready to schedule a new patient appointment, we encourage you to call our New Patient Center and speak with one of our patient liaisons. This team of dedicated professionals is available to help you navigate the process and find answers to your questions from the very first phone call.
We warmly welcome all types of families, whether pursuing treatment as an individual or as a couple. We’re here to listen, educate, and advocate for you every step of the way. We understand the emotions and uncertainty that surrounds infertility; in fact, many of us have been in your shoes, so you’ll find nothing but compassion and encouragement from the members of our team.
Thew New Patient Center can help prepare you for your initial consult as well as address preliminary questions about testing, treatment, and financial options.
Caring for your emotional well-being is as important to us as treating your infertility and we understand that each couple’s experience and needs are different. That is why we have several, varied support resources integrated into the fertility program at Shady Grove Fertility that are available throughout the Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, and Philadelphia, PA, metropolitan regions.
As you are likely well aware, infertility can be a stressful experience. Experts often say that infertility is a life crisis for some couples and the emotions that often arise are real and can be difficult to navigate through. From the time we are born, the discussion begins about our future, about what we want to be when we grow up, and about marriage and family. Most of us as boys and girls, when looking into that far distant future, see ourselves becoming a parent at some point in our lives.
So when infertility strikes and you realize that something you thought was a given, like having children, may not be so easy and make take medical intervention, increased stress levels are a natural response.
Our goal at Shady Grove Fertility is to provide resources and support to reduce the stress associated with infertility from a medical, emotional, and financial perspective. We encourage everyone to establish support networks by tapping into our resources or finding other avenues that work best for you. Seeking (and accepting) support is like weaving a safety net for yourself—the more connections or stands of support you have the stronger your net becomes. A strong support network lifts us up when we get low providing the strength we need to keep moving forward in the direction of our dreams.