Ventura County's first in-vitro fertilization center opened its doors to patients Wednesday, providing what Westlake Medical Center officials hope will be a solution for hundreds of infertile patients who seek treatment each year.
The center, established under a partnership agreement between the hospital and Pacific Fertility Centers, a Northern California-based private medical company, will offer infertile couples a full range of high-technology procedures, including in-vitro fertilization, egg donation, vasectomy reversal and daily monitoring of patients taking fertility drugs.
The facility, which straddles the boundary between Ventura and Los Angeles counties, will also provide the public with free, ongoing seminars on available technology and information on specific types of infertility problems.
"We've done a lot of research and felt it was a service not provided to the area," said K.D. Justyn, Westlake Medical Center administrator. "We thought it was time to have fertility services closer to home."
Until now, infertile couples in the county have had fairly limited choices. According to Resolve Inc., a nationwide infertility support organization, the county has had no full-time fertility specialist. Most patients have had to travel to the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles for daily monitoring and high-technology procedures.
Justyn said a major advantage to the hospital's partnership with Pacific Fertility Centers, which now operates six fertility centers in three states, was the practically nonexistent financial risk involved. Besides absorbing the estimated $1 million cost of building the center's laboratory--slated for completion by the end of this year--Pacific Fertility Centers also is providing the medical training and personnel for the center.
Michael Feinman, formerly the in-vitro fertilization program director at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, is the new Westlake Village center director.