With the upcoming grand opening of WakeMed’s newest facility in North Raleigh, we are getting a lot of questions about our practice and delivery location(s).  I thought it would be a good idea to explain our plans in this forum and hope that you all understand our decision.  


First off, when we heard of the plans for making WakeMed North a women’s hospital, we knew the day would come when we had to make a choice:  Move to the bright new hospital, or stay put at “Big Wake”?  It is a decision we have agonized over for years; strategizing the best way we can be of value to our patients.  What it comes down to is the following:


  • Do we move to the “pretty new hospital” in a part of town where most of our newly pregnant patients live, and by doing so, essentially abandon our high risk patients?

  • Do we stay at “big wake” where we can take care of ALL of our patients, and hope that the relationships we have built with our patients will keep them driving an extra 15 minutes to see us there.


Well, we have chosen the latter of the two options.  We choose patient care over location. Caring for our patients at WakeMed Raleigh on New Bern Ave allows us to provide our services to almost everyone.  We deliver babies from 24 weeks to past due.  We have the easiest of low risk patients and the highest of high risk ones.  For over 30 years, Kamm McKenzie OBGYN has been the only practice that will rarely turn a patient away or transfer them to another group.  In the 5 years that I have been with this practice, I can count on 1 hand the number of patients we transferred out for conditions that were too complex for even our level of care.  I know I speak for all my partners in saying that we are proud of that.  But don’t get me wrong, we still thrive on the low risk deliveries too!  A good combination is what makes our job so rewarding.  


WakeMed Raleigh on New Bern has the 10th lowest primary cesarean section rate of any hospital in America delivering 2000 babies or more.  We are very proud of this, as this is out of 1500 hospitals in 22 states. (See this link.)  We are a big part of this as we deliver 20% of the babies at WakeMed Raleigh.  Believe or not, the primary c-section rates at the other WakeMed location in town and at Rex are markedly higher than ours.  


Another thing that has helped with our decision is the renovations to the Mother/Baby portions of WakeMed Raleigh.  Three years ago they completely remodeled the postpartum unit and on May 20th this year (near when WakeMed North opens), phase 1 of the newly remodeled Labor and Delivery unit will be open for business.  The rooms are designed with the same quality and attention to aesthetic as the new hospital’s L&D rooms.


We are going to run into three categories of patients:

  1. Patients who want to deliver with us and plan on staying with us and delivering at WakeMed Raleigh.

  2. Patients who want to delivery at WakeMed North no matter what and they do not really care who does their actually delivery.

  3. Patients who want to delivery at WakeMed North and want to know the providers in the practice that will be delivering them.


We hope that most of patients choose category 1.  At WakeMed we can take care of you and your baby, no matter what happens.  We have ICUs, neonatal ICUs, immediate help available by experts in others fields, etc.  These are services 99% of you will never need.  But if you are the 1%, we want to be prepared.


For those in category 2, we can still care for your during and after your pregnancy.  If you insist on delivering at WakeMed North, there will be a group of “Laborists” available.  “Laborists” are well-trained doctors that do not have an office.  They take care of women on labor and delivery and postpartum only.  If there are any complications with your deliver or your baby, you and/or the baby will be transferred to WakeMed Raleigh where we can take care of you.  You would then come to see us for any postpartum care.


For those in category 3, and we hope it is few of you, as we care deeply about each one of our patients, I presume you have already or will be transferring care to another practice.  If there are any pregnancy complication that require more care than can be offered at WakeMed North, you will be transferred to WakeMed Raleigh where you will be cared for by the high-risk OB teaching service.    We wish you well and look forward to seeing you in the future for any of your women’s health needs.  


Finally, on a personal level, heart to heart here… I want to be part of your pregnancy AND your delivery.  I chose OBGYN for my career not because I like the long hours, enjoy working several weekend days a month, or love spending 24hr straight at the hospital once a week; but rather because being the one at the bedside when your baby is born is a unique and very gratifying experience.  I want each of my patients during their pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum to have the best quality of care.  I am confident that we provide that care.


We want to deliver your baby and hope that those of you who live in North Raleigh will drive 15 extra minutes to WakeMed Raleigh on New Bern Ave to allow us to provide, what we feel, is the best possible care for you and your baby.