A healthcare issue in America today is the growing epidemic of obesity. And, with obesity being a significant factor in leading to diabetes, one of the specialties that has evolved in obstetrics and gynecology is maternal-fetal medicine.
John Elliott, M.D., founded Valley Perinatal in 2013 to focus on the high-risk obstetrics of diabetic moms. “Our role is to provide coordinated care that is not available in an OB-GYN office,” he says. The practice encompasses dietitians, who provide nutritional advice and educate patients about food to try to keep blood sugar at a normal level; diabetes nurse practitioners; and physicians. Patients include women with pre-gestational diabetes as well as those with gestational diabetes (the 5-7 percent of pregnant women whose pregnancy made them a temporary diabetic).
“Patients are sent to us from all over the state, and we do a lot of telemedicine,” Dr. Elliott says, explaining the practice contracts with the major health insurance carriers, AHCCCS plans and Medicare. Since opening the practice in 2013 with five offices — in Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix and two in Mesa that he, as the only perinatologist in that network, visited one day each per week — he opened a sixth office in Glendale earlier this year and is looking at an opportunity to move into the Tucson market.