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UPMC Names Nationally Recognized Specialist to Top Infertility Post at Magee-Womens Hospital

PITTSBURGH, February 26, 2001 — In a move that will make it the region’s largest, most comprehensive site for infertility treatment, Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center today named Anthony N. Wakim, M.D., medical director of Assisted Reproductive Technology and associate director of Clinical Operations, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

“It’s a pleasure for me to join the fine reproductive endocrinology and infertility team at Magee and to collaborate with them in research that will improve infertility treatment,” stated Dr. Wakim. “I look forward to providing couples with the region’s most comprehensive infertility services.” With the addition of Dr. Wakim, the clinical and research capabilities for infertility at Magee will be significantly enhanced, thus improving its ability to help couples achieve pregnancy.

Board certified in obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Wakim has treated thousands of infertile couples and is among the most experienced infertility specialists in the country. He is skilled both in surgical techniques and medical treatments used to treat infertility in women and men. His extensive clinical experience will complement existing services offered by the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Magee.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Wakim to Magee,” said Irma Goertzen, president and CEO, Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “With the largest infertility program in the region, we will be able to help thousands of couples who are experiencing the heartbreak of infertility.”

Dr. Wakim will bring a full staff, including four nurse coordinators, three embryologists and an ultrasound technologist to the program's Monroeville headquarters. There they will join Sarah L. Berga, M.D., division director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility; Gabriella G. Gosman, M.D.; Brinda Kalro, M.D.; Elizabeth A. McGee, M.D., and current staff.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, about 10 percent of the reproductive-age American population is infertile, defined as the inability to conceive a child after at least one year. As reproductive technology becomes more sophisticated, an increasing number of couples is turning to the variety of treatments available to help them conceive.

While infertility is normally due to physiological or genetic abnormalities in either or both the man or woman, the trend is increasing as more couples delay pregnancy until they are older. Because each couple’s infertility problems require personalized treatment, Magee’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility program offers a full range of clinical services, including infertility testing, ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, gamete intra-fallopian transfer, micro-insemination, assisted hatching, co-culture, cryo-preservation, micro-surgeries, egg and sperm donor services and counseling.

Through collaborations with recognized experts in genetics, urology and obstetrics/gynecology, couples will have access to a wide range of services including genetic counseling and testing, surgery and fertility treatments for women and men.

Among the major initiatives to be undertaken by Dr. Wakim are clinical trials to determine which fertility drugs are optimal for stimulating egg production, thus helping a woman achieve pregnancy.

Building up the egg donor program is another of Dr. Wakim’s priorities. “There is an overabundance of infertile, or sub-fertile, women who want to have children but who require donated eggs to do so. Yet there are far too few donor eggs to accommodate them,” he said. “One of our goals is to increase the donor egg pool to meet the needs of women who need them.”

Dr. Wakim’s research interests include infertility and gynecological diseases, and his work has been published in journals including Operative Gynecology, Human Reproduction, Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics and the International Journal of Fertility, among others. He holds memberships in many professional societies, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology and The Endocrine Society. He is chair of the abstract committee for the American Society of Reproductive Surgeons.

Before joining Magee, Dr. Wakim was director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Allegheny University Hospitals, Pittsburgh. He has also been affiliated with the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, as associate professor and chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Wakim received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in 1978. He completed an internship and a residency at the University of Maryland Hospital, and a fellowship at the University of Louisville Hospital.

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