Like a friend, Mountain View Women’s Health is always here for you… with two board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologists – Dr. Alford N. Vassall, Jr., Dr. Mercedes Goebel, and Physician Assistant, Carley A. Jacobs.
Our caring and compassionate team of professionals provide treatment for women of all ages with gynecological and obstetrical needs, including general and high risk obstetrical care, well-woman care, family planning, peri-menopausal/menopausal care, gynecological surgery, treatment for urinary incontinence and UTIs, and infertility services.
Mountain View Women’s Health is affiliated with The Birth Center at Mason General Hospital and Oakland Bay Pediatrics, for a seamless continuity of care. Gynecological procedures are also performed in the Surgery Department at MGH, bringing together every aspect of care with close-to-home convenience.
The Clinic is part of Public Hospital District No.1, which consists of Mason General Hospital, MGH Walk-In Clinic, MGH Ankle & Foot, MGH Eye Clinic, MGH Family Health, MGH Hoodsport Family Clinic, MGH Shelton Orthopedics, MGH Surgery Clinic, MGH Oakland Bay Pediatrics, MGH Olympic Physicians, MGH Mountain View Women's Health, and MGH Shelton Family Medicine.
Our team of professionals at Mountain View Women’s Health provide quality care for women of all ages with gynecological and obstetrical needs. To schedule an appointment call (360) 426-0955.
Awareness and Early Screening of Gynecological Cancers is Key to Prevention
While breast cancer is a hot topic in the national media, it's important to be informed on other women's cancers that don't get much media attention. Gynecologic cancers are cancers that affect the female reproductive organs, including the ovaries, endometrium, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, peritoneum, vagina and vulva. And, just as women have become more aware of the warning signs of breast cancer, it’s equally important for women to understand the facts about gynecologic cancer.
Roughly 71,500 women in the United States each year are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, and the risk increases with age. The most common gynecologic cancer is endometrial/uterine cancer, which affects more than 52,000 women annually in the U.S.
The key to lowering the risk for these cancers is preventive care and early diagnosis. And for many women, that may mean taking time out from busy family and work schedules to put their health first.
“Understand your own risk factors – and your family history – and have an open dialog with your primary care physician.” - Dr. Maurie Markman, President of Medicine & Science, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
TAKE PREVENTIVE ACTION
You can play an active role in reducing your chance of developing gynecologic cancers. A key factor for survival of these cancers is early diagnosis.
• Make healthy choices for yourself, such as a well-balanced diet, an active lifestyle, quitting or avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and safe sex practices.
• Make time for an annual physical. A Pap test is an important check for abnormal cells in the cervix, because in most cases of cervical cancer there are no noticeable symptoms. Routine pelvic exams may also improve the likelihood of early detection for endometrial cancer. For women over 30, the HPV test screens for high-risk HPV strains that may lead to cervical cancer.
• Educate yourself on your health history and your family’s health history. Having close relatives on either side of the family who have had ovarian cancer increases a woman’s chance of getting ovarian cancer herself.
Cervical cancer tends to occur during midlife. Most cases are found in women under the age of 50, and it is linked to human papillomaviruses (HPV).
Endometrial cancer is rare for women under the age of 45; most cases are found in women over 50.
Ovarian cancer affects up to 5% of women who have it in their family histories. It has the highest mortality of the gynecologic cancers, killing more than 14,000 women annually in the United States.
[SOURCE: Cancer Treatment Centers of America, 2015]
Mountain View Women's Health and MGH Birth Center work together for "Women's Services"
It is important for women to have a stable, coordinated system of health care. The staff at Mountain View Women’s Health (MVWH), a part of Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics, is working hard to provide this environment for women of all ages. In doing so they have created “Women’s Services” in collaboration with The Birth Center at MGH.
“The aim is to make a woman’s continuing health care seamless, and for patients to have easier access to services,” said Marcia Rohlik, R.N., BSN, director of Women’s Services.
MVWH currently provides coordinated care for women’s obstetric, gynecological and urological health needs, with future plans to include women’s breast health, and other services unique to women
“Women are different at a cellular level, and they need a different kind of care. We want to bring awareness to this fact,” said Rohlik. “In this collaborative approach to care, a woman should never feel like she is going through health and wellness issues alone.”
Marcia went on to explain that MVWH office staff, board-certified physicians, and Birth Center Manager Kris Gaa, R.N., have coordinated patient care for years, and how their “team approach” to care is proving to be an effective model. “We want to choose the best information possible from all providers to keep us all working together from ‘the same sheet of music,’ so to speak,” said Rohlik. Mountain View Women’s Health’s Office Manager Misti Webb is a big part of this process, too.
“Misti and I meet each week to share information. She talks office, and I share clinical information. We want to provide women with comprehensive support by removing barriers in their continuity of care and getting care to them sooner,” she said. “This crossover not only benefits pregnant women, but women of all ages and stages of life who have medical needs outside of the clinic, including hospital care.” The women agree that this collaboration is unique and what makes their Women’s Services exceptional.
“Each department knows what’s going on with each patient,” said Webb, adding that “Women can expect quality care at Mountain View Women’s Health because the staff is supportive and works to make sure the patient is priority number one”.
One patient commented, “My concerns are always addressed and I don’t have to wait too long for my questions to be answered. Follow-up is great too, and my provider always calls to make sure I’m okay.”
“Being a rural clinic doesn’t mean we have to offer a lesser quality of service; but we have to do it right – and our goal is to do it better,” said Rohlik. She offered an example of a woman scheduled for a C-section who had significant other health concerns. “Misti and I were in contact about her needs for over a month. We collaborated with all departments to make sure her delivery went smoothly,” she said.
While delivering babies is only one service they provide, a good birthing experience for patients is a priority. “We have a goal, and we are working towards it – and the birth rate at MGH is picking up. We are constantly asking our patients, ‘Why would you choose to have your baby elsewhere?’ We ask this question because we want to know why women would go out of the area for delivery. It is important for us to listen to their needs and then make adjustments,” Rohlik said. Personalized Birthing Plans, which can include a variety of pain management options for labor and delivery, are a standard part of pre-natal care at MVWH.
ACOG Women's Health Information
For videos, fact sheets, Q&A's and information on Women's Health Issue's
Help Available Locally for Women's Bladder Issues
Thanks to trained specialists and a new piece of equipment, women can now be seen locally at Mountain View Women’s Health (MVWH) in Shelton, for a diagnosis of bladder function issues. Since June, 2013 MVWH has been helping women with bladder issues, using a new piece of medical equipment that provides urodynamic bladder function testing.
“We see many patients with a need for this kind of care, and with research, found that the nearest providers were in Tacoma or Gig Harbor, and they all had significant wait times,” said Misti Webb, office manager at MVWH. Webb was instrumental in helping the Clinic’s team research the technology that will make MVWH a local solution for women in need of these services.
“Dr. Vassall and I did the research on wait times, equipment, and what the actual need in this community is.” added Webb, “and we found that the need was high.”
In fact, when a letter was sent to patients asking if they would be willing to get involved in testing the new equipment, the Clinic received more than 14 requests from women who wanted to participate.
Urodynamic testing will give physicians access to more accurate information, and Webb said the technology will also provide a computer summary of results, that actually measures findings for patients.
“The continuity of care we’ll be able to provide will be significantly better with this new equipment. I’m excited to be able offer this service to our patients, and the physicians are really excited as well,” said Webb, adding that the new testing will reveal to the physicians why a patient is having a problem. “Now they’ll actually be able to fix the problem, rather than just applying a band-aid solution,” said Webb.
"Getting to Know Us" Tours of the Birth Center at MGH
Mountain View Women’s Health is affiliated with The Birth Center at Mason General Hospital. The Birth Center invites parents-to-be to take a “Getting To Know Us” tour of their facility, to meet the Birth Center staff, ask questions, and discuss concerns about breastfeeding, labor, and delivery. Mountain View Women’s Health obstetricians work with Birth Center staff to help mothers with their own Birthing Plan, including their choice of pain management, from natural birth to epidural. Call Mountain View Women’s Health at (360) 426-0955 to schedule a tour of The Birth Center.
Meet the Physicians
Alford N. Vassall, Jr. M.D.
Board Certified OB/GYN
Alford N. Vassall, Jr., M.D.
Dr. Vassall studied medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He is board-certified, and has been an Obstetrician/Gynecologist at Mountain View Women’s Health in Shelton since July of 2009. Dr. Vassall likes caring for pregnant women and being around babies, and really appreciates sharing in the entire birth and delivery process. He enjoys working at Mountain View Women’s Health because of the high quality of its office staff, out-patient services, and follow-up care.
Dr. Vassall graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN, in 1978; did his internship at Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, NY; and his residency at SUNY, Buffalo, NY, in 1985.
Mercedes Goebel, M.D.
Board Certified OB/GYN
Mercedes Goebel, M.D.
Mercedes Goebel, M.D., recently joined the women’s health care team at MGH Mountain View Women’s Health and the medical staff at Mason General Hospital. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and highly qualified in all aspects of gynecological care and surgery, as well as contraceptive management, and obstetrics. Dr. Goebel obtained her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York in 2001; and completed her internship and residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital/Jackson Health System, Jackson, FL. With a special interest in adolescent female care, Dr. Goebel welcomes younger patients who may have a gender preference for their personal health issues.
Carley A. Jacobs, PA-C
Board Certified, NCCPA
Carley A. Jacobs
Carley joined the medical staff at Mountain View Women’s Health in Novemeber, 2012. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a Spanish language minor from Western Washington University in 2002; and in 2007 completed her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies at Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA. Carley worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant at the Cordata Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham, WA in 2002; and as a Physician Assistant at Woodstock Internal Medicine Specialists, Inc., Woodstock, VA since 2004. She is board-certified with the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
Carley’s experience is mainly in primary care rural medicine, and she has a particular interest in women’s health and preventive medicine. She and her husband are both originally from Washington State, and have relocated back to the west coast where they enjoy the rural setting.
Here's what our patients have to say....
"Great doctors, amazingly friendly staff. I never have to wait long for an appointment."
"I had so many problems getting pregnant, multiple doctors elsewhere, and thanks to MVWH I now have a beautiful baby boy. Best doctors’ office ever."
"Staff is so friendly and caring. They try to accommodate patients in any way they can.""My concerns are always addressed immediately and with great follow up. I don’t have to wait too long for my questions to be answered. My own provider even calls me to make sure I am okay."
Mountain View Women's Health Redecorates!
Mountain View Women’s Health recently redecorated its waiting room, patient rooms, and work areas.
Misti Webb, office manager, shows off the newly-painted and accessorized waiting room.
Board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist Alford N. Vassall, Jr., M.D., spends time on a patient’s electronic medical chart in the work area.
Sometimes a mother-to-be needs to undergo a Fetal Non Stress Test, and this is the room – complete with TV monitor and videos – where she can sit comfortably for the test. “Patients are finding the new decor refreshing and fun,” said Ms. Webb.
Congratulations to Mountain View Women’s Health
For a very successful score in an “unannounced” Department of Health Rural Health Clinic Survey conducted in February. Office Manager Karen Sperry, the providers, and staff continually work hard to maintain the clinic in a state of “survey readiness”. The Surveyor was very impressed with the clinic operations, their documentation, and performance in every aspect of the detailed survey. “This is an important milestone for MVWH, as it was their first Rural Health Clinic Survey since becoming part of MGH&FC,” said Terry Megiveron, chief of provider services.
What does an annual physical for a woman include?
For some women, the annual physical examination is a source of reassurance that they’re as healthy as they feel. Others see it as an alarm system, to catch health problems before they become serious. What can you expect from your annual physical exam?
- History – This is your chance to mention any complaints or concerns about your health. Your doctor will also likely quiz you about important behaviors, like smoking, excessive alcohol use, sexual health, diet, and exercise. The doctor will also check on your vaccination status and update your personal and family medical history.
- Vital Signs – These are some vital signs checked by your doctor:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Respiration rate
- General Appearance – Your doctor gathers a large amount of information about you and your health just by watching and talking to you. How is your memory and mental quickness? Does your skin appear healthy? Can you easily stand and walk?
- Heart Exam – Listening to your heart with a stethoscope, a doctor might detect an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur, or other clues to heart disease.
- Lung Exam – Using a stethoscope, a doctor listens for crackles, wheezes, or decreased breath sounds. These can be clues to the presence of heart or lung disease.
- Head and Neck Exam – Opening up and saying “ah” shows off your throat and tonsils. The quality of your teeth and gums also provides information about your overall health. Ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid, and carotid arteries are also examined.
- Abdominal Exam – Your doctor can use a range of examination techniques including tapping your abdomen to detect liver size and presence of abdominal fluid, listening for bowel sounds with a stethoscope, and palpating for tenderness.
- Neurological Exam – Nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and mental state are assessed.
- Dermatological Exam – Skin and nail findings could indicate a dermatological problem or disease somewhere else in the body.
- Extremities Exam – Your doctor will look for physical and sensory changes. Pulses can be checked in your arms and legs. Examining joints can assess for abnormalities.