Northwestern Memorial named one of nation's top 12 hospital-affiliated infertility clinics


List compiled by Castle Connolly appears in July, 2004 issue of Town & Country

The division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Northwestern Memorial Hospital has been named one of the top 12 hospital-affiliated infertility clinics in the country and one of the Midwest's top three, according to a list published in the July, 2004 issue of Town & Country magazine.

Northwestern Memorial's multidisciplinary team of reproductive endocrinologists and scientists is known for its outstanding pregnancy rates, together with one of the lowest rates of triplets in the country.

Ralph R. Kazer, M.D., chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Northwestern Memorial, was spotlighted as a top doctor associated with Northwestern's renowned program. "Our unit was very excited to have received this recognition," said Dr. Kazer. "Our success reflects the cumulative efforts of a large and dedicated group of individuals."

Northwestern's team, comprised of five full-time physicians and three Ph.D.'s, provides a wide range of clinical services for women with various gynecologic, hormonal and reproductive disorders. These doctors are also engaged in a number of clinical research projects related to new treatments for age-related infertility, patients requiring in vitro fertilization (IVF), as well as cancer and reproduction.

The program's faculty and staff members currently perform over 500 oocyte retrievals per year. They offer embryo cryopreservation, micromanipulation, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Donor insemination, ovulation induction with on site ultrasound evaluation and contemporary surgical approaches to infertility are also provided. In addition, they offer a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic options for infertile patients or couples, including patients with endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and various reproductive endocrinopathies.

More than 6 million people in the United States, or 10 percent of the reproductive-age population, are infertile, according to the most recent National Survey of Family Growth, published in 1995. Between 1996 and 2001 the reported number of cycles of in vitro fertilization increased by about 68 percent, says the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. These increasing numbers prompted Town & Country to write an article about infertility and offer readers a list of the top infertility centers in the country to help them in their search for a high-quality treatment center.

"It was important for us to publish this special section because more couples than ever are experiencing infertility, and the field of infertility medicine, with all its recent advances, has become so complex," said Janet Carlson Freed, beauty and health director at Town & Country. "The key message that 'age is the No. 1 risk factor for infertility' is particularly relevant because many of our readers are in their late thirties and forties, when fertility declines markedly. Our mission was to acknowledge the immense challenge, the hope and the heartache that the journey into ART treatment often brings, and to arm our audience with the latest, most important information to help them make the best decisions for themselves."

Town & Country partnered with Castle Connolly to identify the nation's 12 leading centers for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility based on a variety of factors related to clinical and research excellence.

Dr. Kazer resides in Oak Park, Illinois with his wife, Gayle Riedmann, and their three children.

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