For Krysten Schmidt, “ladies first” is more than just a polite truism – it is a passion.
“I have always been passionate about women’s health,” she said. “We all have a niche, and I found mine.”
That’s why she has opened “Ladies First,” a gynecological care clinic at 47A Batavia City Centre in Batavia.
Services at “Ladies First” is available to females age 13 and older and includes:
routine annual exams;
vaginal and urinary tract infection diagnosis and treatment;
STD diagnosis and treatment;
menopausal care; and
Schmidt, of Batavia, draws from a 20-year nursing career that has allowed her to work with all kinds of patients "from babies to geriatrics.”
Prior to her new venture, she was a nurse practitioner at the Women's Care Center of United Memorial Medical Center and at the general practice of Mary Obear, M.D., in Pembroke. She has also worked at St. Jerome's and HomeCare & Hospice.
One of the perks she has noticed in being a nurse practitioner is that it fosters a holistic view of the patient.
"I think being a nurse practitioner rather than an M.D., you look at the patient as a whole (rather than) just focus on what the patient came to the office that day for."
To that end, she has worked hard to give "Ladies First" a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere -- complete with solid, Amish-made maple cabinets from Pennsylvania, hardwood flooring and walls painted a warm terra cotta.
"My patients are loving the non-medical feel of the office," Schmidt said.
Construction of "Ladies First" started the first week of August. Schmidt's husband, Edward, collaborated with the contractors in renovating the vacant space next to the office of Lalit Jain, M.D., and "worked hard to get the place done on time."
Once that phase of the project was completed, then came the marketing phase. "Ladies First" has had a very good run so far, and Schmidt attributes much of its success to word of mouth.
"Let's face it," she said, "most women are not going to pick their GYN provider out of the Yellow Pages. Most of my patients come from referrals from their friends, family and coworkers."
Still, Schmidt has done her part to put "Ladies First" out there. She took part in the Business Improvement District's "Taste of Fall Wine Walk," which brought about 300 people to the office. She has also been printing T-shirts and advertising (including on The Batavian).
All of this effort flows from Schmidt's strong desire to use her expertise in the service of other women.
"Women seem to relate better to other women when discussing birth control, menstrual cycles, menopause and sexual health. They are more open to discussion."
Most insurance programs will cover a visit to "Ladies First," according to Schmidt.
"We do have a reduced fee for cash-paying patients depending on the service they need," she said.
As a nurse practitioner, Schmidt cannot provide any surgical or pregnancy-related care. For that, she will refer patients to her collaborating physician, Richard Edwards, M.D.
"Ladies First" is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to noon Fridays. It is closed on Wednesdays.
For more information, call 343-6600.
Photo courtesy of Krysten Schmidt