The Mission and Women Behind Ovatures

If you’re reading this, you’re probably curious about Ovatures. Are we a health care company? Are we a fertility center? Are we a women’s support group?

Well, we’re a little bit of all three. Ovatures is an egg donation clinic and egg bank where women can donate their eggs to other women who can’t use their own eggs to have a child. We care for women with compassion and integrity at the highest standards of reproductive medicine. We provide a platform for women to empower one another through the most precious gift of all: life. And we absolutely love what we do.

Through its affiliation with The RMA Network, the country’s leading fertility group (both in scientific research and IVF pregnancy success rates), Ovatures is able to provide unparalleled clinical care to patients who choose to donate eggs or use donor eggs. The RMA connection gives Ovatures patients access to some of the best doctors, embryology labs and medical protocols in the country, which all culminate to provide donors the safest, most successful experience possible.

Donating at Ovatures means you’ll be cared for by the same group of medical professionals who helped develop genetic testing for embryos; the same group of scientists who have excelled at not only freezing – but thawing – donated eggs; and the same group of researchers who make strides every day to help more women get pregnant against the odds.

Ovatures donors can donate eggs at RMA fertility clinics in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and California, and RMA patients in those states can choose donor eggs from women who donated at any of those locations.

Donors will be cared for by local RMA doctors and nurses, and supported by a dedicated Ovatures team located in New Jersey, at RMA headquarters. This team works with a donor’s local doctor and nurse to provide a personalized, supportive experience that helps donors feel safe and cared for during the egg donation process, with every one of their questions and concerns answered – with pleasure.

Meet the women behind Ovatures.

Dr. Marie Werner, who practices out of RMA New Jersey’s Basking Ridge and Eatontown clinics, is the lead fertility doctor at Ovatures. Dr. Werner is a board-certified OBGYN and Reproductive Endocrinologist, as well as a High-complexity Clinical Laboratory Director, meaning she has unique qualifications to manage an embryology laboratory.

Dr. Werner completed her Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) fellowship at RMA New Jersey, where she trained in clinical medicine, molecular genetics and embryology. Prior to that, Dr. Werner completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, where she served as the administrative chief resident, and before that, her medical degree from New Jersey Medical School.

She believes the heart of reproductive medicine lies in the embryology laboratory, and feels proud to help women give back to other women in the most personal way – a chance at building their family.

Soft spoken, sharp and endlessly kind, Dr. Werner puts the safety, health and comfort of donors above all.

Working alongside Dr. Werner to provide care to donors is a small but dedicated team of registered nurses.

Two of them are Jennifer Hussein and Catherine Blodgett, who organize donors’ treatment cycles, monitor donors for progress during those cycles and generally assist donors by talking, educating and counseling them from the moment they become patients until after their egg retrieval procedure.

Jennifer, a New Jersey native who prior to Ovatures worked as a nurse in the pediatric, nursery and mother-baby units of the Hoboken University Medical Center, said that her favorite part of working at Ovatures is being able to interact with and help patients face to face, something she wasn’t able to do in her first career as a medical technologist, almost a decade ago.

“I started off my career path in Biotechnology and worked in an Oncology lab,” Jennifer said. “One day I was working on a case that I desperately wanted to know more about and interact with the patient on, but since I worked in a lab, I couldn’t. I decided this was my time to go into nursing. I needed to be able to speak with my patients and felt that with nursing I could help them more than I could in the lab. After seeing some close friends and family struggle with their own infertility issues, I decided to become an IVF nurse.”

Jennifer works alongside Catherine, another Ovatures nurse who spends her days supporting donors and patients considering using donor eggs.

“My goal is to provide top quality nursing care to patients with a focus on education,” Catherine said. “I try to become an additional support in their life.”

That support comes in many forms, including shedding some happy tears.

“One of my very first patients was really hesitant about using a donor at first, but ending up just writing the sweetest letter to her donor. It brought tears to my eyes and even the donor told me that reading the letter made her agree to donate again.”

Rounding out the Ovatures care team are coordinators, who are the first lines of contact for women considering egg donation and seeking more information. One of them is J’Keera Stephens, who says the Ovatures team is her “home.”

“Sometimes when a family comes to me, they can feel pretty hopeless,” J’Keera said. “I enjoy being able to provide information and (hopefully) eggs or embryos to help them realize their dream of having a family. It’s the hope being restored and the happiness that these families express that make my job most enjoyable.”

J’Keera, a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves and former member of the U.S. Army National Guard, has been with Ovatures since 2012 and helps match patients with donor eggs and embryos. She said she’ll never forget the first time she matched a patient with a donor to help the patient grow her family.

“I was nervous and not quite sure how ‘matching’ was supposed to go, but then after a few short months of being the recipient liaison, I made my first suggestion to a recipient with an egg donor profile to consider accepting,” J’Keera said. “That recipient was just as nervous as I was, as she was young and still coming to terms with having to work with an egg donor to create a family. It was also the egg donor’s very first donation cycle, so this was a new experience for all of us. The egg donor turned out to be a rock star, giving her recipient 21 embryos to work with. The recipient now has 3 children (7 year-old-twin girls and a 5-year-old son) and continues to update me yearly on their health and lives. She contacts me throughout the year just to give thanks. She’s the patient that I’ll never forget and her cycle is one experience I’ll always treasure.”

The truth is J’Keera remembers all the courageous women she works with, including one patient who called her Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz. She happens to like the comparison, and wishes all her patients – from donors to recipients – the gift of seeing their own opportunity; for donors to give and for recipients to receive.

“You’ve always had the power, my dear,” she recited. “You’ve had it all along. You just had to see it for yourself.”

 

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