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Meet the Women of Dr. Tanya Williams Fertility Center

TW Fertility Centre - March 23, 2021 - 0 comments

March is Women’s History Month, and for us, it’s a time to reflect on all the contributions women have made and continue to make in our daily life. This year, we’d like to celebrate by getting to know the staff members at Dr. Tanya Williams Fertility Centre. Women’s health is at the heart of everything we do, and our staff dedicate themselves to the patients that walk through our doors as if they were their own family.


So today, we’ll chat with five of the women on our team, ranging from laboratory technicians to registered nurses, that help our patients conceive healthy babies and lead fulfilling lives. So we hope you grab a cup of tea and enjoy learning about the women that make our fertility clinic special.

The Women Who Make Dr. Tanya Williams Fertility Center Possible

Lori OConnor - Registered Nurse

Lori OConnor is a registered nurse with 13 years at the fertility center. She’s our veteran interviewee! Lori has over thirty years of experience working in hospitals in Toronto. Lori and Dr. Williams’ relationship spans decades. In fact, she met Dr. Williams at Rouge Valley Hospital when the doctor practiced in the Maternal Newborn Unit. 


Lori makes sure patients have all the medication they’ll need and teaches them how to administer it. During the day, she performs procedures and gives results on certain tests, and takes the lead with some of Dr. Williams’ instructions. There’s lots of multitasking but it’s also very rewarding.


Lori, what drew you towards working in the fertility field?


I chose this specialty because I felt it would be wonderful to work alongside women and couples and help make their dreams come true. I started my career working with new mothers and newborns then had the pleasure of helping pregnant women with female gynecology. So I thought it’d be wonderful to finish my career by assisting with the creation of life and families.


Why do you think discussions about women’s health and fertility are important?


It is so important to understand that our health and well-being start with self-love. To be mentally and physically healthy, we need to pay attention to what our bodies need. In turn, we can help provide the foundation for fertility.

Rona - Lab Technician

Next is Rona. She’s part of our medical laboratory staff and began as a student on placement in 2019. Since then, she has worked with us full time. She loves her job because it was the same work she did in the Philippines, her home country, and she’s glad to be able to pursue her career in Canada.


Rona, what exactly do you do in the lab at Dr. Tanya Williams Fertility Centre?


“Almost everything! From patient interaction to blood sample draws. I receive specimens to be processed for insemination, send out specimens to other labs, and run the machine for hormone processing. I also take care of laboratory supplies.”


What’s your fondest memory while working at the clinic?


“Of course when there is a positive pregnancy that’s a fond moment. But also good camaraderie with colleagues and when patients get excited about doing their pregnancy test, that’s great as well.”

Donna Metzner - Registered Nurse

Donna Metzer’s career, on the other hand, has been a little less straightforward. She began as an in-home nurse, then moved to a busy floor of Mount Sinai Hospital. For years Donna thrived when helping patients with end-of-life care. But after starting a family of her own, she had to retire from the long hours of hospital work.


Her day at the fertility clinic is a busy one. She’s our main point of contact with our patients, answering their questions, explaining medications and protocols and making sure everyone leaves with everything they need.


What interested you in working at a fertility clinic?


“Over the years women’s health was always an interest of mine, if for no other reason but to understand what I was experiencing. I lived through PCOS, irregular cycles, periods of infertility, and I had a high-risk pregnancy. 


Thankfully, Dr. Williams took a chance on me to restart my career. I found a new passion for helping women through their fertility journey. Although my long career took many twists and turns, my passion for helping others has always been at my core.”


What three words would you use to describe your approach to providing care and why?


“Personalized compassionate care. We all have our journey through life with unique experiences, cultural pressures, and medical history. Although patients enter our clinic for help with fertility, I recognize that everyone is unique and needs different things. 


Some of the patients need to understand every little piece of their chart, while others just want simple instructions of their next steps. Some of the patients just need a listening ear and others want someone to help celebrate their success. It’s my job to see where I can best help them through their journey.”

Maria De Souza - RPN-CM Nurse

Maria De Souza is a Registered Practical Nurse. She’s been with us for a few months, and before working here, she worked as a nurse in an egg donor program. Now, she’s a cycle monitoring (CM) nurse. 


Her work helps her get close to her patients, checking their charts as they come in for various tests and procedures. Maria loves that her job changes throughout the day. A CM nurse needs critical thinking and a wealth of medical knowledge.


Why do you think discussions about women’s health and fertility are important nowadays? 


“It is very important because there are still many stigmas, barriers and lack of knowledge related to fertility and women’s health. Many still believe that infertility only affects women, which cannot be further from the truth. Also, fertility treatments can sometimes be costly, but that should not stop people from getting the help and treatment that they need. 


Due to the world we live in today, more and more women decide to postpone their “start of a family” to a later date, which can become a great issue in the long run… as we age, our chances of getting pregnant and staying pregnant decrease, which means that the chances of having a miscarriage and high-risk pregnancy increase. Therefore, we need more awareness and more open discussions about fertility, because it matters.” 


What would you say sets Dr. Tanya Williams Fertility Centre apart from other clinics in Toronto?


“First, Dr. Williams is an amazing and dedicated doctor. Besides being very thorough in her practice, she puts her patients’ safety first. She tailors their treatment on a case-by-case manner. Nothing she does is “cookie-cutter!” She knows her patients well and is driven by the latest research. 


Because Dr. Williams is such a wonderful person, it’s no surprise that her staff choices would not be different. Dr. Tanya Williams Fertility Centre has incredible team members that work very well together to make a positive and safe environment for everyone. It is a pleasure to work with so many lovely people. I am very fortunate to be part of this team.”

Catherine Granale-Castaneda - Medical Laboratory Technician

Catherine Granale-Castaneda believes that Dr. William’s commitment to her patients is what separates the clinic from others in Toronto. For her, working at the fertility centre has also been a big step in furthering her career. She began as an intern, then Dr. Tanya Williams offered her a full-time position after her placement was completed.


She’s been a technician at the medical laboratory for over seven months. Catherine enjoys working with patients, and she chose fertility because she loves the clinical setting and it gives her a chance to help people create lasting memories.


What’s your fondest memory while working at the clinic?


“I have a lot, but number one is seeing patients’ results confirming that they are pregnant. I get to see the transition of their aura from when they first started, when you can see in their eyes that they are sad and frustrated. They really want to have a family of their own. I can feel it. But when the results come out after months or even years of trying, and they get pregnant, I can’t explain how their eyes become so happy and their aura changes which gives me so much joy.” 


Why do you think discussions about women’s health and fertility are important?


“As a woman, I can say that this topic is really important not just to an individual who wants to have children, but to every one of us. It is important to know that not everyone is capable of getting pregnant easily, that a lot of women around the world have this situation and it is not their fault.”

We’re Here to Help You on Your Fertility Journey

We asked all five of our amazing staff what they would choose as a superpower. For Rona, Maria and Lori, they all agreed that the best superpower of all is to heal with a simple touch. Donna would take patience over everything else because it would help her better care for the couples that rely on her every day. Catherine would love the power to be fluent in all human languages to understand everyone’s needs. 

Behind every clinic and medical department in the country are hard-working women who heal patients, keep them safe and healthy, and change their lives every day. At Dr. Tanya Williams Fertility Centre, compassionate, gentle care is at the heart of everything our team does. We’re dedicated to helping you on your fertility journey. Learn more about the centre by reading our blog. And remember, our doors are always open, so take the first step today and download our patient referral form.