Author: The Group For Women

Retirement Message From Dr. Holly Puritz

It is with a mixture of sadness and joy that I announce my retirement from the practice of medicine, as of April 1, 2023. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to care for each and every one of you. We have shared so many of life’s big events together! I am grateful to you for allowing me to be present for first exams, babies, children leaving for college, growing older and all that life brings.  You have all enriched my life beyond measure and I will take the memories of those special relationships with me and treasure them always.

The Group for Women is committed to making this a smooth transition and I know that it will be. Wishing you good health in the years ahead and a heartfelt thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives for the past 35 years.

We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.

The Group for Women stands with our community in disapproval to the overt racism and inherent /implicit bias present in our society.

The discrimination carries over into the health care setting and continues to impact underrepresented minorities who continue to experience a higher mortality rate.

Racism and bias in any setting is unacceptable. We are listening, we are learning and we are committed to take meaningful action.

To start, we are donating to the Virginia African American Cultural Center, Inc. to support their mission to educate, inform and celebrate the culture, history and accomplishments of African Americans as well as to offer opportunities for a safe and healing environment for our community.

We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.


Thanks to all of you for voting in The Pilot Readers’ Choice Awards Best of 2018 contest! The 25th annual Reader’s Choice Awards with over 120,000 votes revealed The Group for Women winners of Gold, Silver and Bronze!!
There are separate categories:
Best OB/GYN Specific (meaning we are only competing against other OB/GYN practices per city)
Best Doctor/Healthcare Provider (meaning we are competing against ALL specialties per city)
For Norfolk we won:
Silver: Best OB/GYN
Bronze: Best overall Doctor/Health Care provider
For Chesapeake we won: 
Gold: Best OB/GYN

2016 Physician Excellence Award for Dr. Michael Speckhart


Congratulations to our first recipient: Dr. Michael Speckhart

In its inaugural year, Sentara Leigh Hospital has established the Physician Excellence Award which seeks to annually recognize physicians who are distinguished for their commitment to their patients and their team members. The annual winner will have his/her name and picture placed on the Employee Recognition Wall which is in development for 2016.

This award was championed by Dr. Samuel Robinson who was instrumental in the development and implementation of this program. We would like to thank him for his participation and support.

Nominees this year were submitted by peers, ancillary departments, nursing departments and community-focused groups. Submissions were reviewed by a multi-disciplinary voting committee made up of Nursing Practice Council, Ancillary Practice Council, Patient & Family Advisory Council and Sentara system leaders. We appreciate their involvement as well.

Physicians nominated for this award demonstrated excellence in all of the following areas:

– Sentara Commitments – Professional Practice – Improved Patient Outcomes – Collaboration in creating a high-performance team

Please see a few thoughts on each of our nominees below:

Dr. Pamela Evans, Neurologist of Sentara Medical Group
Dr. Evan’s use teamwork in providing adequate and safe care to her stroke patients daily. She always has a smile of her face and is easily approachable which allows the communication to be open and results in a better stroke program. She takes feedback and responds positive. We truly love working with her.

Dr. G. Wilkins Hubbard, Cardiothoracic Surgeon of Sentara Surgery Specialists
Dr. Hubbard is very respectful of all team members. He works tirelessly for decades to ensure that the team feels appreciated, respected and cared for. He knows the names of the nurses, housekeepers, volunteers. He is consistently reliable and offers constructive comments in Medical staff leadership meetings. He is a jewel among the physicians at Sentara Leigh and he is very supportive of the hospital.

Dr. Holly Puritz, OB-GYN of Group for Women
Always wearing a smile, Dr. Holly Puritz is a pleasure to work alongside with! Her knowledge and leadership provides a strong foundation for the excellent services provided on the Family Maternity Center. She provides leadership, compassion, and focus on the goal of keeping patients safe and providing exceptional childbirth experiences every day!

Dr. Jack Siegel, Orthopedic Surgeon of Jordan-Young
Dr. Siegel is heavily involved in facility improvements and the surgical services lines. He has volunteered numerous years of service as a hospital committee volunteer to continue to better Sentara Leigh and community programs Dr. Siegel is an avid advocate for nursing education and advancement and partners with the staff to improve patient outcomes. He is a voice for employees and patients.

Dr. Michael Speckhart, Internal Medicine & Head of SMG Hospitalists at SLH
As we worked to build a nationally recognized team at SLH, Dr. Speckhart supported our efforts through attending our partnership councils and bringing information that helped grow a great bond between the staff and physicians. Dr. Speckhart is very involved in the infrastructure that guides the practice of medicine at Leigh. For at least 5 years he has led the SMG Hospitalist team and participates on a variety of teams that continue to push medical practice into a World Class position.

Dr. Bethany Tan, Cardiothoracic Surgeon of Sentara Surgery Specialists
Dr. Bethany Tan is a role model and mentor for excellence in patient care and medical practice. She values and promotes the team approach to patient care. It is understandable why Dr. Tan attracts providers and support staff to her team – it is human nature to want to be part of a “winning team”. The office team, OR team, and inpatient care team are integral to the success of the Thoracic practice at Leigh. Support is provided via many specialists that have “come on board” to be a part of such a dynamic group.

Dr. Walter Vest, Internal Medicine of SMG Hospitalists at SLH
Dr. Vest is very supportive of new graduate nurses, and makes them feel confident in their practice and decision making skills. Dr. Vest empowers the nurse’s role and supports them. We appreciate Dr. Vest for being the confident and caring doctor that he is and it makes our night knowing he is on call!

Family Maternity Center News

Thank you to Holly S. Puritz, M.D. for her many years of dedicated service as the OB Medical Director for SLH.

Giniene Pirkle, MD will transition into the role beginning in June 2016.

The Family Maternity Center would also like to acknowledge the OB Physician Groups of Elite Women’s Care, The Group for Women, and Tidewater Physician’s for Women, along with Atlantic Anesthesia for their partnership in the Evidence Based Practice of placing the newborn Skin-to-Skin immediately after delivery. The practice was expanded into the OR setting and has significantly reduced admissions to the Level II Nursery.

The work will be disseminated through the poster Bringing Relationship Based Care to Life: Reducing Nursery Admissions with Skin -to-Skin in the OR. Presentations are planned over the next several months. Most notable is acceptance to the National Magnet Conference being held in Orlando FL in October 2016.

Submitted by Marybeth Baber

TGFW now offering the MonaLisa Touch

MonaLisa Touch

As many as 50% of postmenopausal women are suffering from changes to their vaginal health. When estrogen levels decline after menopause, many changes can occur. Some of these changes include vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, burning or itching.  Millions of women experience changes in their gynecologic health that interfere with their personal lives as a consequence. Do you suffer silently?

We are proud to now be able to offer MonaLisa Touch laser therapy. MonaLisa Touch laser treatment helps restore vaginal health by generating NEW collagen, elastin and vascularization in the vaginal tissue. Gentle laser energy is delivered to the vaginal wall tissue that stimulates a healing response in the vaginal canal in 3 easy, painless treatments  6 weeks apart. Each procedure takes less than 5 minutes that delivers both immediate and lasting relief that’s clinically proven to work.

MonaLisa has been described as “life-changing” by thousands of women treated since 2012. Ask your doctor if MonaLisa Touch is right for you by calling our office today at 757-466-6388 x103.

MonaLisa Touch is fast, simple and safe:

  • Procedure takes less than 5 minutes
  • Gentle laser energy is delivered to the vaginal wall tissue in 3 easy treatments, 6 weeks apart.
  • In-office treatments that require NO anesthesia
  • Minimal side effects with no downtime


Frequently asked questions:

Q: What happens during the treatment?

A: The procedure will seem similar to your annual exam, and will likely by even quicker. Your healthcare provider will insert the laser probe and deliver laser energy “pulses.” The total procedure time is less than 5 minutes.

Q: Does it hurt?

A: The laser energy itself is virtually painless. Some patients report mild discomfort with the laser probe insertion during the first treatment if there is gynecologic dryness.

Q: How soon can I expect results?

A: Many patients have reported relief right away. Virtually all patients have experienced relief by the second treatment, however optimal results are seen after the third treatment.

Q: How long does treatment last?

A: MonaLisa Touch provides lasting results. A once a year single treatment is recommended to maintain symptom relief.

Q: Is this procedure safe for Breast Cancer patients?

A: Yes, the MonaLisa Touch therapy is particularly well suited for patients who cannot, or prefer not to receive estrogen therapy.

Q: What are my limitations after the procedure is done?

A: Patients should refrain from sexual activity for 2-3 days. Your doctor will determine a post-procedure regimen that is right for you.

Q: How much will the procedure cost?

A: Contact our office for additional information at 757-466-6388 x103

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