Healthcare Heroes: WVU Medicine Children’s OB/GYN Department

Healthcare Heroes

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – One thing WVU Medicine Children’s does not lack is a dedicated staff willing to do anything in their power to treat women, mothers, and babies.

The hospital consists of midwives, nurses and physicians who all could be considered heroes. However, Dr. Leo Brancazio, professor and chair of OB/GYN at WVU Medicine said he sees things differently.

“To be honest, no,” Brancazio said in response to the idea of him being a hero. “I think of myself in a position that I allow my faculty to become heroes. That’s my job.”

Dr. Brancazio treating a patient

His colleague, Dr. Annelee Boyle, medical director of labor and delivery, said she agrees. She doesn’t see herself as a hero either, but she does enjoy her work.

“I love my job,” she said. “I love taking care of pregnant women. I love delivering babies.”

Like Boyle, Brancazio is entirely focused on improving the health outcomes of patients than he is on reflecting on his accomplishments. Since moving back to West Virginia five and a half years ago, Brancazio said he has strived to improve all the ways the hospital system helps women.

Some of the improvements he has spearheaded include opening more rural clinics and advancing telemedicine capabilities as a means to treat patients during the pandemic.

Doctor doing a televisit with a patient

He is also focused on making his staff better.

Part of that, he said, is making sure they work flexible hours and can have a good work-life balance. Brancazio said he is able to do everything he does for patients and his team because he has the trust of the WVU Medicine and health sciences leadership.

“I have to give many thanks to Dr. Clay Marsh, Albert Wright and the administration of health sciences and the hospital for allowing me to do that,” he said.

Like Brancazio, Boyle also sees the role the entire OB/GYN department plays as being more important than the sum of her individual actions.

Dr. Boyle

“I couldn’t do my job without them,” she said. “I mean I need the support of midwives. I need the support of other physicians, I need the support of nurses, I need the support of any subspecialty in the hospital. I can call anytime so we function as a team.”

She trusts that team so much that she plans on relying on them to help her deliver her baby. Boyle is currently 35 weeks pregnant and said she is grateful to have WVU Medicine Children’s on her side.

“I know that they’re prepared for whatever may happen,” she said.

Having that kind of trust in her colleagues because of their passion and skill is reflective of the kind of institution WVU Medicine Children’s is. As mentioned earlier, it is a team full of dedicated staff.

That is why Boyle said she also returned to West Virginia. Similar to Brancazio, she wanted to be a part of the team and help the women of West Virginia and the surrounding region.

Artist rendering of planned WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital in Morgantown.

“Absolutely,” she said. “I am a native of West Virginia and I came back because with the new Children’s hospital being built, it’s a once in a generation opportunity to affect change for the women in this state and the region and the babies. And so what we do here will impact generations.”

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