Space for a New Face

Southeastern Fertility is expanding to serve you better! Embryologist Sarah Atkinson is joining Lab Director Carol Sommerfelt on the embryology team for Knoxville’s only IVF program accredited by The Joint Commission.

Dr. John Gordon introduces you to Sarah, and checks in with Carol, in the video below. You’ll see they’re in the midst of the moving process, which can always be, well, messy. Might they unearth the Ark of the Covenant amid all the clutter?

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Everybody Loves Lynda: The Gift of Gratitude

A group of Southeastern Fertility/National Embryo Donation Center moms recently decided they wanted to surprise IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum with a shower of thank you notes, gifts and gift cards for all her hard work on their behalf. Co-Director Dr. John Gordon presented Lynda with these tokens of gratitude on Southeastern Fertility’s weekly Facebook Live broadcast.

Watch the video to see Lynda’s reaction for yourself. It’s a moment that really drives home the close, caring relationships we’re privileged to form with our families.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

One Last Shot: Jon & Kristie’s Southeastern Story

Sometimes one last shot at a dream is all you have. And sometimes that’s enough. Jon and Kristie Weaver are living proof.

Jon and Kristie’s romance started years ago amid the sun and the sand. “Jon and I met at a sand volleyball game at a friend’s house in 2009. He played. I watched,” Kristie shares. 

Their relationship blossomed from there. Eventually, it led to wedding bells. Both Jon and Kristie longed to expand their joy by adding children to their home. So they became concerned after a year of trying to get pregnant with no success. “Our diagnosis was unexplained infertility,” Kristie says. “ I was 37 at the time, which made me ‘advanced maternal age’, I soon found out.“  

They weren’t sure exactly what to do next, but they knew where to go to look for answers. “We were referred to Dr. Jeffrey Keenan for a fibroid removal in 2016.  It only made sense to return to Southeastern Fertility when we struggled to get pregnant,” Jon and Kristie say. “After several cycles of IVF with Southeastern Fertility, we ended up getting pregnant using our last frozen embryo.  We found out at nine weeks that the embryo split and we were having twins!”

Indeed, that’s just what happened. A few months later, Kristie gave birth to Jones and Jackson. “They are the most amazing twins in the world.  They love to eat, laugh, listen to music, and play,” Jon and Kristie say. “They light up every room they enter and have filled everyone’s heart to the top with love and laughter.”

It sure wasn’t an easy road to get to Jones and Jackson, but Jon and Kristie are glad they hung on during their sometimes white-knuckle ride. Having the Southeastern Fertility team by their side lightened their anxiety during the most intense stretches. “Dr. Keenan, the nurses and the rest of the staff mean the world to us! I truly feel like we are family,” Kristie says. “I always had a hand to hold if my husband had to work, a shoulder to cry on if things didn’t go as planned, and words of encouragement when I needed it the most.  If they weren’t here I probably wouldn’t have my boys, and I would be missing out on all of the wonderful relationships I made during the whole experience.”

If this had been a baseball game, you could say the Weavers were down to their last strike with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. And then- a dramatic home run! It’s the kind of Cinderella story we at Southeastern Fertility can’t believe we get to be a part of. And yet, we’re mindful that we’re not ultimately the ones in charge of it all. Jon and Kristie agree, summing it up this way: “We cannot say enough nice things about our experience at Southeastern Fertility. The knowledge, skill, and expertise combined with the love, empathy, and encouragement of the staff made us feel like we were right where God wanted us.”

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Hollywood & Battling Infertility

Real life isn’t like the movies very often, and it’s important to make peace with that when pursuing fertility treatment. How will you respond if the hoped-for Hollywood ending doesn’t work out?

More from Southeastern Fertility’s Lynda McCollum and Mark Mellinger (plus, scroll to the 8-minute mark for what Lynda loves most about this work, and why she once wanted to be a truck driver!) below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Southeastern Fertility Earns Coveted Gold Seal from The Joint Commission for Patient Safety, Quality of Care

Southeastern Fertility has earned a coveted distinction recognizing its strong commitment to patient safety and quality medical care, becoming Knoxville’s only fertility practice with an IVF Laboratory accredited by The Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission has awarded Southeastern Fertility its Gold Seal of Approval® for Andrology & Embryology Accreditation. Southeastern Fertility received the accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

Southeastern Fertility underwent a rigorous review on February 2, 2021. During the review, a team from The Joint Commission evaluated compliance with standards spanning several areas, including embryology, andrology, embryo/oocyte/sperm cryostorage, and emergency management, among others.

The Joint Commission’s standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“As the Medical Director here at Southeastern Fertility, I could not be more proud of our outstanding team and the excellent care that they provide to our patients,” says John Gordon, MD, Southeastern Fertility Medical Director. “As the only accredited IVF Laboratory here in Knoxville, we are happy to offer Natural Cycle, Minimal Stimulation and Traditional Stimulated IVF to couples in need of Advanced Reproductive Technologies (ART) and looking for a life-affirming fertility clinic that is anxious to support them in their journey.”

Dr. Gordon adds, “I know that our National Embryo Donation Center patients, who travel from outside of the Knoxville area in many cases, will be reassured of the quality of our IVF program.”

“We commend Southeastern Fertility for its continuous quality improvement efforts in patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Pelletier, The Joint Commission CEO.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Mini-Stim IVF, NC IVF: Factors to Weigh

Stimulated Cycle IVF seems to dominate the list of potential options when couples are undergoing fertility treatment. Certainly that can be a good and fruitful option for many, and we’re happy to offer it at Southeastern Fertility.

But it’s not the only IVF option out there. Southeastern Fertility also offers the choices of Natural Cycle IVF and Mini-Stim IVF. So why might these be more attractive options for some patients? Below are four possible reasons:

  • Simple. There’s no need for the large amount of medications involved in Stimulated Cycle IVF. This is a relief to many couples, who dread that part of the process.
  • Affordable. A round of Natural Cycle or Mini-Stim IVF will cost considerably less than a round of traditional IVF (roughly a third to roughly half the price). Check out the price comparison by viewing this chart.
  • Life-altering. The potential to achieve life-altering results -adding a child to your family through pregnancy!- is the end goal of pursuing these lesser-known options, just as it is when you pursue Stimulated Cycle IVF.
  • Ethical. IVF can present couples with ethical dilemmas, such as the difficult situation of having unused embryos remaining when their family-building is complete. Far fewer embryos are created with these alternative forms of IVF, helping patients avoid this potential ethical conflict.

Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum unpack all this below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Dr. G & Lynda for the “Block”

Don’t be alarmed if you get a call from us seeking info on your baby! It’s legit, and may even come with a free memento. Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum have more below in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility.”

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Oooh, That Smell…

Sometimes, when it comes to your pursuit of parenthood, things just stink! We’re here to listen, and help you potentially find an answer. More from Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum and a special guest star skunk in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility” below.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

Everybody Has a Story

Everybody’s story matters! That’s why it’s so important to talk to your children, whether they were conceived using fertility treatment or not, about how they entered this world. Plus, lots of guest stars -including Baby Yoda- in this edition of our Internet show “Talk Fertility” below.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.

What to do When the Lab Result, Phone Call or Email Hasn’t Come

Southeastern Fertility Co-Director Dr. John Gordon and IVF Coordinator Lynda McCollum are suggesting a new year’s resolution if you’re undergoing fertility treatment in the 12 months ahead: Trust the process.

So what, exactly, does that mean? Well, often those undergoing fertility treatment are understandably anxious. They’ve already been through the long, arduous struggle of infertility. Now the prospect of treatment finally offers some hope!

It’s no wonder, then, that when some patients run into uncertainty at any point in their treatment, a sense of panic can set in. After all, a lot of family-building dreams are riding on this. The stakes couldn’t be higher, right?

Common examples of such uncertainty would include not receiving a call with ultrasound or lab results precisely when expected, or waiting to hear back from the medical team after emailing a question concerning a treatment plan.

At Southeastern Fertility, we understand this anxiety. It’s always our goal to respond quickly to patient inquiries and concerns. Sometimes, though, there will be factors beyond anyone’s control that cause delays. In these moments, Dr. Gordon says to trust the process.

Rarely, if ever, will these tense moments affect the ultimate outcome of your treatment. That’s very important to keep in mind, and should provide some reassurance. Of course, if your treatment is with Southeastern Fertility and you have a nagging concern for which a response seems urgent, you are always welcome to contact Dr. Gordon directly at dr.gordon@southeasternfertility.org.

Dr. Gordon and Lynda unpack this topic a little more in the short video below.

To schedule your free 15-minute telemedicine consult with Co-Director Dr. John Gordon, call 865-777-0088 or click here. To learn more about Southeastern Fertility, including our mission, values and team, click here. To learn more about IVF with Southeastern Fertility, click here.