John Yang: Dr. Donna Adams-Pickett is a practicing OB GYN in — OB/GYN in Georgia. That’s a state known as a maternal care desert. She’s run a woman’s health care center there for more than two decades. Tonight, she shares her Brief but Spectacular take on a career spent serving women’s health needs.
Dr. Donna Adams-Pickett, Practicing OB/GYN: My paternal grandmother died in childbirth when my father was 12 years old. Neither she nor the baby survived the delivery. And this was on a little tobacco farm in Greenville, North Carolina.
And I remember that was the first time I ever saw my dad cry as he told the story how his mother left and never came back.
I am an obstetrician gynecologist practicing for 21 years in Augusta, Georgia. I am the owner and operator of Augusta Women’s Health and Wellness Center. I’ve seen nearly 10,000 patients and I’ve delivered over 6,000 babies.
I decided to dedicate my practice primarily to Obstetrics, to taking care of women who are pregnant and who want to have safe and healthy deliveries.
If you walk around my practice, you’ll see that each of the rooms are dedicated to the special women in my life. And I tell patients that I’m going to treat you the same way that I would want my daughter, my sister, my mother, or my best friend to be treated.
When I was pregnant myself with my two children, even with all the information I had at my fingertips, I still walked into the hospital terrified. I was concerned that I would become a statistic.
Black women are two to three times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than any other ethnicity. Women who are socioeconomically disadvantaged are one and a half times more likely to die in childbirth and pregnancy. We are facing a maternal mortality crisis in this country.
Currently in Georgia, we have over 70 counties that do not have access to OB care. I often say that these women might as well be on that tobacco farm with my grandmother in 1943. If an emergency occurs, we usually have to have baby delivered within minutes, not 90 minutes. We can truly save more lives fetal lives, infant lives, maternal lives if we had more obstetrical access.
What keeps me invested in obstetrics and gynecology, and particularly obstetrics, is that I am Sam Adams Jr. baby daughter. I am his legacy, and I want to make sure that I take care of women just like his mother. My name is Dr. Donna Adams Pickett, and this is my Brief but Spectacular take on being a women’s healthcare warrior.