Columbia opens new fertility center with newest IVF lab in the United States

Zev Williams, MD, PhD, and Eric Forman, MD, HCLD
Zev Williams, MD, PhD, and Eric Forman, MD, HCLD

This week, Columbia University Irving Medical Center began seeing patients at their new state-of-the-art fertility center, which features the newest IVF lab in the United States.

The new fertility center is led by Zev Williams, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and Eric Forman, MD, HCLD, Medical and IVF Laboratory Director at Columbia Fertility. Dr. Williams joined CUIMC in April 2017 from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and shortly thereafter recruited Dr. Forman from RMA NJ. In the past year, they have overseen the design and construction of the new clinical care and lab facilities for the division, now located in the penthouse suite at 5 Columbus Circle.

The new fertility center was specially designed to optimize patient success.  Aided by input from a largely volunteer team of artists, psychologists, decorators, builders, and designers, the space was built to provide a sense of tranquility and openness, providing an uplifting impression of life and light with the use of materials and color. All patient areas, including the pre-operative and recovery areas have windows except exam rooms, which have frosted glass inserts on the doors that still allow light in while maintaining patients’ privacy. Studies have found that natural light and views of the outer boundaries of a building floor bring a sense of calm, so the new space and particularly the waiting area was specially designed so that patients would enjoy natural light from windows on all four sides, and is home to several live plants. The waiting area also has no television screens, which patients sometimes find distracting or stressful, instead playing calm music. Water and fresh fruit is made available for patients as refreshment.

“With Dr. Williams’ arrival and the completion of this new space, we are entering a new chapter of our fertility services for our patients,” said Mary E. D’Alton, MD, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at CUIMC. “Our division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility cares for patients at a deeply sensitive time in their lives, and it is critical for us to have a facility that offer the highest degree of comfort and convenience as well as the most cutting edge technology possible. The drive to motherhood or fatherhood is very strong, and clearing or easing that path for our patients as much as possible is a top priority for our department.”

Dr. Williams specializes in treating patients who are experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss. He was recently honored with an endowed professorship as the Wendy D. Havens Associate Professor of Women’s Health.

“At Columbia University Fertility we are focused on giving our patients every possible advantage in helping them successfully achieve pregnancy,” Dr. Williams said. “This includes not only providing optimal medical care, but the very environment of the fertility center itself. We are very grateful to all those who helped create this space and who were so eager to contribute their expertise to create a space that would give patients the very best possible chance of bringing new life into the world.”

The lab facilities at Columbia University Fertility Center are the newest in the country and boast state-of-the-art enhancements and innovations designed to improve patient outcomes and advance reproductive science and research. In fact, it is the only lab in the country that will have a molecular biology and genetics workstation within the lab to allow physicians to develop and implement novel technologies to improve patient outcomes. The lab also features a triple air lock door that is designed to have air one-thousand times cleaner than the regular air we breathe.

“The lab facilities at Columbia University Fertility are a major step forward for the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility,” said Dr. Forman. “They reflect and affirm our commitment to achieving the best possible patient outcomes and advancing the field of reproductive medicine.”

Dr. Williams and Dr. Forman are joined by a team of physicians and researchers who are leaders in the field of reproductive medicine, including Lisa C. Grossman-Becht, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at CUIMC; Roger Lobo, MD, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at CUIMC; Rachel McConnell, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at CUIMC; Beth Rackow, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at CUIMC; and Briana Rudick, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at CUIMC.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment or referring a patient to Columbia Fertility, please call 646-756-8294 or visit columbiafertility.org.