MCHC Health Centers is excited to announce that Dr. Erin Conroy, a local board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist (OB/GYN), has joined its Care for Her team. Dr. Conroy will focus on prenatal care, labor and delivery, family planning and birth control services, and surgical procedures, working primarily at Hillside Health Center in Ukiah.
Dr. Conroy was inspired to become a physician after watching her mother and grandmother battle breast cancer. Those experiences, while difficult, drove her desire to help others be healthy and happy. In medical school, she was paired with an OB/GYN early in her training, cementing her commitment to specializing in women’s health.
“Sometimes women have trouble becoming pregnant, or have complications with their pregnancies,” Dr. Conroy said. “It’s really satisfying when you’re able to guide people through those tough times and toward a happy ending. I’m looking forward to doing that every day with the help of the Care for Her team here at MCHC,” she said.
Before joining MCHC, Dr. Conroy spent a couple of years working in private practice in Ukiah. Prior to that, she spent five years in Siskiyou County at the Fairchild Medical Center Women’s Clinic in Yreka, where she won the 2021 Best of the Best South Siskiyou OB/GYN Award.
Dr. Conroy’s approach to healthcare emphasizes a collaborative relationship with patients based on respect, autonomy, and shared decision making.
“I think a lot of the time patients just don’t feel heard, so I try to listen closely and provide the women in my care with as much information as possible,” Dr. Conroy said. “That allows us to have productive conversations about what’s best for their health, and the health of their baby.”
In deciding to join MCHC, Dr. Conroy said the opportunity to be part of a talented team practicing integrated healthcare was too tempting to pass up. MCHC’s team-based approach gives patients timely access to providers across several specialties who collaborate to provide holistic care.
Dr. Conroy said, “At MCHC, pregnant women have access to dental checkups, lactation programs, nutritional support, mental health care, and more.” If her patient needs additional services, she can simply refer the patient to an MCHC colleague, making it easy and convenient for the patient to get the care they need.
Dr. Conroy is also looking forward to working with MCHC’s team of certified nurse midwives, who are trained and credentialed to provide women’s health services and assist women throughout their pregnancies, including delivering babies. Dr. Conroy noted that midwifery care is associated with fewer premature births and labor interventions such as cesarean sections, according to a study by the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health.
“Certified nurse midwives are skilled practitioners that provide essential care to patients and critical support to physicians.” Dr. Conroy said. “That makes it more likely that myself and other OB/GYNs will be available to assist high-risk patients or people who need surgery.”
In addition to work, local family ties played a part in convincing Dr. Conroy to relocate to Mendocino County. Her husband was already working in Ukiah when she moved to the area in 2021, and she has a brother and sister-in-law who live in Fort Bragg. Dr. Conroy is also familiar with the area because she attended college at Pacific Union College in nearby Napa County. She says she has happy memories of driving to Santa Rosa with college classmates to shop at the mall or catch a movie at the theater.
Dr. Conroy earned her medical degree from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Southern California. She attended her residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, one of the top schools for OB/GYNs, where 500 deliveries per month keep doctors and midwives busy.
Dr. Conroy is grateful to be back in this area of California and has been taking advantage of the local scenery by spending a lot of time outdoors. She enjoys biking with her husband and hiking with their two children, an 11-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. The family’s animals keep them busy, too, including a flock of chickens and egg-laying ducks.
Both personally and professionally, Mendocino County is a good fit for Dr. Conroy. MCHC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Matthew Swain, said, “We’re so pleased to welcome Dr. Conroy to our team. She clearly understands and appreciates our patient-centered approach to care.”
Dr. Conroy said she is happy to be a part of the growing team at MCHC, which has more than 30 years of experience providing medical and dental services to people in Mendocino and Lake Counties.
“Women deal with a lot of unique issues,” Dr. Conroy said. “It’s satisfying to help them understand what’s going on, alleviate any pain they may be experiencing, and ultimately make their lives better.”