Meet the Women of the Area’s Only All-Female OB/GYN Physician Group

OBGYN Associates of Akron, the only local all-female group of OB/GYN physicians in the area, is celebrating its 50th year in business. Medina County Lifestyle sat down with a few of the individuals who help make the practice one of the top OB/GYN offices in Northeast Ohio.

Dr. Lisa Cousineau, Owner, President of OBGYN Associates of Akron, Inc.

How long have you been associated with OBGYN Associates of Akron?

One of the founding partners, Dr. Ron Mitchell, a beloved obstetrician delivered me! I was raised in this community and did my residency at Akron City Hospital. I then partnered with Dr. Linda Parenti, and over the years we grew to what we are today, a group of independent physicians who have stood the test of time in an ever-changing medical environment. I am so proud to be a part of this group.

What’s the key to sustaining and growing your business through the years?

It’s a grassroots effort, building relations with fellow physicians and patients one at a time. Each of our patients should feel they are welcome and part of the family. Sure, our patients are our customers, but we get to know them and really care about them. We hope we project that we care. Our business culture starts with how we treat our staff, providing them the best benefits that we can. Our staff is like family. This goodwill spreads from physician and staff to patients. Patients can bring their children and their spouses. We hold their babies. We feel for them when a diagnosis is hard to accept and rejoice with them at the birth of their baby.

I’m sure you have seen a lot of changes in your field since your first years as a physician. Do you miss the “good ol’ days,” or do you welcome the changes and prefer the advances and the way things are today?

The advances in medicine have been tremendous and help us provide better evidence-based medicine. Technology, such as minimally invasive surgery—the Davinci robot, for example—has improved my patients’ recovery time, comfort and safety. Our office was quick to transition to electronic medical records and new electronic technology to communicate back and forth with our patients. All these advances have made patient medical care better. We have more access to information and can answer patients’ questions in a timely manner. We intend to never let technology take the focus off the patient. We personally answer our phones and remember, the answer is “Yes, we can help,” to our patients/customers. We need to stay focused on service. Those “good ol’ days” of business did teach us that a personal approach to patient care is best. But yes, you will see us using the technology to its full potential.

We’re coming up on Mother’s Day soon. Is there a piece of advice or wisdom that your mother shared with you that has stuck with you through the years?

My mom told me you become who you choose to be around.

I’m sure you find yourself sharing that same advice with your own children. What other piece of advice do you find yourself often sharing now that you are the one giving advice? 

It’s all about family. It’s an old adage, but it’s true! It doesn’t have to be your nuclear genetic family; we need each other.

Dr. Christine Arnold

At what age did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

I was in high school when I really knew I wanted to be in medicine.

Were there others in your family who were doctors before you, or were you the first in the family?

No, I am the first physician in my family.

We’re coming up on Mother’s Day soon. Is there a piece of advice or wisdom that your mother shared with you that has stuck with you through the years?

It may sound cheesy, but from an early age, my mom always taught me to ignore stereotypes and follow my dreams. I had an interest in science and medicine at a young age but doubted my ability to go into a male-dominated field like medicine. She really taught me valuable lessons about fighting for gender equality and not letting stereotypes define what I could do.

I’m sure you find yourself sharing that same advice with your own children and others these days. What other piece of advice do you find yourself often sharing now that you are the one giving it? 

I often encourage people to follow their intuition. Whether you are deciding to take a new job, move cities or another major life change, you’ll never regret going with what your gut tells you!

Dr. Brittany Van Beek

At what age did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

I was going to be a nurse like my mother until I started college, then at 18, I decided to be a doctor.

Were there others in your family who were doctors before you, or were you the first in the family?

My mother was a nurse and finished nurse practitioner school the year I finished medical school.

We’re coming up on Mother’s Day soon. Is there a piece of advice or wisdom that your mother shared with you that has stuck with you through the years?

Work hard and be honest. Treat people how you would like to be treated.

What other piece of advice do you find yourself often sharing now that you are the one giving it? 

Have fun! This is the only life you get. And also, trust and listen to the signs your body gives you.

Dr. Hillary Mitchell

At what age did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

I think I started considering medicine in high school, but it wasn’t until college that I knew for sure that I wanted to be a doctor.

Were there others in your family who were doctors before you, or were you the first in the family? 

I’m the first physician in my family.

We’re coming up on Mother’s Day soon. Is there a piece of advice or wisdom that your mother shared with you that has stuck with you through the years? 

I don’t remember any specific advice that my mom gave me, but I remember her always working hard—sometimes three jobs at a time—to take care of us. Her work ethic definitely rubbed off on me.

What kind of advice do you find yourself often sharing now that you are the one giving advice? 

I encourage my kids to work hard and be kind, but with four kids under age 8, I think the thing they hear from me most often is “Be nice to your sister!”