Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare, PLLC ("CPMH"), North Carolina'slargest outpatient behavioral health provider, is pleased to announce that Caleb Whitenack, MD, a leading specialist in women's mood disorders, has joined the company. Dr, Whitenack is an expert in postpartum depression, prenatal care, perimenstrual care, and related women's health issues. Trained in the UNC perinatal unit and women's mood disorder clinic, Dr. Whitenack brings experience treating women in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.
"My main goal is to prevent postpartum depression altogether," said Dr. Whitenack. "A major part of my work is pre-pregnancy planning – a patient might say, 'we want to get pregnant, I'm on a psychiatric medicine.' My job is to help plan for that, and all of the potential stressors of pregnancy, and then treat the fallout if need be." The most important thing to stress, he adds, is that women in these heightened situations are going through something profoundly difficult, and their feelings are often not taken seriously: "There just aren't very many residency programs out there that focus on women's mood disorders. So there aren't many psychiatrists who feel comfortable treating these issues."
"This is an area of medicine that is unusually devoid of specialized attention, and women are often neglected, shamed, or not taken seriously as a result of this disparity, despite postpartum blues affecting between 50-80% of new moms. Of these women up to 20% will go on to develop postpartum depression" said Jeff Williams, CEO of CPMH. He further stated that "there just aren't many good residency programs out there that focus on women's mood disorders and as a result there aren't many psychiatrists who know these issues well. Carolina Partners is very fortunate to welcome Dr. Whitenack on board."
There are three common reasons a woman who is suffering a perinatal or postnatal condition might not be properly treated: (1) there is a lack of coordination between her various specialists; (2) psychiatrists don't want to prescribe any medications for fear of disrupting the pregnancy, or advise a patient to discontinue a needed medication; (3) doctors fail to recognize the legitimacy of the women's symptoms due to stigmas, such as the unfair expectation that all women who give birth ought to feel exclusively happy. Dr. Whitenack has dedicated his career to bridging these pitfalls. He remains in close contact with his patients' OB-GYNs to ensure that they (the patients) never have to deal with conflicting advice or incompatible treatments. He takes a collaborative, scientifically-grounded approach to treatment, working with the patient to decide if taking medication makes sense for their situation while looking at alternatives for treatment. If he must disrupt a patient's regular medication regimen, he will monitor her progress closely to ensure her safety and wellbeing. And he works continually to educate his patient's and his medical peers on the stigmas and misconceptions that abound in women's health care.
As part of their recent investment deal with River Cities Capital Funds that closed last September, CPMH is furthering establishing itself as a national leader in the behavioral healthcare industry – by, among other things, attracting the country's foremost mental healthcare experts. Dr. Whitenack begins seeing patients in Durham this month.
Clients interested in scheduling an initial evaluation with Dr. Whitenack can call Carolina Partners at 919-929-9610 or visit our website at https://www.carolinapartners.com/new-patients/.