She'd been battling the pain and discomfort of recurring bladder infections for more than a year and a half leaving a series of doctors, including the urologist in Yakima, stymied.
At 89, Ellensburg's Loretta Broughton Foote was desperate for an answer. So was her family.
“I was frustrated,” says Linda Rehaume, Foote's daughter. “She had multiple health issues, including heart problems. Her health was failing. But it seemed to me like this was something someone should be able to fix. She'd be on an antibiotic for a few days and then it would stop working and she'd need something else. Everyone was trying – but she was miserable and in pain.”
In 2007, a physician suggested Foote see a gynecologist. Rehaume and Foote turned to the providers at KVH Women's Health. Rehaume had seen Teresa Beckett for a time years ago when she was at KVH Family Medicine.
“During that first appointment I just had a feeling – a confidence – that they were going to figure it out,” Rehaume says. She was right. “They found that mom didn't have any female hormones – any estrogen – in her body.”
An estrogen ring was the answer.
One day, Rehaume paused and realized it had been six months since her mother's last bladder infection. “She had no more infections, no more pain” after the estrogen ring was placed, Rehaume says of Foote, who passed away just short of her 92nd birthday. “It absolutely changed her life and helped her 100 percent. We were so grateful to them.”
None of that came as a surprise to Traci Bennett, Rehaume's daughter. The 41-year-old Bennett, who owns a hair salon in Ellensburg, was a young woman when she met Beckett and quickly established a trusting relationship with her. Bennett says it was Beckett who reassured her during two pregnancies and was at her side during delivery for one. “I've followed her wherever she's gone,” Bennett says. “She's always been someone I could trust with anything, always my go-to girl.”
Credit, she says, the personal touch. “They never make me feel rushed or that they're in a hurry and don't have time. If I have to talk to a nurse, they'll call me back. I love that part. I wonder if it's because they know me personally. But then I hear nothing but nice things about them from my customers who say they're glad to have a health care clinic specific to them.”
Two years ago Rehaume joined Traci as a patient at KVH Women's Clinic. “I'd gone to a gynecologist on the west side for at least 22 years,” Rehaume says. “I loved him. I still do. But I love Teresa too – so why travel?”
Bennett thinks what tipped the balance was more than just proximity. “I honestly believe the reason she's going to Teresa now is the way she treated my grandma,” Bennett says. “I know the care she gave my grandma impressed my mom.”