Kaiser Richmond ObGyns


Parent Q&A

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  • Hello there, We recently found out that we are pregnant and we are looking for a good OBGYN for prenatal care and guidance for delivery. I am currently assigned Dr.Erica Simon (Richmond). Has anybody had any experience with her? I am not sure if we should switch, but here are the list of OBGYNs currently taking on new patients. Dr. Nora Salvador (Richmond), Susan Liu, Bindoo Arellano, Karen Carlson, Meredith Warden, Crystal Goldsmith, Julie Sun, Christie Cooksey. Looking forward for your recommendations. Thank you! 

    I had Karen Carlson and loved her. Great experience. 

    I had Dr. Salvador treat me for a obgyn related emergency 2 years ago and she was WONDERFUL! I wanted to switch to her right after but she wasn't accepting new patients. I just noticed she was accepting new patients not too long ago and I switched immediately. She was confident, had great bedside manner, very direct with pros and cons of my issue, charismatic, and warm. My husband and I were so amazed with her even at 3 am in the ER. Highly recommend!

    Congratulations!! I haven't had experiences with any of the other OBGYNs, but I used to see Dr. Nora Salvador and she was okay. She was nice, but when I was trying to conceive and asked if I should be worried about longer cycles (38 days or so), she asked me if I had gained weight. I said sure, maybe 3-4 COVID pounds but my BMI was 21. She said if I was concerned I could lose weight. I didn't really feel listened to, so I switched providers after that visit (I go to Walnut Creek now as it's only 5 min further from me than Oakland). 

    I have Karen Carlson, and she’s great! Helped w my first pregnancy and now my second. She listens to all my concerns and answers emails promptly. I switched from a different OB to her since we didn’t feel we had received the support and attention we needed regarding a prior medical issue w our previous provider. I’ve never felt rushed when I was with her. 

    Love my OB, Shree Chanchani, at Oakland!

    Congratulations! I don't know Dr. Simon, but I had Dr. Bindoo Rellan (which I think is who you meant by Bindoo Arellano) in Oakland and would not recommend her. She made me feel rushed during appointments, was brusque with me and brushed off my questions, and then recommended things during my pregnancy that, in hindsight, were the exact opposite of what I should have been doing. I'm also pretty sure she misdiagnosed me with placenta previa, which had miraculously gone away when I saw a different doctor. I initially hesitated to change doctors mid-pregnancy, but finally I couldn't take it anymore and I ended up switching to a lovely NP in month 8, who has since retired. 

  • My beloved OBGYN at Kaiser Richmond, Dr. Hartshorn, has moved to Kaiser Alameda. I need to find a new OBGYN at either the Richmond or Pinole locations. The following doctors are accepting new patients: Parastoo Farhady, Shereene Brown, Nora Salvador, Teresa Munoz, Betty Lin and Carla Wicks. Does anyone have any recommendations for any of these doctors? I don’t plan to have any more kids so just need gynecological care, rather than obstetrics. Thank you!

    I love Betty Lin!

    I love Dr. Wicks, whom I have seen for general gyn care, menopause issues and an out-patient procedure. She's great. Very caring, a good listener and not rushed. I felt confident that I was in great hands. I've also had several phone appointments w Dr Lin and liked her too though I never met her in person.

    I love Betty Lin too.

    I don't see her in your list, but believe she is available:  Emily Lesch, NP.  She rocks!

  • ISO Kaiser Richmond OB-GYN

    Jun 7, 2017

    Hi everyone,

    I've been seeing the same OB-GYN at Kaiser Richmond since November '16, and I have to be honest that I'm not thrilled with her bedside manner. She's okay, but I figure it's better late than never to see if I can meet with another OB-GYN before I deliver--someone more present and nurturing. I just looked up some previous posts back in Dec '16 (in response to the same question) where others recommended Dr. Zayas and Dr. Hartshom. Any other recs? Thanks so much,

    I see Dr. Erica Simon at Kaiser Richmond and have had a good experience so far! She listens and is totally reasonable, which is important to me. 

Parent Reviews

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I really like our son's (10 mos) doctor Dr. Phu. He's nice, straight forward and informative. My current OB is Dr. Zayas, I saw her through my pregnancy and she listens well, is gentle and is very caring. Probably the best OB I've had at Kaiser.
Congrats on the job. Kaiser has improved by leaps and bounds the past few years!

I go to Kaiser Richmond and I find it much easier to deal with than Oakland - there are usually no waits, it's clean and calm.

I love my primary doctor - Melinda Glines.

I've seen two OBs, Rachel Hartshorn and Lester Refigee and both are kind and wonderful. Don't know about their experience with over 40 and cancer, but I recommend them as thoughtful doctors who are good at listening.

Our pediatrician is a man, so I can't help you there. Good luck!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Oct 2010

I am relatively new to kaiser and would like recommendations for a good OBGYN at Richmond Kaiser. The ones listed as accepting new patients right now include: Dr. Betty Lin Dr. Tracy Flanagan, Dr. Nora Salvador, Dr. Rachel Hartshorn, Dr. Carla Wicks, Deborah Nicholas, NP. If there is anyone else not on this list at the Richmond location that you would recommend, I would love to know about them as well. Thank you!!!

I love Dr Rachel Hartshorn. Personable, friendly actually listens to me and remembers next time. I've been with her for over 3yrs now. anon

I can also recommend Dr Rachel Hartshorn. I've seen her for around 5 years now. She's really present, thoughtful and practical. anon

May 2010

I'm looking for a great gynecologist (they don't need to practice obstetrics -- and in fact I find that great obstetricians often make mediocre gyn docs, and vice versa), preferably one with a good knowledge base around breast/ovarian cancer. I'm in Berkeley, and would prefer Oakland or Richmond, but might be willing to travel farther afield. Thanks! esme

Dr Rachel Hartshorn at Richmond Kaiser is fantastic. very personable, listens to my questions and gives thoughtful answers. highly recommend her

Dec 2009

hi! i am switching from oakland to richmond, kaiser & wondering if anyone has reviews of dr. rachel hartshorn. thanks! anon

I love Dr Hartshorn. She is smart witty and personable. A great dr with an fabulous personality, she even showed me pics of her dog (cos he looks just like mine). anon

I saw Dr. Hartshorn for the first time this summer. I really thought she was intelligent, friendly, and polite. I had an issue where I needed an ultrasound and biopsy. She explained everything clearly without being patronizing. She responded to my emails and reported back to me about my lab results immediately. I will definitely keep her as my GYN. Satisfied patient

May 2008

Re: Kaiser & Childbirth--Oakland or Richmond
Hi, My doctor is at Richmond Kaiser. Her names is Amanda Calhoun. I love her! She helped me through a miscarriage and also delivered my first child in October! I would recommend going to Richmond for your appointments. They are more thorough than Oakland, and seem to be more personable. I had a bad experience with a nurse practitioner at Oakland. She basically put my life at risk.

Richmond Kaiser is actually voted something like number 4 of the Kaiser in Northern California. Unfortunately they do not deliver babies. You have to go to Oakland. I had a good experience their. My labor and delivery was pretty much text book. The only complaint was they do not have tubs to be in just showers.

When I asked my doctor if she recommended Oakland or Walnut creek for labor, she said, Oakland was really good at being attentive for the labor and delivery but lacked in recovery. Walnut Creek was more attentive at recovery but lacked somewhat in delivery, so if you know you are having a c section go with Walnut Creek. Good Luck Happy Mom

April 2006

I wished to ask for recommendation for good surgeon Gyn in Kaiser / Richmond Facility prefering a female if possible. Also, a primary care there as I am changing insurance. Thank you

I would highly recommend nurse practioner Pamela Mullins for your Richmond Kaiser OB/GYN needs. She is very patient, compassionate and wonderful. anon

Re: Breastfeeding Friendly Kaiser ObGyn (July 2003)
I'd check out Kaiser Hayward. They are one of the 34 hospitals in the United States, and the only one in the Bay Area, to get Unicef's designation as Baby Friendly for breastfeeding. Check out information here: http://home.onemain.com/~ct1008688/bfusa.htm

April 2003

I have read the archived postings about Kaiser Richmond OB's, but did not see the info I am looking for. For my last pregnancy I used Kaiser Oakland for my prenatal care and, since I was considered high risk, was under the care of Dr. Walton, although I mostly saw one of the residents. Now I live closer to the Richmond facility and I would like recommendations for OBs there. I called to find out who handles their high-risk cases and was told that they all do, but most are handled by Dr. Tracy Seo and Dr. Nora Salvador. Neither of them have appointments available soon so my first visit will be with Dr. Flanagan. I would like to know other peoples' experiences with these doctors, pro and con, and any other OBs at Richmond, particularly for a high risk pregnancy. Also, if anyone can compare the Oakland vs. Richmond facilities for prenatal care and high risk pregnancies, I'd love to hear about that, since I could go to Oakland it's just not as convenient. Thank you! Getting ready for baby #2

Hi, I am going to Kaisers in Richmond, and my ob/gyn is Dr. Seo. She is very nice, but young. She might not have the experience you need for your pregnancy. I guess it depends how you feel about it. I am considered high-risk because of my age, and I feel comfortable with Dr. Seo. In general my experience with Kaisers in Richmond is good; however, I didn't like Dr. Chang. He has lots of experience, but I felt very, very uncomfortable with him. Also, if you go to Richmond you won't deliver your child there. I believe your choices are Alta Bates and Oakland. Alta Bates is great, and I am very happy to deliver my baby there. I hope this helps, if you have more questions you can send me an email. anoack

Also recommended: Walnut Creek ObGyns

July 2002

Anyone have any recommendations for a Kaiser Richmond OBGYN' I'm looking for someone with a more natural approach that is supportive of homebirth(or at least not horrified by it:)

I am about to start prenatal care and since I am now on my husband's insurance I have to switch to Kaiser. I have been taking my 1-year-old to Kaiser Richmond and am very happy with the Pediatric Dept, but I don't know much about the Ob/Gyn Dept. If anyone can give me a recommendation for a Ob/Gyn at Kaiser-Richmond and also any information about the prenatal care there I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

Colette Kauffmann, RN FNP saw me through my pregnancy, and was just fine. She answered all questions, was quite reassuring, without being scary. I had some bleeding (which scared the **** out of me), and she was very calming. I think I did see someone else there once (Colette was on vacation), but I don't remember her name. My impression is that most of the people there are at Kaiser because they want to focus on the patients, rather than fighting with the misc. insurance companies, prior treatment authorizations, etc. Isaac was born at Alta Bates, and I thought they were terrific. I would recommend that while you are still in the hospital, you grab one of the lactation consultants. Start demanding a visit while you are still in labor. I had some problems, and my milk never did come in, even with working on it for months with nursing and pumping. Eleanor

Naomi Torgersen at Richmond's Kaiser OB/Gyn is great! She wasn't my first choice, but glad that I ended up with her. She's warm, sympathetic, and easy to talk to. She gives it to you direct and gives you room to make your own decisions. Sadly I didn't go far enough (miscarrage) to make good use of the prenatal care services, but received an information packet that I felt gave me a good start there. Amy

I highly recommend Dr. Danica Bloomquist. She was my OB at Oakland Kaiser but she works at Kaiser-Richmond as well. She was perceptive, patient, friendly, and straight-forward. Most refreshinly, she strongly advocated for natural childbirth. Although at 32 weeks, I decided to have a homebirth, I would have loved to have her deliver my baby. ReCheng

I went to Kaiser (Richmond) for all my pre-natal treatments while I was pregnant. My only problem was that I hardly ever saw the same doctor. My nurse practitioner is Pamela Mullins who I have seen since I was a teenager. I assumed that she would be the only doctor I would see since she knew my medical history. Wrong! I only saw her 3 or 4 times during my pregnancy. I can say that I saw every physician in that department. I was working at the time and I had to make my appoinments at various times and she was only available on certain days and times. I felt that I did not really have the kind of bond that a doctor and patient should have during a pregnancy. I would definitly suggest telling the receptionist that you want appointments only with whichever doctor you have been seeing or are scheduled to start seeing. I also suggest going to Kaiser in Vallejo, or Kaiser in Walnut Creek to deliver. Good Luck!

I have seen Dr. Flannagan at Kaiser Richmond and liked her fine. She seems friendly and she has taken the time to answer my questions. I did have a really bad experienc She rushed out of the room as I was asking questions, and when I had to see her again at an emergency appoitment after my baby was born, she misdiagnosed me and I ended up having to go back to Urgent Care. I was relieved to get back to Dr. Flannagan again. As for the prenatal care, I was not very impressed. You must attend at least one class before you can see a Dr, and it was inconvenient and not very helpful in my opinion. I understand why they do this (saves time answering some basic questions) but it was a bit of a drag. They also told me I could not see my OB for prenatal care, but had to see a nurse practitioner. I did not like this, because I had established a relationship with my OB and was not thrilled to switch. And you may not know this, but to my understanding all Kaiser babies are delivered by residents, not your Dr anyway. I switched insurance halfway through my pregnancy, so I don't know about the whole range of care they provide, but I have been happier with Kaiser for other things, such as post-natal (wonderful) and pediatrics (even better.) BTW, we love our pediatrician at Richmond- his name is Dr. Schaff and he is so great, I wish he was my Dr too! If you can get him after your baby is born for pediatrics I'd recommend it. Good luck, and feel free to email with any questions.

Nov 1999

Congradulations! I was very concerned too when I read people's comments on the UCB parents website when I was pregnant. Now my baby is 9 months old and I think I should post and tell people about my experience at Kaiser and at Alta Bates.

The prenatal care at Kaiser (Richmond) was good. My nurse practitioner was very caring and she pays attention to a lot of things. She once made another appointment with a dermotologist so that I can just go upstairs and have my skin rash treated right there in one visit.

However my complaints are: (1) not enough information for classes - I had to call and ask (a few times) to enroll in the childbirth class. For other classes (breast feeding, baby care) they don't offer in Richmond, I had to call the Oakland medical center for it and they didn't give that information to me in the prenatal visit. (2) sometimes it is hard to get an appointment- that's the major reason why I didn't ask to see a MD but sometimes it was difficult to schedule the appointment even with my nice NP. Kaiser send Richmond and Oakland patients to Alta Bates in Berkeley for delivery. Our experience with Alta Bates was actually pretty good. In the delivery room the nurse was very helpful and supportive. I was fortunate to have a quick delivery and so that's all I can remember. We got a private room. In the recovery section the nurses are responsive and helpful too. I remember they would come in 5-10 minutes when I called. They didn't offer any formula or bottle at all when my baby cried and my real milk hadn't come. Now I understand that not all hostipals would do the same for breast feeding babies.

I still don't know if my positive experience was because of overall improvement of Alta Bates or just because my baby was born in a good time when there is not too many new mothers and babies. So I think it is a good idea to see if other members of this list have any recent experience with them. (and update the web page if necessary). Wishing all the best for you and your baby.