Provider Feature: Tracy W. Winward, M.D.
Dr. Winward has been with Valley Women’s Health, previously Southern Utah Women’s Health Center, for 24 years. Originally from St. George, she returned after completing medical school and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She has been the Physician Director of Ultrasound since 1998 and is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She’s a self-proclaimed adrenaline seeker, loves to sleep in any chance she gets and loves her job! We know you will love getting to know more about Dr. Winward, just as much as we did.
Why did you choose to become an OB/GYN?
I was in 10th grade when I started thinking about it. In school I always did well in the biological classes. A lot of my family is also in medicine—doctor’s, nurses and pharmacists. My mother, Barbara Watson, was Chairman of the Board at Dixie Regional Medical Center for 17 years while I was growing up. She was instrumental in bringing cancer services here to St. George. My great-grandmother, Anna Hess, was the first Certified Nurse Midwife in St. George too! She delivered all the babies! It’s really interesting to read her journals. She’ll talk about the deliveries and describe them in layman’s terms. Reading them now I can read what she describes and know it was a Placenta Previa. She would also describe how she was paid in chickens. It’s really interesting!
I think it was probably genetics. I think it chose me.
What was your first experience delivering a baby?
My first experience delivering a baby is my own son. I have delivered 3 babies—I have 3 children. I have assisted thousands of women deliver babies. I laughed at this question because my first experience delivering, was my own baby. I remember going through that first pregnancy blissfully unaware and naive of obstetrics. He was a big baby and I had no idea. My first baby was 8 lb. 10 oz. The cool part is that when I meet new moms, she’s just like I was on that first one. She doesn’t know all the science behind it and all the problems that can occur. She’s trusting me to watch out for her.
I was in medical school when I had my first baby. I did one baby in medical school, delivered my next child in residency and delivered my next child here in practice.
My first experience assisting a delivery would have been in medical school, after we finished didactics and we started clinical rotations. I was actually pregnant when I began my OB rotations and so I would have been a medical student. They allowed us to sit in on deliveries, but we were not officially attending at that point until residency.
Is there a birth that was really memorable for you?
Every birth is actually! There is an extreme love that is present in a room when you’re delivering a baby. I can think of some fun ones and it always seems to involve the families. I came to visit one patient while she was in labor one day. Sitting on the couch there’s 4 more of my patients! I had delivered everyone’s babies in that room. Come to find out, they were all sisters! I hadn’t figured it out until the last sister (because they all had different last names and don’t look exceptionally alike). When I found out they were all sisters and I said, “Are you kidding me?” Those are fun memories.
There are the other ones where you feel like you’ve really made a difference. Many women deliver without any complications. Then there are those deliveries where you go home and say, “I just saved a baby’s life. I’ve really done something.” I remember my first one like that where the patient took out a page in a newspaper thanking me for saving her baby. It was a full page. Those are special!
What is your favorite thing about being an OB/GYN?
Delivering the babies! Hands down. No question. Delivering the babies! If I could just deliver babies all day long, that would be perfect for me. That’s what I would like to do if I didn’t have to do all the administrative stuff that goes along with it. Yep, delivering the babies.
What do you love about working with Valley Women’s Health?
I came 24 years ago and I was coming back to St. George, my home town. There was no question. My husband and I had interviewed other places, but we wanted to come back to our home town to raise our children. Southern Utah Women’s Health Center was the premiere OB/GYN group when we were coming back to St. George. I love that we are a group of people, but are also friends and we know each other’s families. It comes back to families again. That’s crazy! We’ve always, over the years, been a tight knit group. We support each other. We back each other up.
Is there a time that stands out during medical school, residency and/or practice?
My favorite experience is I delivered a baby in each one of them! I have young ladies ask me, when they are going into medicine, “Did have to choose between family and medicine?” I say “Absolutely not!” And guess what, you can’t plan things out perfectly. We know babies, how they come, when they come and when they don’t want to come. We made it work as they came along.
One of the ways we made it work was by hiring nannies that lived at our home. They have become part of our family and people always thought they were our daughters. Our last nanny was with us for 6 years. She came to us right out of high school and just received her Nursing degree.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married for 32 years and have 3 children, plus our oldest “adopted” daughter who I just told you about. My oldest son lives in upstate New York and is currently finishing his degree in Molecular Psychology. My next son just completed his Bachelor’s degree at Dixie University and it working in IT. My daughter is a senior at Dixie University. And then our “oldest” daughter is pregnant with her 4th baby. I don’t have any biological grandchildren yet, but I have a dog and two horses. My husband and I are both from St. George.
What is your favorite treat?
Sleeping in. That is a treat! If I get a morning where I get to sleep in, it’s like, “Huh! Oh my goodness!” I cuddle up with my dog. My husband gets up and goes to work and I get to stay in bed. That rarely happens.
Sleeping in is a treat! A treat doesn’t have to be food.
What is something your patient’s don’t know about you?
I’m an open book. I really am! I don’t think there is much they don’t know about me. Oh, I know what they don’t know! I do not Facebook, Instagram, Tweet, Tinder (obviously). I don’t do any of that. I don’t have a single account on any of those media channels.
What are your hobbies or favorite things to do?
Traveling with my family. I love planning trips. My favorite place is Scotland. When we took our family to Scotland, everyone chose something they wanted to do or see. We incorporated those activities into a week long trip. We visited the Highlands and actually hit the weekend they were having their annual Highland games. We were there with all of our long lost relatives in an official Highland game! My daughter chose the Harry Potter train ride, my son chose the Roman ancestry dig and I, of course, chose the Outlander tour. We had a ball! Plus, I only drove on the wrong side of the road once!
Our other most memorable trip was to the North Shore of Oahu. We took a big family trip there and that was more of a “mom adrenaline” trip because I took them extreme parasailing and shark cage diving. My husband said, “Can’t we ever just sit on the beach?” And I said, “Nope!” They know if I’m planning the trip it it’s going to be something extreme.
I also like to Scrapbook. My trips are scrapbooked immediately when I get home or else they wouldn’t get done. I’ve been scrapbooking since 1976 when scrapbooking wasn’t cool. It was my first Disneyland trip and I thought, I’m going to put this in a scrapbook. I do all the digital photography. My daughter is really into videography. She does weddings and is a licensed drone pilot. She does a lot of that. I let her do all the real fancy stuff. You can watch our whole Scotland trip on YouTube.
Scotland Videos by Alexis Winward
Tell us about your horses.
I have 2 horses. They try to kill me routinely. My husband and I got banned from motorsports because adrenaline… again. I broke my leg snowmobiling 5 years ago. Then my husband was seriously injured in a dirt bike accident about 3 years. He was in the ICU and it took about 6 hours for them to stitch him up. So, we got banned from motorsports by my partners. They said, “You can’t have any more motorsports. Ride horses.” I get thrown from my horse and broke my finger. I laughed and said, “Sorry, those are my husband’s pets.” I have a Dunn Rodeo Pick Up horse named Diamond Dutch. He’s a big, big horse and everytime someone goes by the arena, he runs alongside thinking that someone is going to jump on him. I have to pull him away. My husband got a new, 5-year-old Geraldine and his name is Zach the Black.
What is something that puts you in a good mood?
Playing Jazz on the piano. I’ve played the piano since I was 5 years old. My father was a drummer, so while I was growing up, he had a Combo (piano, bass, drums). They would practice on the lower level of our house, where my bedroom was. I would go to bed listening to them play all this smooth, nice music. I just loved to sit down and get some Jazz music going. I play a lot of different kinds of music, but Jazz music is relaxing because I can jam on the keys as loud as I want.
What is your favorite restaurant locally?
The ones that have To-Go! That’s mom cooking dinner after a long day. I can pull in and take dinner home. For date night, we like The Painted Pony. I don’t have to hear the Happy Birthday song, it’s quieter and the food is phenomenal.