CARMEL - A 45-doctor obstetric and gynecological practice based in Carmel is joining an even larger multistate practice of healthcare providers.

OB/GYN of Indiana says it is joining Pennsylvania-based Axia Women’s Health, one of the nation’s largest independent women’s health groups.

The local OB/GYN group has nine practices in central Indiana.  Axia has offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. According to the company website, its physicians deliver nearly 20,000 babies annually in their region.

Dr. Richard Gates, president of the Board of Directors for OB/GYN of Indiana says with the continued pressures of the healthcare industry, the physicians in the group felt a change was warranted.

“Our physician leadership and administration felt it was important to thoroughly review how to best remain independent while still achieving our mission to be a more caring, connected, and progressive group of physicians,” said Gates. “With Axia Women’s Health, we found an organization that paralleled our mission and mirrored our culture.”

Gates says Axia Women’s Health is a leader in developing clinical innovations, including its recently launched non-invasive prenatal test.

Axia also runs mammography centers, treats high-risk pregnancy patients and offers laboratory services.