Denise Donati started her career as a midwife in Tasmania. After receiving her Bachelor of Applied Science in Nursing Education in 1985 from the University of Tasmania, she went on to compete her Master of Science Degree in Nursing, with a focus on infertility. She launched Launceston’s first In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) unit, taking the business through two accreditations with the Fertility Society of Australia. Denise then relocated to the Sunshine Coast in 1999 and took on the role of Nurse Manager at IVF Sunshine Coast.
In 2007, Denise left IVF Sunshine Coast and, assisted by Dr. James Orford and Dr. George Bogiatzis, founded Fertility Solutions Sunshine Coast, then added a second location in Bundaberg. In 2012 she launched Sunshine Coast’s first streamlined, lower-cost solution for couples, called Affordable IVF.
In 2016, the Affordable IVF and Fertility Solutions businesses completed an amalgamation and rebranding. The combined business, also called Fertility Solutions (with an affordable edge), offers four tiered levels of IVF treatments, from bulk billed* IVF cycles to fully customized services. The clinic also offers two tiers of frozen embryo transfer cycles, one being a bulk bill* service. Denise is Director of both Fertility Solutions clinics, which are in Bundaberg and Buderim, Queensland.
Throughout her career, Denise has continued her professional training, completing certificates in Small Business Management and Professional Management. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Fertility Nurses of Australasia, Denise joined the project-planning team for the Serono Symposia International Australian Fertility Nurse Education Program. She also worked with Schering Plough to develop its IVF Nurse Initiative Program. Denise brings her wealth of knowledge and vast experience in the fertility-care field to many conferences in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Southeast Asia, speaking on topics such as basic embryology, patient expectations, and IVF nurses’ roles.
Denise takes a personal interest in patients treated at her clinics and takes pride in the wide range of services provided. When not working, Denise enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
What do you (or your business) do?
Fertility Solutions essentially works with individuals and couples to increase their chances of having a baby. We offer a comprehensive range of fertility services including ovulation induction, male and female infertility management, inseminations, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and freezing, treatments using donor sperm, eggs and embryos. The clinic is currently in the processes of setting up the ability to offer genetic testing of embryos so as to reduce the number of treatments someone may need to have to achieve a pregnancy or reduce the risk of transmitting a genetic condition from parents to a baby such as cystic fibrosis.
How long have you been in business?
I have personally been working in the assisted reproduction field for twenty-five years, since 1992. Fertility Solutions Sunshine Coast celebrated its ten-year anniversary in April 2017 and Fertiltiy Solutions Bundaberg will celebrate its’ 10 years in January 2018.
How do you stay successful in your industry?
I like to be one step ahead of the big boys and that’s a big a mammoth effort when you are only a small clinic in comparison. I closely watch the market and research and am able to react quickly so that we can provide our patients with best practice treatments. Our doctors and scientists keep up with the latest IVF research to enhance our patients’ chances of becoming pregnant. We are proud that our boutique-sized clinics have a relaxed feel and allow for personal attention to our clients. In terms of marketing, we have used many facets of advertising including newspaper, radio, billboards, websites, social media—and even buses!
What is your favorite restaurant to visit on the Sunshine Coast?
Goodness, the Coast has several amazing restaurants, I really enjoy the Spice Bar in Mooloolaba, which has an Asian fusion menu and plenty of vegetarian options, also the Spirit House in Yandina is another favourite.
What is something someone must-do when in Australia?
Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo in Beewah on the Sunshine Coast is a must-see. The grounds, exhibits, and demonstrations are wonderful, and I learn something new every time I go.
What has travel taught you that you have applied in both your personal and business life?
I’ve learned that people all over the world have more similarities than differences. Couples everywhere have the same needs and desires, especially with wanting to experience pregnancy and start families and interestingly so the incidence of infertility is similar where ever you go.