COVID-19 has disrupted the medical world. But like many of our colleagues around the country and the globe, we’ve kept our focus on providing unparalleled specialty care, performing cutting-edge research and keeping up with our patient volumes, all with the added complexity of practicing safely during the pandemic. I’m tremendously proud to be part of a team with such profound drive for innovation in our field.
A number of our hallmark programs — such as minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, gynecologic oncology and fetal therapy — have expanded. Our research portfolio has grown substantially, covering disparities in endometrial cancer, urogynecology and more.
We’re proud too that, once again, Johns Hopkins’ Obstetrics and Gynecology Program ranked #2 in the nation in this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings for Best Medical Schools.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our department has cared for hundreds of women with the disease during pregnancy, a number of whom required intensive care unit support. We are also prioritizing COVID-19 research in maternal-fetal medicine, with Irina Burd, director of the Integrated Research Center for Fetal Medicine, taking the lead.
Through our faculty members’ leadership roles in various organizations — including the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Society for Reproductive Investigation — our physicians and scientists have helped set national standards for patient care during the pandemic.
Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery (MIGS)
Our MIGS program, led by Karen Wang, is now among the largest in the region, with four fellowship-trained gynecological surgeons. It offers a range of minimally invasive approaches for the treatment of fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, abnormal uterine bleeding and ovarian cysts.
Our team of renowned surgeons, medical oncologists, researchers and cancer experts, led by Rebecca Stone, continues to deliver stellar, innovative care for women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer or at high risk for developing gynecologic or breast cancer. Our surgical services, clinical trials and research enterprise continue to expand. Of note, gynecologic oncologist Anna Beavis is studying health disparities and outcomes in endometrial cancer through the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) career development program.
Led by Ahmet Baschat, our Center for Fetal Therapy continues to be internationally recognized. We are leaders across the spectrum of in utero therapy, including the management of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and our in utero spina bifida treatment program continues to expand. Finally, our fetal cardiac program is growing with the addition of a new pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon in the Division of Pediatric Surgery.
Social Justice and Disparities
We are now routinely evaluating all department data to find where health disparities exist so we can better focus research and clinical care. The effort is led by Shari Lawson, division director of general obstetrics and gynecology. We also have a social justice lecture series within the department, and resident Tenisha Wilson served as one of the moderators of a program on social justice and its impact on health care at the 2020 Association of American Medical Colleges conference.
Our research programs continue to grow. We now have two Women’s Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Scholars, Kamaria Cayton Vaught and Ahize Eke, as part of the National Institutes of Health’s WRHR Career Development Program grant. That work, combined with our BIRCWH scholars, Anna Beavis, Anna Powell and Jason Vaught, and our involvement in two SPOREs (the National Cancer Institute’s Specialized Programs of Research Excellence), make our research programs singularly unique in the country.
Our partnership with Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health has resulted in: five collaborative research projects addressing subjects such as maternal-fetal medicine and ambulatory gynecological practice; referrals of quaternary care patients in fetal therapy to Johns Hopkins; our experts giving subspecialty second opinions to Allegheny; and Johns Hopkins hosting Allegheny residents.
We also recently entered into an agreement with WellSpan Health to support fertility care. WellSpan’s patients will be able to come to the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center for in vitro fertilization.
In these extraordinary times, I’m proud that our department has done extraordinary work and continued to move patient care and research forward.Andrew J. Satin, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics