February 27, 2009

Jones named chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Featured Image

Howard Jones III M.D.

Jones named chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Howard Jones III, M.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of Gynecologic Oncology for the past 28 years, has been named Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Jones has served as interim chair since April 2008.

“I am thrilled that Howard has accepted this appointment as the chair of Ob/Gyn,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine.

“He is an esteemed academic clinician who is highly regarded by his colleagues. As interim chair, he led the department with a strong, sure hand, and I know that under his leadership, Ob/Gyn will continue to grow its excellence in research, education and patient care,” Balser said.

“I love Vanderbilt and the department, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to lead,” Jones said.

“I hope to maintain the excellent clinical standing of the department, particularly in strengthening obstetrics. I hope to increase the number of faculty members in obstetrics to deliver the kind of state of the art care that people are so used to at Vanderbilt,” Jones said. “I also hope to bring in new players in gynecology who will continue the fine tradition of superb patient care and excellent resident training.”

Jones also plans to increase research output in basic science, and says there are exciting projects already under way in endometriosis and the epigenetics of reproductive biology.

The department is currently focused on transitioning to Vanderbilt Health at One Hundred Oaks, and Jones said the new space is highly anticipated.

“We've had no new clinic space in many, many years,” he said. “The new clinic there combines our three outpatient venues all under one roof, and it is an excellent facility. Further down the line, as our economic problems resolve, we hope to resume plans for the Women's and Children's Hospital, which will incorporate a whole new obstetrical suite. Right now, our maximum capacity is 3,200 deliveries, and the new hospital will take us to 5,000. We're very excited about that.”

Jones received his medical degree from Duke, served a residency at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver and did a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston, Texas.

He is an expert in gynecologic oncology, with a focused interest in abnormal pap smears. He has co-edited several medical textbooks including the recent 10th edition of “TeLinde's Operative Gynecology.”

He is a member of many national and international Ob/Gyn societies, including the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, the International Society of Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy and the Cancer Committee of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

For Jones, the Ob/Gyn field is a family affair.

Both of his grandfathers were physicians, and his mother and father are noted experts in reproductive technologies, responsible for the first successful pregnancy by in vitro fertilization in the United States.

Jones' son, Hal, is a second-year OB-GYN resident at Columbia University.

“Since Howard took the helm last year, he has guided the department with exceptional skill and has garnered the respect of his colleagues,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

“We are confident he will continue to meet the clinical and academic missions of the department and continue its upward momentum.”