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by Jessica Pasley | Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013, 9:32 AM
Kelly Bennett, M.D., associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Fetal Center, has been named director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Bennett assumes the role from Frank Boehm, M.D., professor and vice chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who has served as interim director during the search for a permanent leader. Boehm directed the division from 1980-2004.
“For several years, we have been looking for the right person to head up this division,” said Boehm. “And all along, she was right here. We had the right person on our faculty the entire time. I am looking forward to her leadership and future success.
“Bennett is an internationally known high-risk specialist, a gifted teacher and a wonderful human being,” said Boehm. “She has done an excellent job with the Fetal Center; it has grown and is bulging at the seams. It will be exciting to see where she takes the division.”
Bennett came to Vanderbilt in 2002. She left in 2007 for a brief appointment at Albany Medical College in New York and returned to Vanderbilt in 2009 to direct the Fetal Center.
Under her direction, the center grew from a twice-weekly consult service to a full-fledged, multidisciplinary clinic operating five days a week.
During the past five years the Maternal Fetal Medicine division grew from two specialists to 10.
“We are recognized as a primary tertiary center for high risk pregnancies,” Bennett said. “We have one of the most active and successful programs in the world providing superior care to high-risk pregnant mothers and for babies born with birth defects or anomalies. “I anticipate further growth and continued expansion of our programs and services.”
Since 2008, Vanderbilt’s deliveries have increased from an estimated 2,500 babies to 4,500, a direct result of the Medical Center’s continued development of outreach programs, collaboration with area hospitals and expanded services to satellite clinics in neighboring counties.
Howard Jones, M.D., chair of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is looking forward to what Bennett will bring to the division as its new leader, while applauding Boehm’s dedication and long-term commitment.
“For 30 years, more or less, Dr. Boehm has been division director,” said Jones. “I am indebted to Frank for the strong leadership he has shown in building this division to be nationally recognized both clinically and from the research standpoint.
“He also has been an excellent mentor for Dr. Bennett and I am very excited she has agreed to accept this position as division director. Her contributions to fetal surgery are known worldwide and I feel sure she will do an excellent job and be a strong leader in continuing the excellence of maternal fetal medicine at Vanderbilt,” Jones said.
Bennett said that once she did her obstetrics rotation in medical school, she never looked back.
“I really love my job,” Bennett said. “I have to say, it is probably the best job I have ever had. There is something really rewarding for the work that we do. We get back everything that we give and more.”
Jessica Pasley, (615) 322-4747
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