Each morning before she leaves for the office, Jennifer Hayes looks at the vision board in her home that carries the note to herself, ‘I will make a difference today.’ “That’s what I strive to do for my patients and they tell me that I do.”
Four years ago, Hayes (D.O. ’86) left a successful obstetrics and gynecology practice where she’d been a partner, to start a solo practice specializing in robotic gynecological surgery. She became the first such specialist on the west coast of Florida and one of the few in the southeastern U.S. to use this technology, making her one of the most innovative and experienced surgeons in her field for this region.
“Being able to do complex surgeries robotically myself and by training other surgeons, I am helping to spread the availability of minimally invasive ways to care for women’s health issues. What would take eight weeks to heal and leave a scar forever, can now be treated with my patients returning to work in a week or two. It gives patients options they never had before to take their problem away.”
The first board-certified gynecologist to bring Cosmetic Gynecology to the Tampa Bay area, Hayes also specializes in surgery that “enables patients to have greater intimacy with themselves and their partners. They report how much happier they are and how their surgery improves their self-esteem.” She received her training in Beverly Hills under pioneer Dr. David Matlock, of Dr. 90210 fame.
She credits her Nova training and her personal philosophy of service to her patients, in her ability to create a “practice that is nurturing and honoring to women and one that provides a healing environment where these patients can journey through treatment and see themselves whole again.”
She believes that her Nova education gave her the “comfort of knowing the nuts and bolts of medicine,” but also taught principles that emphasized the importance of empathy and touch.
“It’s part of who I am as a person, but in osteopathic medicine, you focus on being well-rounded in your understanding of and being relational with your patients. There is truly something to the healing power of touch and patients feeling that you are really focused and care about them as people.”
“Every teacher has made a difference in my life, but Nova gave me a career.”
Hayes trains physicians around the United States and is active on the Board of Governors for the Pinellas County Osteopathic Medicine Association. “I am grateful for my patients’ faith in me, my colleagues for placing me in a position in leadership, and the opportunity to share my knowledge with other physicians for the benefit of all of our patients. Making a difference every day is a lot to live up to. I hope I do.”