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James E. (Jef) Ferguson, MD

September 1, 2022  — The UVA Medical Alumni Association is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022 Walter Reed Distinguished Achievement Award: James E. (Jef) Ferguson, II, MD, MBA.

Ferguson is the W. Norman Thornton Professor and Chair Emeritus in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree in 1977 from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and his MBA in 2008 from George Washington University. He served on the faculty at UVA from 1987-2002, later returning to UVA in 2009 where he served as the W. Norman Thornton, Jr. Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology until 2021. He is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the foremost leaders in academic obstetrics and gynecology and women’s health and an expert in maternal-fetal medicine (MFM).

His scholarship and research have addressed a variety of issues of significant import to women’s health including pharmacologic treatment of preterm labor (PTL), non-invasive and invasive prenatal diagnosis, role of parathyroid hormone related protein (PTHrP) in the human uteroplacental unit, periodontal disease in pregnancy and antepartum-external cephalic version with tocolysis (A-ECV-T). The findings from these investigations and others, continue to inform clinical practice nationally. Ferguson has also provided educational inspiration to four decades and mentored learners and faculty teachers at all levels. He has received awards for his teaching and taught nationally and as a consultant and Fellow for Project HOPE/U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ferguson has delivered local, national and international leadership through activities such as serving as president for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society and being elected to the Board of Directors of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and providing service and leadership for 11 years. He has collaborated with medical directors and hospital leaders and championed impactful emphasis on patient safety, quality care, continuous improvement, and innovation leading to excellent patient outcomes which have contributed to recognition for the department and medical center from sources such as the Virginia Hospital Association, Newsweek, Becker’s Hospital Review, US News and World Report, Vizient, CDC, and Leapfrog.

He has served on several editorial boards and been a referee for numerous women’s health journals, including the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology and the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and as an editor for the Obstetrics Section of the Journal of Women’s Health. He has served on several Ad-Hoc Review panels for the NICHD/NIH, an expert medical consultant for NCBDD/CDC, published over 136 peer-reviewed articles and invited published discussions, two books, with 106 presented abstracts, and has co-edited two books.

Ferguson has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career including induction by Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta, Beta Gamma Sigma, the Lange Award, C. Hampton-Mauzy Award, the Z Society Distinguished Faculty Award from the Z Society of the University of Virginia, and honorary societal memberships.

Congratulations to Dr. Ferguson on this well-deserved recognition.