Ob/Gyn Dispatches During COVID-19: Pavan Ananth, MD

Each day during the COVID-19 pandemic, we'll share an update from a member of our team in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Today's note is from Pavan K. Ananth, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at NYP/Hudson Valley Hospital.

Pavan K. Ananth, MD
Pavan K. Ananth, MD

There have been so many thoughtful and inspiring sentiments from such an amazing and diverse group of people, that it feels a bit intimidating to add my voice. But part of what makes this Columbia community so wonderful is being able to share our experiences, hear various perspectives, and to know that we are a team despite our differences.

When I joined as faculty at the Hudson Valley campus, one of the most appealing aspects of this position was the vision of providing the highest quality of care—aiming to set the same standard as the academic tertiary care of our home institution—at a community hospital, for a patient population who previously didn’t have this access.

As soon as I started settling into this position, my first job out of fellowship, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the whole world changed. Career goals became irrelevant, and we all did whatever was necessary to keep our completely overwhelmed healthcare system afloat.

The pandemic is a powerful reminder of privilege in many ways. We are so fortunate to be part of an institution that immediately responded and evolved. Our department moved at lightning speed to collect data, create contingency plans, and develop best practices that would be adopted on a national and global level. The 4:30 p.m. COVID-19 calls started, and I felt so supported and so proud to be a part of this department. 

Though Westchester County was the spark that ignited New York, the inferno clearly struck our colleagues in Manhattan the hardest. It was incredible to see the grace and fortitude with which it was handled.

As we look ahead and try to re-imagine women’s healthcare in a post-COVID-19 world, it’s impossible to know what it will look like. But we’ve already demonstrated our strength and resilience. I am so excited and motivated to be part of the effort to expand and further develop our already incredible Ob/Gyn department.

Pavan Ananth, MD