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Janet Bay, MD: Reflecting on a Trailblazing Career


March is National Women’s History month, and we want to take a moment to honor a woman who made history at OhioHealth. Janet Bay, MD, OhioHealth system vice president, neuroscience, was the 13th female neurosurgeon in the U.S.

Raised in Delaware, OH, Dr. Bay attended Buckeye Valley High School, and started learning about medicine when she decided to volunteer at a hospital in the area called Jane Case, now known as OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital.

“I want to be a doctor,” she told her high school counselor. He encouraged her to be a nurse.

She repeated herself, “I’m going  to be a doctor.” She went on to graduate as one of the top two students from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She decided on the University of Michigan for her internship, and then went on to New York University for a four-year neurology residency. Dr. Bay ultimately landed at The Cleveland Clinic, where she completed three more years of neurosurgical residency training.

In 1986, Dr. Bay returned to central Ohio to be closer to family and worked for Neurological Associates, a group that serviced OhioHealth Riverside Methodist.

Since then, she’s served as the first female medical staff president at Riverside Methodist, chair of the neuroscience clinical operations council and physician lead for the neuroscience clinical program.

She played a key role in the building of the OhioHealth Neuroscience Center at Riverside Methodist: a 10-story, 409,000-square foot tower with 224 private rooms. Today, this $321-million center is creating an exceptional experience that is currently unavailable anywhere else in the region and has given OhioHealth the platform to serve as one of the nation’s leading neuroscience centers.

And as she heads into retirement on May 31, 2018, she’s still helping to lead efforts to create a neuroscience wellness center that will focus on building strength through exercise, education and support.

While she hasn’t had much time to dream about what she’d like to cross off her bucket list, she’s at least started to build one:

  1. Travel to Italy, Vietnam and Cambodia.
  2. Learn more about Buddhism through online comparative religion courses.
  3. Volunteer at her church.
  4. Continue with philanthropy at OhioHealth as co-chair of the fundraising committee for the new neuroscience wellness center.
  5. Not be bored. Ever .

Thank you for everything, Dr. Bay. Now go and continue to be groundbreaking, bucket-list slashing, bold and fearless.