Edgar and Jeanne Ballard retire June 30, 2007

Pathologist Edgar Ballard, MD, and his wife, neonatologist Jeanne Ballard, MD, are retiring from the Cincinnati Children’s faculty June 30, after serving a combined 61 years.

Ed Ballard, a Morgantown, West Virginia, native, has been in our Division of Pathology for 33 years and has been assistant director since 1977. His special interest has been pediatric neuropathology.

After earning his MD from the University of Florida (1965), Ed came north for a pediatric internship at the Cincinnati General and Cincinnati Children’s. He and Jeanne d’Arc Lacroix met during their pediatric internship year in the same class. They moved to Gainesville, Florida, for their first year of pediatric residency and started a family there while Ed did a two-year stint in the US Air Force. They returned to Cincinnati in 1969 for their senior residency year. Jeanne then took a two-year fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine (1970-72). Ed spent a year as chief resident (1970-71) and then a pediatric pathology fellowship under James McAdams, MD (1971-74).

Admired by fellow physicians

Ed Ballard’s long-time associate, Kevin Bove, MD, notes: “Ed Ballard has been a trusted colleague and close friend for 30 years. He is a cheerful, careful reliable pathologist, more able than most to focus on meaning for patients and families beyond the end of the microscope. Blessed with a playful sense of humor, Ed is also a stubborn pro who is not easily led astray from the essence of a tough case. An engineering student before medicine, Ed has been animated by the computer age, which has enable his nascent computational skills to flourish, benefiting many, in and out of the division, by his unique ability to conduct searches of our diagnostic database.”

Dr. Bove adds, “A consistent highlight of working with Ed has been lunch, originally in the doctors’ dining room and lately in the cafeteria, where faculty camaraderie and conversation still thrives for those who can take the time from busy schedules. These lunches with Ed and many others of you over the years have brightened and relieved the steady hum of diagnostic work in the Pathology Division, where we now find ourselves with a very difficult task. Preparing for life without Ed Ballard will not be easy.”

Jeanne Ballard has been an attending neonatologist at Cincinnati Children’s and the University Hospital since 1979, following seven years as a neonatologist at Bethesda Hospital. She was director of the high-risk clinic at Cincinnati Children’s from 1984 to 1990. In 1991, Dr. Ballard published the New Ballard Score, which has been used universally since that time. The New Ballard Score is a set of procedures to determine gestational age and the baby’s maturity through neuromuscular and physical assessment by a skilled examiner.

Accomplishments and Awards

In 1997, Jeanne Ballard, working out of the Division of General and Community Pediatrics, became the founder and medical director of the Lactation Education Resource Center. She also ran the associated Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic, which specializes in a dyad approach: seeing both the breastfeeding mother and the breastfed infant at one clinic visit. Dr. Ballard standardized this practice for lactation care in the Cincinnati region. The clinic was instituted in 1997, with a March of Dimes grant, when Jeanne was stationed at the University Hospital nurseries. It moved to Cincinnati Children’s in 2005. Sheela Geraghty, MD, director of the Center for Breastfeeding Medicine, is taking over as clinic director.

Jeanne Ballard received a Silver Apple Teaching Award from the University of Cincinnati medical students (1994) and won a Clinician-Teacher Award from the residents for excellence in teaching neonatology (1994 and 1995).

Ed wants to hike the Appalachian Trail, travel to Nepal and build a cabin in the mountains for a second, quiet home. He likes woodworking, and both like gardening, water and snow skiing, water sports and traveling to visit family in Florida, Denver and Knoxville.

To Ed and Jeanne Ballard, our best wishes for a long and satisfying retirement, and thanks for all you did for us at Cincinnati Children’s.

William Gerhardt, MD Staff Historian