Expert Commentary

Janelle Yates: Author, editor, women’s health expert



John Baranowski, who served as Editor of OBG Management from 2008 until mid-2012, eloquently states: “As her supervisor for several years, I was the initial recipient of tens of thousands of her well-ordered, well-chosen, and insightful words. At this time, it is hard for me to find words to offer on her behalf. Her outsized skill, her easeful manner, and her certain success at improving the care that physicians provide—those are humbling, silencing remembrances; things of such great value that words just do not work as tribute.”

Dianne Reynolds, Publisher of OBG Management, has known Janelle since 2008 and says that she feels blessed and fortunate to have had Janelle in her life on more than just a professional level. “I will cherish her memory forever,” she says.

OBG Management Managing Editor Deborah Reale joined the journal staff in 2010. “Words connected Janelle and I not only in our editorial work but also personally, through our shared love of poetry,” she says. Unbeknownst to many, Janelle was a published poet. She also wrote two biographies, of Woodie Guthrie and Zora Neale Hurston, while working many years ago as an editor for Ward Hill Press.

Like so many others, I feel privileged to have worked with Janelle. Her work was fearless. Whether it was an audio interview with gynecologic oncologist Eva Chalas, MD, on preserving minimally invasive approaches to gynecologic surgery6 or a Q&A article on liability claims in obstetrics,7 Janelle did it brilliantly. She applied her years of knowledge and experience to each piece she wrote or edited, always bringing an expert’s best voice forward. In fact, Dianne Reynolds says, “Janelle once told me that she had dreamed of being a doctor, and she imagined herself pushing through hospital doors on her way to treat patients. Instead, Janelle used her acquired medical knowledge in women’s health and writing acumen to assist physicians in explaining their techniques for the benefit of their colleagues.”

Janelle’s siblings Diana and Kent Yates, and her daughter Adrienne Cano, say they have been aware of how supportive the OBG Management extended team has been to Janelle. In speaking with Board of Editors member, Cheryl B. Iglesia, MD, Diana says, “This was such a blessing in her life. It was a rare thing, the kind of relationship she had with all of you. We appreciate so very much your nurturing of her talents and of her as a person.”

Janelle meant a great deal to her colleagues, of course because of her superb work and wise perspective, but also because of her warmth and gentle ease. Simply put, Janelle was a wonderful person to be near.

“She was absolutely amazing and will be greatly missed both personally and professionally,” says 10-year OBG Management board member JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD.

Dr. Iglesia asserts, “Janelle never will be forgotten. She truly has left a legacy of very important articles for many generations.”

Janelle, we can only hope that with your name on the masthead, readers of OBG Management in future generations will have the privilege of your touch. May that touch bring them the gift of journalistic accuracy, professional integrity, spot-on syntax and, above all, compelling reading.

Share your thoughts! Send your Letter to the Editor to Please include your name and the city and state in which you practice.

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