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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Hires New Faculty, Offers New Service

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has recently hired new faculty members and opened a new generalist practice that provides both obstetric and gynecology services.

The Triad’s only all-female obstetrics and gynecology generalist practice, located within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is headed by Andrea Fernandez, M.D., and Karen Gerancher, M.D.

Fernandez began her medical studies at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. While here, she earned the Laura E. Scales Research Fellowship for her work on the renin-angiotensin system in hypertensive patients. She then transferred to the Medical College of Virginia where she graduated in 1999 and completed her residency in 2003. Before joining the Medical Center faculty, Fernandez was in an obstetrics/gynecology private practice in Winston-Salem. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Gerancher received her master’s degree in genetics in 1989 from the University of Birmingham in England where she was recognized as a Rotary International Scholar. She earned her medical degree from the University of Florida in 1993, followed by her residency in obstetrics/gynecology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in 1997. She was in private practice in Sunnyvale, Calif., until 1999, then returned to the Medical Center. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Heather Mertz, M.D., has joined the department’s faculty as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. She completed her medical studies and residency at West Virginia University (WVU). She then completed her fellowship at Wake Forest Baptist. While here, she received the National Institutes of Health Young Investigator Award from the Perinatal Research Society as well as funding from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to study the effects of dietary antioxidant supplementation on the incidence of preeclampsia. She then returned to WVU where she served as director of the Perinatal Ultrasound Lab. Mertz’s research interests include preeclampsia and vascular dysfunction during pregnancy.

M. Tamer Yalcinkaya, M.D., is the new medical director of the in vitro fertilization program (IVF) at Wake Forest Baptist. He attended medical school at the University of Istanbul in Turkey, followed by a residency at Columbia University and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at the University of California in San Francisco. In the past 14 years, he started and directed two IVF programs at WVU with success rates well above the national average. While at WVU, Yalcinkaya performed close to 1,500 IVF procedures. He is board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility as well as obstetrics and gynecology. His expertise is in assisted reproductive technology as well as reproductive surgery.

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Media Contacts: Shannon Koontz: (shkoontz@wfubmc.edu) at (336) 716-2415 or Karen Richardson: (krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu) at (336) 716-4453.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. It is licensed to operate 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.


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