Chief Health and Medical Correspondent for ABC News, Good Morning America and GMA3: What You Need to Know Women’s, Ob-Gyn, Surgeon, and Best-Selling Author
Retiring stiff paper gowns and unrelatable medical advice, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a Board-certified Ob-Gyn, author and TV medical correspondent, breaks the barrier between doctor and patient. Affectionately referred to as your all-in-one ‘BFF’/Ob-Gyn, Dr. Jennifer Ashton marries an unparalleled medical background with an accessible ‘girl’s-girl’ attitude. Though Dr. Ashton can easily speak to the latest beauty and fashion trends, this Ivy League graduate means business when it comes to women’s health.
From the onset, you might wonder how Dr. Ashton does it. Hailing from a family of 6 physicians and 1 nurse, this wife and mother of two possesses a uniquely well-rounded understanding of the human body. Leading by example, Dr. Ashton not only ‘talks the talk,’ but ‘walks the walk.’ When she’s not in the office, she can be found training for triathlons or following her very own Five-Day/Two- Day Eating Plan. Dr. Ashton demonstrates first-hand how to embrace and feel empowered at every stage of womanhood. This relatable and modern approach is highlighted in her latest book Your Body Beautiful (Penguin), a coveted resource for the medical community and women at every stage of their lives.
Dr. Ashton opened her private medical practice, Hygeia Gynecology, in Englewood, New Jersey in 2008. Physically and aesthetically unmatched, Hygeia Gynecology is aptly named after Hygeia the Greek goddess of health, healing, and cleanliness. Resembling a spa more than a doctor’s office, patients are immediately escorted from a Zen-like reception area to examination rooms where they are surrounded by luxurious materials and high-tech equipment. Instead of scratchy and uncomfortable paper gowns, patients are enveloped in plush Kashwére robes, much like the ones you’ll find at a hotel. Patients are physically and metaphorically “wrapped in comfort,” explains Dr. Ashton.
The first eco-friendly medical practice in Bergen County, Hygeia is officially GreenOffice Certified. Ninety-nine percent of the office’s contents are green and non-toxic, including energy-efficient light-bulbs, low-VOC paint, sustainable furniture and organic cotton fabrics.
While she spent her early years coloring at nursing stations while her parents (a doctor and a nurse) worked, Dr. Ashton recognized at a young age that she was destined to be a doctor. Attending Columbia College, Columbia University as an undergrad, Dr. Ashton went on to receive her medical degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she served as Class President for four consecutive years.
Dr. Ashton immediately gravitated towards gynecology, as it encompassed virtually every facet of the medical field. From surgical (think c-sections and GYN cancers) to psychiatry, Dr. Ashton’s knowledge runs the gamut. More importantly, Dr. Ashton is drawn to the primary care issues affecting women; she explains: “I feel like being a female Ob/Gyn is like being captain of a great sisterhood team! There is so much that a woman goes through that I can say, ‘I know exactly how you feel.’”
A big believer in perpetual education, Dr. Ashton has just completed a 3-year program at Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition and has received her Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition in 2016, making her one of the only M.D.’s with a national media platform who is also formally credentialed in Nutrition. Dr. Ashton is also board certified in Obesity Medicine.
Medicine in the Media
Dr. Ashton is the Chief Medical Correspondent for ABC News, (only the 3rd person to hold this position in the history of ABC News), and the first OB-Gyn to ever hold this position in national network news media. In October 2017, ABC announced Dr. Ashton as the Chief Medical Correspondent & Health Editor, making her only the third person at the network to ever hold this title. In 2015, Dr. Ashton was named Chief Women’s Health Correspondent for ABC News, where she has been Senior Medical Contributor since 2012, and appears several times a week on the nation’s number one rated morning news broadcast, Good Morning America. In 2013, she was named co-host of the nationally- syndicated, Emmy Award-winning daytime medical show, The Doctors. From 2009-2011, Dr. Ashton was the Medical Correspondent for CBS News Network, where she received the prestigious Columbia Alfred DuPont Award for Excellence in Journalism for her work. Previously, Dr. Ashton worked as the Medical Correspondent for The Fox News Channel and has regularly contributed to a number of shows including The Early Show, The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, The Dr. Oz Show and TLC’s A Baby Story. One of the few practicing physicians with a national media platform, Dr. Ashton’s dual roles in clinical medicine and medical media keep her on the cutting edge of medical and health news and advances.
Dr. Ashton’s award-winning book, The Body Scoop for Girls (Penguin) was released in January 2010 and is an approachable guide to teenage health. In her second book, Your Body Beautiful (Penguin), released in January 2012, Dr. Ashton calls on her own beauty regimens, eating plan and fitness routines to offer a comprehensive health and lifestyle guide for women age 30-50. From heart disease to teeth whitening, Your Body Beautiful is the ultimate resource empowering women to stay strong and sexy in their 30’s and beyond. The book launched in soft-cover in December 2012. In May 2016, Dr. Ashton released her third book, Eat This Not That When You’re Expecting, co-authored with Dave Zinczenko. The book is a doctor-recommended eating plan for pregnant women written from her experience as a Board-certified Ob-Gyn who now has a degree in Nutrition. Her latest book is The New Normal: A Roadmap to Resilience in the Pandemic Era.
Lessons Learned Amidst COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ashton has met with Dr Anthony Fauci, NIAID Director, at the NIH vaccine development lab, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and Dr Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator in the Office of the Vice President; interviewed Dr Robert Redfield, virologist and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and has been in direct communication with Dr Stephen Hahn, Food and Drug Commissioner, and Dr Jerome Adams, Surgeon General.
Challenges in Healthcare Today
Explained by someone with a unique 'macro' and 'micro' view of modern medicine, as a Chief Medical correspondent who reports the nation's top medical news and a practicing physician who sees patients in her medical office. From communication issues, to health care literacy problems that cross socio-economic demographics, Dr. Ashton provides thought-provoking insights into the problems facing us in healthcare, as well as suggests some solutions that can be implemented by both professionals and laypeople alike.
Teamwork in Medicine and Media
There is some controversy today as to which type of individual functions better in the workplace- the person who works solo, or the 'team player.' Dr. Ashton shares examples from her careers in Medicine and Media that can be extrapolated to any profession. She offers motivational guidance on how to work outside of one's comfort zone, try new things, work well with others (be a team player), and how to take advantage of both professional and personal obstacles and opportunities.
Life After Tragedy
Sharing her personal experience of living through the suicide death of her ex-husband and children's father, in her latest book, Life After Suicide, Dr. Ashton relates her own story of courage and recovery after tragedy struck her family. By facing her own vulnerabilities, and leaning on her co-workers and colleagues, Dr. Ashton returned to a very public and demanding life and job while struggling to care for her grieving children. She shares how it is possible to find strength and comfort even in what seems like an insurmountable crisis.