SGO Past President Kenneth D. Hatch, MD, 1946-2020
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology regrets to announce the passing of SGO Past President Kenneth D. Hatch, MD, who died after a short illness on Nov. 12 at the age of 73. In his most recent role, he served as Professor Emeritus and former Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine – Tucson, and had retired this past year.
Dr. Hatch’s academic career spanned five decades, and included hundreds of peer-reviewed papers, chapters and books published to improve women’s health care.
Dr. Hatch earned his medical degree at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1971.Following his Air Force Service, he completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology followed by a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology, both at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)He joined the faculty at UAB, where he served as the Division Director of Gynecologic Oncology.
“Ken Hatch was an extraordinary physician, mentor, colleague and an exceptional family man,” said SGO Past President James W. Orr, MD, FACOG, FACS. “His surgical expertise, innovative techniques and distinctive, unique publications, combined with his zeal for education have touched innumerous trainees and has undoubtedly improved the “worldwide” care of women with gynecologic cancer. He will be sorely missed by all.”
Dr. Hatch joined the University of Arizona faculty in 1989. During his tenure at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine – Tucson, he served as Residency Program Director, Division Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, and as Department Chair.
Dr. Hatch served as SGO President from 2003-2004 and also served as president of ASCCP and the Society of Pelvic Surgeons.
“Ken Hatch excelled in all parts of his life,” said SGO Past President Ronald D. Alvarez, MD, MBA. “He was a superb and innovative clinician and surgeon. He was an incredible teacher, particularly in the operating room. He mentored a generation of gynecologic oncologists at UAB, many of whom became accomplished SGO leaders. His leadership and dedication to education extended worldwide. Most importantly, Ken Hatch was a selfless and kind man who loved his family and his profession. SGO sadly loses a giant in our field.”
According to an official statement by the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, Dr. Hatch’s many innovative accomplishments include the introduction of laparoscopic approaches to gynecologic malignancies, leading the first randomized clinical trial testing the effectiveness of this approach, having performed the first radical laparoscopic for cervical cancer in 1994. This procedure revolutionized the field and continues to be used worldwide today as the standard approach to gynecologic cancers. One of the many books he authored is Hatch’s Innovations in Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgery. Also, he was among a few surgeons who treat early stage cervical cancer by radical trachelectomy, thus allowing young women the potential for future fertility. In addition, he was a primary investigator in the HPV vaccine trials that lead to FDA approval of the HPV vaccine.
Dr. Hatch is survived by his wife Rhea, two children (Lara and Scott) and five grandchildren (Payne, Camille, Aiden, Jamie and Kaylen). Details regarding memorial services have not yet been announced. Condolences may be sent to Sonia Garcia at email@example.com to be passed along to Dr. Hatch’s family.