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Jennifer W. Cole, MD

Jennifer W. Cole, MD

Jennifer W. Cole, MD, is being honored posthumously for her extraordinary work as a compassionate and brilliant pediatric anesthesiologist and mentor.

Cole, an associate professor of anesthesiology, tragically died at the age of 52 from injuries sustained in a bicycling accident on July 2, 2011. She had been a member of the faculty since 1991.

Cole was respected for her skills as a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist and her commitment to the care of children. She routinely managed the anesthetic care for children and adolescents with the most complex congenital cardiac disease and end-stage cardiac and lung disease. She radiated hope, competence and comfort in the course of her care. Children and families will remember her empathy, compassion and kindness.

Cole was the consummate team player. She encouraged excellence and professionalism by example. She fostered the careers of residents and medical students by her selflessness, optimism, infectious energy and enthusiasm. She served as a role model for young professional women about how to balance the demands of a busy family and a hectic work schedule. Cole mentored with grace and joy.

Cole earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from Washington University in 1980 and 1984 respectively. She completed postgraduate training at Washington University Medical Center with internal medicine and pediatric internships, an anesthesiology residency and fellowships in cardiac and pediatric anesthesia. While still completing her medical training, she was instrumental in organizing the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Down Syndrome Clinic and served as its coordinator. She served as president of the Alumni Executive Council for Washington University School of Medicine and held many other professional committee assignments throughout her career. Outside the medical center, she was an active leader and philanthropic contributor for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of St. Louis. She was also an avid athlete who completed three Ironman triathlons and more than two dozen marathons and half marathons.

Published: 01/19/2012