Who's Who

HomeATS CommunityWho's Who ▶ Who's Who: Don Hayes, Jr., MD, MS, MEd, ATSF
Who's Who: Don Hayes, Jr., MD, MS, MEd, ATSF

Give us your ‘elevator pitch’ biography.

I have been an adult and pediatric pulmonary physician-scientist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University since July 2011. My clinical interests include advanced lung disease, cystic fibrosis and genetic lung diseases, pulmonary hypertension, and lung transplantation in children and young adults. I spend about 50 percent of my time seeing patients and performing bronchoscopy. I spend my other time performing administrative duties, clinical and translational research, and teaching. I am very involved in the ATS in various ways, presenting research and teaching in resident boot camp and post-graduate courses, and participating in the ATS mentoring program and ATS Hill Day. I am a member of the ATS Training and Awards Committees, previously chairing the ATS Pediatric Assembly Planning Committee, and previously chairing the ATS working group on home oxygen therapy for children. I am currently chairing the ATS Council of Chapter Representatives and serving on the ATS Board of Directors as well as the ATS Foundation Board of Trustees. I am presently attempting to develop collaborative efforts between ATS chapters to enhance educational efforts regionally.


What would you tell yourself as an Early Career Professional?

 Get involved but be cautious of your time so you can participate and/or finish what was asked of you. Today, things are moving at a rapid pace, so much so that it can be overwhelming. When opportunities present themselves, early career professionals should select those things that they are most passionate about. On the other hand, if opportunities are not presenting themselves, reach out and ask to get involved. Either way, commit to the opportunities and finish them. Finishing whatever you said you will do leads to more opportunities and more likely makes a larger impact.

If you weren’t in medicine, and were in a different industry altogether, what would you be?

I love hiking and being in the forest, while also having a passion for teaching. The science of forestry has always been fascinating to me, so I likely would be a professor in forestry studying how to protect healthy forest ecosystems with global climate change being of concern for our forests, which will ultimately affect all species. 

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

After hiking with my family in a forest, I will spend time with my horse. Horses often develop a very close and trusting relationship with their owner/handler. I have always thought interacting with a horse is spiritual with their presence being so calming and relaxing. When stress levels are high or I am missing my father who passed away from coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, I spend time with my horse, which allows me to get away and reflect. Doing this really rejuvenates my mind, body, and soul. This is also something I highly recommend to early career professionals, find something that regenerates you.

What areas of medicine are you most excited to see develop?

It has been amazing to witness the beginnings and evolution of personalized/precision medicine, especially in the field of cancer and tumor markers. I am excited to see the future of this type of care for patients with respiratory, critical care, and sleep disorders which will allow for tailored treatments in individual patients based on molecular profiles.

What is one advancement in your field you’d like to see in your career?

I would love to see advancement in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic lung allograft dysfunction, especially bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), in lung transplant recipients. It is exhilarating when a patient near death undergoes a life-saving lung transplant. This exhilaration becomes devastation when these patients die a few short years later due to BOS. In addition to the development of therapeutics for BOS, we badly need biomarkers for diagnostic purposes and treatment surveillance.  

Ok. Which statement did you make up?

Described as technologically challenged by my son, the only selfie I have ever taken of myself is with my horse, so I share that. Therefore, I do not avidly take selfies on my cell phone.

Don Hayes, MD