New Castle News

December 5, 2012

Longtime NYC doctor returns to roots

Renee Gendreau
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Dr. Mary Jane Bovo admits her grandma was right.

The older woman always told her granddaughter to never say never. But, the medical student did just that when she left New Castle for the Penn State University College of Medicine more than 30 years ago, vowing never to return to her hometown.

After a career that included a practice in New York City, writing and world travel, the doctor returned home and opened a obstetrics and gynecology office in Neshannock Township in October.

Pulling her back was another one of the strong women who helped shape her life, her mother, Betty Bovo.

“My mom is in her 80s and after my dad died two years ago, I knew I wanted to spend more time with her,” Bovo explained. “It was time to come home, leave the high-powered life and take care of patients, not whole departments.

“Patient care is why I got into medicine to begin with,” noted Bovo, who always maintained a private practice while serving in high-profile positions, including her most recent as chairman of obstetrics and gynecology as well as director of labor and delivery at Noyes Memorial Hospital in suburban Dansville, N.Y.

“I’d done what I was supposed to do there and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take on another chair or do more traveling,” explained Bovo, who spent 16 months working at temporary positions in the New York/New Jersey area in order to fund her new practice.

“I turned down other chairs to do this,” she said. “Being home was important to me and spending time with my mom would have been difficult if I’d taken a permanent job in California or overseas.”

In addition to her medical work, Bovo has been active in child abuse and domestic violence reform and authored eight books for women. Her ninth, “Men Pomegranates and Menopause,” is slated for an April 2013 release. She also writes fiction under a pen name.

During her career, Bovo has provided medical care to victims of poverty and natural disasters in Africa, Chile and other Third World countries. On 9/11, she saw the second World Trade Center tower fall and rushed to the scene to provide assistance, later attending nearly 40 funerals of friends and co-workers lost that day.

“I’ve paid my dues, but I prefer to live life, not talk about it,” she said from her office in the Medical Arts Building.

It’s here that Bovo hopes to help women not only with routine OB/GYN care, but also high-risk pregnancy issues, gestational diabetes, minimally invasive surgery, menopause care, weight management and chronic fatigue syndrome.

“I’m aggressive in my care of women. I love what I do, or I wouldn’t be doing it,” she said, adding, “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a doctor.”

Affiliated with Heritage Valley Health System in Beaver, Bovo noted that most care for her obstetrics patients can be provided at her office, only traveling to the hospital for the delivery of their baby.

“I come from a high-powered background, but medicine is medicine no matter where you are. In the end it’s all about patient care,” Bovo explained. “As a doctor, you are not taking care of a disease, you are taking care of another human being.”