Dr. Kenneth Leveno was a vocal and stalwart defender of evidence-based obstetrics. Sadly, he passed away in May 2020. Ken joined the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern after completing a Maternal–Fetal Medicine fellowship in 1978. In 1984, he was appointed Chief of Obstetrics at Parkland Memorial Hospital—a role in which he served for the next 20 years. During that time and afterwards, he worked tirelessly to achieve a level of excellence in obstetrical care for indigent women of Dallas County. His inspiring leadership and innovations raised the quality of care at the community obstetrics clinics, the high-risk prenatal clinics at Parkland, and the inpatient units, which include the Obstetrical Triage Unit, Labor & Delivery, postpartum wards, and the High-Risk Pregnancy Unit. Early on, he also designed a computerized database to measure quality indicators and provide an underpinning for clinical research. Indeed, his contributions to these programs were reverently referred to by us as Parkland Obstetrics.
Ken Leveno's leadership extended well beyond the hospital that he loved. He was a leader in American obstetrics by his defining of clinical research. Through his hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, his clinical opinions, and his willingness to engage in national debates, he helped shape obstetrical practices worldwide. In 1993, Ken began serving as an editor for Williams Obstetrics—a task that he regarded as a privilege and a responsibility. He co-authored the 19th through the current 26th editions. Last and importantly, he mentored the careers of many Maternal–Fetal Medicine fellows and young faculty who have gone on to achieve national reputations in the care of women. Ken will be greatly missed.