About Us

Since the department’s inception on May 6, 1868 with the appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Reyburn, MD, the department has plated a dominant role in the life of the Howard University College of Medicine, the historical Freedman’s Hospital and Howard University Hospital. “This is a hospital that has a legacy of treating patients of all backgrounds,” said Edward E. Cornwell, III, surgeon-in-chief of the department at Howard University Hospital and the academic equivalent in the College of Medicine. “We continue our historical mission: to provide healthcare to everyone.”

The Department of Surgery includes specialized surgical centers of excellence. Key areas are:

  • General Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Bariatric Surgery

With the central goal of emboldening core surgical programs and offering division-based surgical expertise, the department recruits and collaborates with other Howard University Hospital departments to offer division-based surgical services that include but are not limited to:

  • Urology Surgery
  • Podiatry Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Neurosurgery 

Surgery Administration

Edward E. Cornwell, M.D., FACS, FCCM
Surgeon-In-Chief, Howard University Hospital
Chairman, Department of Surgery, Howard University College of Medicine

Debra H. Ford, M.D., FACS
Vice Chair, Department of Surgery, Howard University College of Medicine
Director of the Surgical Residency Program, Howard University College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Surgery

Support Staff

  • Jacqueline Jenifer, RN, MA, CPME - Administrative Director Research Outcomes
  • Darmita G. Wilson, BA,MA,CPL - Administrative Director Marketing and Development
  • Loretta Battle- Administrative Assistant