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Maternal-Fetal Medicine,
Reproductive Genetics, and Ultrasound Unit

A Division of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center , Obstetrics & Gynecology Department

As one of the only comprehensive referral centers in the Texas Panhandle, our unit is capable of a variety of genetic and high risk consultations, tests, and ultrasound services. We have an exceptional team composed of specialized doctors, nurses, and ultrasound technicians. Our team members are professionals dedicated to serving the needs of patients by providing the highest quality of care. To ensure that you receive the best care, our certified and accredited ultrasound unit and personnel have met standards you can rely on. You can review our information through the following sections.

About the Amarillo campus

Mission of Our Units:

Our first mission is to reduce the Texas Panhandle perinatal mortality rate to less than 1 in a 1000. Our second mission is to further develop the reproductive and genetic sciences in our communities. Our third mission is to improve cancer screening throughout the lifespan of our patients.

We intend to achieve this by:

Maternal Fetal Medicine

For those pregnancies identified as 'High Risk' with an increased risk for perinatal death or infant morbidity we are available for and offer qualified consultations. Consultations in the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Unit will ensure a complete perinatal evaluation with recommendations and follow-up as desired or needed.

Indications for consultation include:

Currently available ultrasound guided prenatal therapeutic procedures include:

About James W. Van Hook, MD, MFM

james vanhook obDr. James W. Van Hook received his MD degree from Louisiana State University Medical College in Shreveport , LA and completed residency training at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston , TX . Dr. Van Hook completed his fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle , WA and completed his fellowship in Critical Care at the Wake Forest University Medical Center in Winston-Salem , NC . He also has received a certificate in Medical Management from the Southern Medical Association at Auburn University , in Auburn , AL . He is board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Critical Care. He is currently both a Professor and the Regional Chair for the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department and Director of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Ultrasound Units.

Professional Work History and Accomplishments :

Dr. Van Hook's approach to the practice of medicine is based upon a mixture of pragmatism and humor designed to create a positive, stimulating environment for his peers and patients. Dr. Van Hook brings together a diverse range of clinical expertise in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. These include general gynecology, urogynecology, high risk obstetrics, and critical care medicine. He is interested in medical outcome in under served minorities, mechanical ventilation in pregnancy, and novel methodology for medical education. Additionally, Dr. Van Hook is interested in physician welfare and work practices, and socioeconomic medical care barriers, and a variety of other issues related to OB/GYN and resident training. Dr. Van Hook has been an avid pilot for many years and enjoys flying when the opportunity arises.

About Heather Holmes, MD, MFM

robert p kauffmanDr. Holmes received her MD degree from University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston , TX and completed residency training at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo , TX . Dr. Holmes completed her fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas , TX . Dr. Holmes is a recipient of numerous honors and awards. She has affiliations with many societies, committees and hospitals including: American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Junior Fellow; American Medical Association; Texas Association of Obstetricians & Gynecologists; Texas Medical Association; Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics; Dallas County Medical Society; Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society; Northwest Texas Hospital and Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo, TX from Aug. 1, 2005-Present; and Parkland Memorial Hospital and St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas, Texas from 2002-June 2005. She is an active candidate for certification in Maternal-Fetal Medicine by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is currently an Assistant Professor for the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.

Dr. Holmes approaches her practice of medicine and her teaching responsibilities with a mix of enthusiasm and dedication. She has a genuine care and concern for her patients and approaches patient care with practicality. Her special interests include multi-fetal pregnancies and the effects of diabetes on pregnancy. Dr. Holmes loves the ballet along with the theater and is an avid reader.

Reproductive Genetics

The Human Genome Project is allowing for the discovery and testing of a number of genes known to have an important role in human congenital anomalies and diseases. Clinical genetic services are available to help families translate this scientific knowledge into practical information to help them make personal decisions about themselves and their current or future pregnancies.

Modern obstetrical practice takes into consideration how a variety of diseases can be passed down in a family or even appear for the first time during pregnancy. Our clinical genetics unit is available to help Texas Panhandle patients identify the etiology of genetic disorders and congenital anomalies that they may have or be at risk to pass onto their progeny, to understand the natural history of the diseases in question, to determine the individual risks to their family and to consider their options for testing and treatment.

Many genetic abnormalities, environmental exposures and maternal diseases can be tested for in at risk parents. Conventional indications for prenatal genetic counseling include: anyone with questions about diseases or traits in their families; desire for more information or testing about genetic conditions that are common in their ethnic group; maternal medical conditions; previous pregnancy or infant loss; family history of inherited disorder, birth defect, mental retardation or cancer; maternal age greater than 34 at delivery; exposure to radiation, chemicals, medications, drugs or infections during pregnancy; consanguinity; positive maternal serum screening, any suspected abnormal ultrasound findings and twin/multiple gestations.

Preconceptual, prenatal, and neonatal genetic evaluation programs are now available to every family in the Texas Panhandle. Individuals with a positive family history or positive screening test can then recieve comprehensive genetic conseling in our unit and further testing if desired.

As an integral part of our team, the genetic nurses perform risk assessment, analyze the genetic contribution to disease risk and discuss the impact of risk on As an As an integral part of our team, the genetic nurses perform risk assessment, analyze the genetic contribution to disease risk and discuss the impact of risk on health care management for individuals and families. They also provide genetic education, provide nursing care to patients and families and conduct research in genetics.

Currently available universal genetic screening tests include:

Currently available ultrasound guided prenatal diagnostic procedures include:

Currently available universal neonatal screening tests include:

About Golder Wilson MD, PhD

golder wilsonDr. Golder N. Wilson received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago in 1972, and did residency/fellowship training at Boston Floating Hospital , the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Michigan . Dr. Wilson has spent 27 years in academic medicine conducting NIH-sponsored laboratory research and being elected to the Society for Pediatric Research. His practice is dedicated to general pediatrics and genetics, including 14 years at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Dr. Wilson has published 4 books and 130 articles and has conducted primary evaluations of over 17,000 children with genetic, developmental, or metabolic disorders. Among his current interests are approaches to prevention in pediatrics and genetics, drawn from his book with W. Carl Cooley: Preventive Management of Genetic Diseases and Syndromes published by Cambridge University Press in 2000. Dr. Wilson is affiliated with Baylor University Medical Center , Methodist Dallas Medical Center , Cook Children’s, Medical Center of Lewisville, and St. Paul University Hospital in Dallas , and with University Medical Centers , Texas Tech University, in Lubbock and Amarillo where he is a clinical professor of pediatrics. He belongs to the Texas Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, and the American Association of Scientists. Dr. Wilson has been listed as one of the top physicians in the Metroplex by D magazine in 1992, 2002, and 2004. Genetic alterations in early embryonic development including maternal effect and pattern mutations that produce birth defects and syndromes are areas of special interest.

Over the past decade, Dr. Wilson's interests have concerned clinical care and education, with particular focus on parent education and preventive management regarding children with mental disability and birth defect syndromes. Dr. Wilson's focus is to interpret patterns of anomalies/genetic disorders prenatal and post delivery, and to complement diagnosis with educational information and management checklists that optimize medical care for children with special health care needs.


This is the only Ultrasound Unit in the Texas Panhandle that has met the standards for Accreditation in Obstetrics and Gynecological Imaging by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM). We provide high quality evaluations for a variety of women's needs using state of the art equipment and certified staff capable of obtaining accurate and thorough medical information from ultrasound examinations.

Our highly trained medical providers use 2-D and 3-D imaging, Hemodynamic Doppler evaluations, Color imaging, and a Computerized Reporting System to ensure that patients and referring physicians will receive the best available and most comprehensive service in human reproduction in the Texas Panhandle

Our Ultrasound services include:

Ultrasound examinations may look easy, but it takes the best equipment and well-qualified staff to obtain accurate and complete medical information from every ultrasound exam. To ensure that you receive the best care, our certified and accredited ultrasound unit and personnel have met standards set by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Pregnancy Loss

Sometimes, even when the mother does everything possible to ensure a healthy pregnancy outcome, something goes wrong and a pregnancy loss or infant death occurs. Parents who have experienced a loss feel sad, alone, frightened and have many concerns and questions.

It is known that a systematic, comprehensive and directed support service helps these families in the process of grieving for their loss.

With the Panhandle Pregnancy Loss Program, an interdisciplinary team is available to meet the psychological and medical needs of a family experiencing a miscarriage, stillbirth, perinatal or infant death.

When a pregnancy ends in failure, the Panhandle Pregnancy Loss Program is available to provide inpatient and outpatient counseling, to assist in informing and to support the family during recovery. Through understanding the events and issues concerning their loss, parents can begin to resolve their emotional conflicts and questions.

The Panhandle Pregnancy Loss Program staff is available to physicians and families to assist in any way possible during this intense and complicated process.

We gratefully acknowledge past and current support by the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation.


Our personnel have certifications in:

The unit has affiliations with: American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Fertility Society, Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Texas Pediatric Society, American Association of Scientists, International Society of Nurses in Genetics, Inc., International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians, Society of Pediatric Research, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, American Society of Human Genetics, and the American Medical Association.

James Van Hook, MD, MFM
Golder Wilson, MD, PhD
Heather Holmes, MD, MFM
Racheal A. Suffield, RT(R), RDMS
Lynn Slocum, BSMT, RDMS
Mary Aigaki , BSN, PAC, RDMS
Heather S. Sanchez, AAS
Shirley Myers, RNC, MSN, WHNP, FNP
Shirley Karr, BSN, RN
Christy Paulson
Jean Anne Bostick
Betty Michaels

Location Information:

Our offices are located in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Division of Reproductive Genetics, Maternal Fetal Medicine, and Ultrasound
1400 S. Coulter (3rd Floor), Suite 3600
Amarillo , Texas 79106

To schedule an appointment call

(806) 354-5700 extension 247 or 281
Or toll free 1-800-287-3038

Our bilingual staff is available to assist with questions.

We gratefully acknowledge past and/or current support of the Amarillo Area Foundation and Amarillo 's Women's Health Research Institute


The Vision of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is to be the nationally and internationally recognized leader for multidisciplinary information, education, advocacy and standards in the field of reproductive medicine. The ASRM is a non-profit organization whose members must demonstrate the high ethical principles of the medical profession, evince an interest in infertility, reproductive medicine and biology, and adhere to the objectives of the Society.

American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine

Return to the SMFM Public homepage Learn more about the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, its history and the credentials it offers.

March of Dimes home page The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. We carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birthweight.

N I H logo Simply described, the goal of NIH research is to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disability, from the rarest genetic disorder to the common cold. The NIH mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone.

NCBI Established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information, NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information - all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease.

NCBI 2001 marked the 50th Anniversary of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Founded in 1951 in Chicago, Illinois, ACOG today has over 46,000 members and is the nation's leading group of professionals providing health care for women. Now based in Washington, DC, it is a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization.

ABOG logo The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States.

country select Our advanced monitoring and measurement technologies are designed to help guide decision making through a neonate’s first critical days of life.

country select Dr. Golder Wilson: