Complete Story


JoAnn Hirth, M.D.

Joann HirthDr. JoAnn Hirth is a member of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute at Henry Ford Allegiance (HFA) in Jackson, Michigan.  She is involved in the care of general oncology and hematology patients with a particular focus on breast cancer patients.  She serves on the Henry Ford Breast Program Leadership Council, several subcommittees, the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, is co-director of the HFA Breast Disease Site Team, and is Lab Director for the office lab.  She also serves as the Henry Ford Allegiance physician lead for the care of patients within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  She enjoys teaching residents and an occasional medical student from Michigan State University.

JoAnn was born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN.  She attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN and then Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA for medical school.  Her husband, Richard Hirth, attended the University of Pennsylvania for his PhD in economics.  In addition to getting a wonderful medical education at Thomas Jefferson, JoAnn also credits Philadelphia in providing some needed “street smarts” for a young woman from the Midwest and formed new community with her neighborhood and classmates in the City of Brotherly Love.  Her interests in oncology were sparked by the developing field of tumor biology at that time and an elective in Radiation Oncology which left her wanting to know more about medical oncology.  During medical school, her husband Rich was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was treated in Philadelphia, far away from any family.  JoAnn helped him through the illness and further learned the importance of good health, family and supportive friends.  After residency in Philadelphia, JoAnn completed her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Michigan with many wonderful faculty mentors, including MSHO’s own Dr Sam Silver.

JoAnn credits her initial involvement in MSHO from her partner Dr Ray Clark seeing her reading an MSHO newsletter and suggesting she take his place on the board as he was nearing retirement.  JoAnn has really enjoyed her involvement with MSHO, its advocacy for the patients and providers in Michigan and the collegiality it provides across the state.  She served as president multiple years ago and even with young children at the time, the MSHO staff (and her husband) made it all go smoothly and it was another great learning experience.  She saw firsthand how MSHO is a model for other states and how important it is to have a strong society and voice not only locally, but nationally.   She admires the MSHO staff for orchestrating great meetings, especially the annual meeting which combines work, education and lots of fun in beautiful northern Michigan. 

JoAnn and Rich have two daughters.  One in medical school at the University of Michigan and the other starting her senior year in the College of Engineering also at the University of Michigan.  During the pandemic, they were both home for part of it, a nice surprise during a difficult time.  As a family, we enjoy traveling and hiking.  In fact, while preparing for this bio, the family is traveling to Idaho for a rafting trip on the Salmon river.  Outside of work, JoAnn keeps herself busy with running (prior college cross country athlete), golfing and reading when she can. 

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