Recently, Dr. Chris Zahn joined the ACOG executive staff as Vice President of Practice Activities. In this role, he oversees clinical guidelines, such as the development of Practice Bulletins, Committee Opinions, and Task Force Reports. A 30-year ACOG member and former chair of the Armed Forces District, Dr. Zahn is very familiar with the organization and is excited to take on the challenge of continuing to evolve Practice Activities to better serve members.
When asked about his plans for Practice Activities, Dr. Zahn spoke to the challenges of effectively and efficiently getting ACOG professional materials to members, as well as increasing the methods and accessibility of the content. He emphasized the importance of releasing materials in a timely manner and ensuring that they are updated and current. He remarked, “We certainly have a lot of clinical practice content online and in the Green Journal. Having the Committee Opinions and other information on the ACOG app is a move toward being more electronic. The more methods we can use to get the message out, the more likely the uptake.”
Dr. Zahn also talked about the importance of continuing to address the findability of practice content on the ACOG website. He stated, “We have an amazing amount of very well-written, evidenced-based materials, but sometimes finding a specific document quickly can be challenging. The Information Technology and Communications departments have both done amazing work to improve search capabilities and we are looking at methods to enhance the findability of practice documents for members.”
Beyond practice specifically, Dr. Zahn expressed the desire to provide members with a clearer picture of what happens within ACOG. He said, “The majority of members, myself included before joining ACOG, don’t necessarily have a good sense of the tremendous scope and impact of what gets done here [at ACOG]. They know about the development of the practice documents, because that’s what they read. They know about the involvement of Advocacy and Government Affairs, but they probably don’t know many of the other valuable things that ACOG does.”
Dr. Zahn noted that he has been impressed with the phenomenal dedication and competence of ACOG staff. This fits in with his personal and professional mantra to “work hard and lead by example.” He spoke to the importance of this approach, especially in a leadership role, saying “You have to work hard for what you want; you can’t talk about hard work without putting the work in yourself.” He emphasized that although hard work does not always guarantee the desired outcome, it does enhance the team-based approach and unity of effort.
Ultimately, Dr. Zahn expressed his dedication to support ACOG’s mission as a whole. He looks forward to working with his team and across the organization to help ACOG be “the go-to place for providers and patients for information related to women’s health.” He continued, “Anything we can do to better educate providers, patients and get materials out there is important. We know we’re putting out the best information, and we want to reach everyone with that content.”
See the press release, which includes comments from Dr. Hal Lawrence, CEO and Executive Vice President of ACOG.