The Executive Desk
Hal C. Lawrence III, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO
In this edition of the Executive Desk, I’d like to take the opportunity to review some updated policies that are seminal to ACOG as an organization. We have a long history of leadership in ensuring that our guidelines and other activities are free from conflicts of interest. To accomplish this, ACOG relies on its volunteer leadership and staff to avoid any actual and potential conflicts of interest as well as situations that may create the appearance of conflict of interest.
Periodically, the Executive Boards of the American College and Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (collectively referred to herein as “ACOG”) revise ACOG’s conflict of interests policies to better address the needs of the organization and its members—the most recent changes to these policies took effect in August 2015.
The new ACOG Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy (Disclosure Policy) and ACOG Conflict of Interest Policy for Executive Board Members, Committee Chairs, Task Force Chairs, and Executive Staff (Executive Board, Chair and Executive Staff Policy) can be found in their entirety on the ACOG website under Leadership and Governance. These policies replace previous conflict of interest policies.
There are a few notable changes to these policies from the previous policies. The Executive Board, Chair and Executive Staff Policy only applies to members of the Executive Board, chairs of committees, chairs of task forces, and executive staff. (In contrast, the previous policy also applied to committee members, task force members, and senior staff.) In other words, as a result of this new policy, committee and task force members (other than chairs) are now subject only to the Disclosure Policy.
Under the Disclosure Policy, the disclosed information shall be sent to the EVP/CEO and will be shared with the volunteer leadership, ACOG staff, and other parties responsible for or involved in the relevant activity or subject. The Disclosure Policy continues to require that individuals with an actual or potential conflict of interest remove him or herself from discussions and actions involving the proposed subject. However, an ACOG vice president or senior staff person may request that an individual with an actual or potential conflict participate in the discussion. The committee or task force should also be advised of any conflict of interest.
Individuals who are subject to the Disclosure Policy will continue to be required to submit a Disclosure Form annually or more often if requested. In addition, please note that individuals who are subject to the policy must update their Disclosure Form if any significant changes or additions to the submitted information arise during the course of the year. If you need to update your disclosures as a result of the change in policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.