Chair’s report

Dr. Joseph ApuzzioJoseph Apuzzio, MD

Welcome to the District III Reporter. I am honored to be the new District III chair. Installation of new officers for District III took place at the Annual District Meeting in Puerto Rico, October 11–13, which was a combined meeting with Districts I and IV. The scientific program was excellent, and the meeting was successful.

Your other new district officers are Ann L. Honebrink, MD, vice chair; Anthony C. Sciscione, DO, secretary; Gregory W. DeMeo, DO, treasurer; and Francine E. Sinofsky, MD, assistant secretary. All district and section officers are available for your input and suggestions.

Please mark your calendar for the next Annual District Meeting with Districts I and IV. It will take place October 10–12, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. Districts I, III, and IV cover most of the East Coast (New York and Florida excluded). The meeting offers the perfect chance to connect with old friends, exchange ideas with colleagues, and get updates with CME-approved lectures and sessions.

One of my initiatives as District III chair is to continue efforts on ACOG’s MOMS Initiative (Making Obstetrics and Maternity Safer). I am a long-time member and current chair of the New Jersey Maternal Mortality Review Team. This multidisciplinary team meets five times per year, reviews all maternal mortalities in New Jersey, and makes recommendations for improvement of care.

The review team was started in the 1970s by James P. Thompson, MD, the first board-certified maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist in the state. Dr. Thompson passed away several years ago and handed the chair position of the committee over to me, which I gladly accepted. If anyone would like to know more about the process of formulating a maternal mortality review team, you may contact me directly at joseph.apuzzio@njms.rutgers.edu.

In the US, many states do not have a statewide maternal mortality review team. Some states are in the process of assembling a review team and other states have a partial review of cases. Therefore, information reported nationally about maternal mortality has probably underestimated the actual rate. As more states review and report their cases, the maternal mortality rate is likely to increase in the near future with improved data collection and use of ICD-10 codes. More to come on maternal morbidity and mortality topics in future issues of the newsletter.

 

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