Connect with District VII on Facebook
In an effort to provide you with current information regarding women’s health, District VII has joined Facebook. We are updating our page regularly with news specifically relevant to District VII members. You can find us at facebook.com/ACOGDistrictVII.
ACOG national is also on Facebook at facebook.com/ACOGNational. If you’re a Facebook member, log in and click on the “Like” button on the ACOG national and District VII pages. Then, you’ll be able to comment on and share any updates posted. You’ll also get ACOG national and District VII news sent directly to your Facebook news feed.
Anyone can view Facebook pages, but only Facebook members can interact with ACOG national and District VII. To become a Facebook member, sign up at facebook.com.
ACOG national is also on Twitter at twitter.com/acognews. To follow its feed, go to twitter.com and sign up as a member. You’ll be the first to hear ACOG news!
Meet your new district chair: The E-Blizzard interviews Dr. J. Martin Tucker
J. Martin Tucker, MD, aka “Marty,” assumed the role of District VII chair at the Annual District Meeting in October. He brings 23 years of private practice experience in ob-gyn and maternal-fetal medicine to the position. Dr. Tucker earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Mississippi in Jackson, where he also did his residency training. He spent two years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a maternal-fetal medicine fellowship.
Dr. Tucker has had a career-long dedication to local, regional, and national women’s health care. He has held numerous committee and officer positions for local and state societies and institutions. Within ACOG, he has had a particular dedication to education for coding and nomenclature. He has also participated in the ACOG McCain Fellowship and has maintained an active role in local and national legislative activities. When not at work, Dr. Tucker has the care of five special women in his life: his wife, Robin, and their four daughters.
Dr. Tucker recently took time to answer a few questions related to his new District VII position.
What do you see as the role of district chair?
A district chair has many responsibilities. There are the obvious duties, such as attending ACOG Executive Board and Council of District Chair meetings; standing committee participation; planning future district meetings; and reviewing ACOG documents, to name a few. But, in my opinion, the main role of a district chair is to represent the Fellows and Junior Fellows of the district at the national level. ACOG is a grassroots organization, and issues that arise in the district are addressed at the national level by communication through the district chair.
What would you like to communicate to District VII Fellows? How would you like to communicate with them?
Communication is important. District VII’s lines of communication among members are always open. If anyone has an issue or concern and they think ACOG can help, they should communicate through their section and/or district officers, or if needed, directly with me.
We live in an age of instant communication. We can communicate by phone, fax, mail, email, or text messaging. Call me old-fashioned, but I think the best form of communication is still face-to-face conversation. I encourage all ACOG members to attend national, district, and section meetings. (The next district meeting is in San Antonio, September 27–29, by the way!) There is no substitute for face-to-face networking and exchanges of ideas.
How would you like to communicate with Junior Fellows and medical students?
As I said earlier, I tend to be old-fashioned. Junior Fellows and medical students, however, are not. District VII will continue to work with the Junior Fellow District Advisory Council to enhance our communication with Junior Fellows through social media, electronic media, and other modern modes of communication.
Why should ob-gyns get involved in ACOG? What does ACOG do for them?
I feel strongly that ACOG involvement is, or should be, an integral part of an ob-gyn’s profession. I am involved because ACOG is our professional organization. I have no doubt that my involvement with ACOG has made me a better physician.
What do you want the members of District VII to know about you?
The main thing I want members to know about me is that I am similar to most of them. I maintain a full-time ob-gyn practice, I deliver babies, I go to the operating room, and I take call on nights and weekends. I would never ask a member to do something I would not do myself.
I know from personal experience about the many issues and challenges ob-gyns face. With that said, I don’t have all the answers or solutions. But I am a great listener, and I will do my best to obtain answers and solutions for the members of District VII.
Junior Fellow news
Suwan Mehra, MD, District VII Junior Fellow chair
I would like to thank David R. Ellington, MD, for his invaluable leadership as District VII Junior Fellow chair over the past year and for his guidance as I take over his responsibilities. District VII Junior Fellows remain enthusiastic with a strong advocacy voice for ACOG and women’s health.
Junior Fellow attendance at the Annual District Meetings has been excellent. At the 2012 ADM in Nashville, TN, Junior Fellows raised financial support—almost $1,200—for the Mary Parrish Center, a shelter and rehabilitation center for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We were pleased with this fundraiser and applaud the efforts of the Fellows and Junior Fellows who contributed their time and energy to make it happen.
Our service project at the 2013 ADM in San Antonio will be a clothing drive with District XI. We plan to collect attire for women who are seeking to enter the workforce. Section Junior Fellows will gather donations leading up to the ADM and bring them to the meeting where the drive will culminate. Cash donations will also be accepted. We are excited about this opportunity to serve the community.
ACOG’s federal political action committee, Ob-GynPAC, saw a 100% increase in Junior Fellow participation in 2012. Dr. Ellington and Winston McCain Ashurst II, MD, helped motivate Junior Fellows to get involved in the “PAC Wars” competition at the 2012 ADM. Incoming section Junior Fellow vice chairs are promoting Ob-GynPAC at their respective programs. We hope to maintain the growing trend in Ob-GynPAC participation as we move into the future.
Several of our current Junior Fellow legislative representatives attended the ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference, The President’s Conference, in Washington, DC, March 3–5. They are sharing the skills they learned in their sections.
Medical student recruitment
I’m happy to report that the 2012 ADM marked one of the largest medical student programs we have supported in several years. Medical students interacted with Junior Fellows at a residency fair and medical student roundtables. The residency fair was supported by 12 programs from District VII. The medical student roundtable topics were:
- “Successfully Navigating the Residency Application Process”
- “Pursuing a Subspecialty Fellowship”
- “Becoming a Medical Student Preceptor: The Five Micro-Skills of Effective Teachers”
- “International Medical Training Opportunities”
Each residency program in our district is represented on the Junior Fellow District Advisory Council. If you have any questions about ways to get involved, please be sure to contact me or any of the Junior Fellow district officers listed on the District VII website.
Young physician update
Stacey L. Holman, MD, District VII young physician
I’m excited to be back in the mix of District VII activities as the young physician representative on the District Advisory Council. It is an interesting process to move from Junior Fellow to Fellow status, and I support any efforts that ACOG and our district can make to facilitate young leaders not getting lost in this progression.
For those who don’t know me, I came up the ranks as a Junior Fellow from the Louisiana Section and held the Junior Fellow district chair position about four years ago. In the meantime, I have worked with the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) Education Committee, local quality improvement initiatives in our health care system, and simulation training for residents. I also completed the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) Academic Scholars and Leaders Program in March at the CREOG and APGO Annual Meeting. I currently serve as the associate residency program director at Louisiana State University in New Orleans.
I’m thrilled about the opportunity to be involved again with ACOG, and I look forward to participating with District VII at the young physician level. I hope that with your support we can continue to assist emerging leaders in ob-gyn. Visit the young physician website for more information on young physician leaders and activities.
2013 ADM: Join us in San Antonio
Grant R. Cox, MD, District VII secretary
The 2013 Annual District Meeting will be held September 27–29 in San Antonio with District XI. The program, “Great Debates and Updates in Ob-Gyn,” was constructed to minimize time spent away from work and to allow room for family activities.
Eugene C. Toy, MD, District XI secretary and ADM program director, has outlined debate topics relevant to practicing ob-gyns, panel discussions on issues such as physician employment vs. private practice, and other educational venues such as poster presentations and exhibits. Additionally, breakfast meetings on prioritizing and work-life fulfillment will be held.
The meeting program officially begins at 1 pm on Friday and concludes at noon on Sunday. A Friday morning four-hour coding workshop will be held for those interested, including office staff.
Attendees will be welcomed with a reception on Friday night and are invited to take in the Riverwalk and/or the Alamo on Saturday night. Bus rides to and from these locations will be provided. The meeting’s hotel—The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort—is located in the scenic Texas Hill Country. Historic sites, exciting theme parks, and world-class shopping and dining are all nearby.
In summary, the ADM will offer practical information, networking opportunities, and quality family activities. Why would you not come to San Antonio? Online registration will be open soon. Check the District VII website for forthcoming information.
Stephen F. Lefler, MD, section chair
Michael G. Cope, MD, section secretary-treasurer, participated in the ACOG Treasurer’s Conference in January. William W. Greenfield, MD, section vice chair, and I attended the ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference, The President’s Conference, in Washington, DC, March 3–5.
Dr. Greenfield and I will also be attending the District VII Interim Advisory Council Meeting in New Orleans in conjunction with the ACOG Annual Clinical Meeting in May. Additionally, I was invited by C.M.A. Max Rogers IV, MD, Alabama Section chair, to attend the Alabama Section Annual Meeting later that week. I look forward to this event.
The Section Advisory Council will meet in June in conjunction with the Arkansas Section Annual Meeting.
Christopher M. Lynch, MD, section chair
The Kansas Legislature is in session until early May. Several bills related to health care are up for discussion, including a bill that would expand nurse practitioner scope of practice to allow global signature authority and independent prescription authority. The Kansas Medical Society opposes this bill.
The House Appropriations Committee has scheduled a hearing on a resolution urging the Legislature not to expand Medicaid. Proponents are concerned about the federal government’s ability to fully cover the cost of the program.
William D. Binder, MD, section chair
The Louisiana Section Advisory Council met on December 15 and hosted Jennifer Marusak, Louisiana State Medical Society director of government affairs, and Michelle Alleto, Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative deputy director, as speakers. On March 9, the section held its annual meeting in New Orleans with presentations from W. Allen Hogge, MD, on genetic screening and diagnosis; Belinda M. Sartor, MD, on reproductive endocrinology; and Bates Whiteside, CPA, on financial planning. Ms. Marusak and Ms. Alleto were again present to give members an update on activities throughout the state.
Louisiana is entering a period of measurement, accountability, and required improvement. Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge is using software to track admissions and compare its doctors to others in Baton Rouge and across the country. We live in a time of tight money. Reimbursements to hospitals and doctors are being slashed. The question before us is: “How are we going to do more with less?”
Woman’s Hospital and all other birthing centers in Louisiana are participating in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Perinatal Collaborative. The Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative and a group from the National Governors Association are both looking at ways to improve perinatal outcomes. The March of Dimes and Baton Rouge Collaborative to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes are focused on similar projects.
Francisco J. Ruiloba, MD, section chair
The academic exchange between Mexico and the US is invaluable to our section members. The US is a leader in technological breakthroughs in equipment, medical material, and pharmacological research. Our border is a permeable membrane that provides the possibility to share many things, including the knowledge and practice of ob-gyn.
Section members want to exchange experiences and meet face-to-face with colleagues in the US. The Mexico Section has implemented two annual, bi-national courses. We invite all members of District VII who wish to speak and share their knowledge at these meetings to contact any of the Mexico Section officers.
Wayne A. Slocum, MD, section chair
The Mississippi Section will honor Richard “Pete” Hollis, MD, past ACOG president, past District VII chair, and past Mississippi Section chair, at the Mississippi Annual Section Meeting in May. Dr. Hollis will be the first recipient of the Annual Mississippi Legends in Ob-Gyn Award.
We are working with Lynn Evans, section lobbyist, to stay abreast of introduced legislation and to make sure our voices are heard. Increasing participation from members across the state is a high priority for the section. If you are interested in becoming involved in legislative activities, please contact any of the Mississippi Section officers.
George P. Hubbell, MD, MS, section chair
Missouri lost its medical liability noneconomic cap six months ago when the State Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. Currently, a concentrated legislative effort to restore the cap has resulted in bills introduced in the Missouri House and Senate for a statutory resolution. Additionally, a resolution to propose the cap as a constitutional amendment has been introduced. The amendment would ultimately require a state vote.
Missouri has not made a decision on Medicaid expansion as a part of the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Jay Nixon, along with a large coalition of medical groups, including the Missouri State Medical Association and Missouri Section, has endorsed the potential to opt into the expansion. The Republican supermajority in the Missouri Legislature has opposed adoption to date, offering a voucher alternative. The majority payer for deliveries in Missouri is Medicaid, which affects most practicing obstetricians in the state.
Nirupama K. DeSilva, MD, section chair
The Oklahoma legislative session has started. There are multiple hot topics this year, and section members should share their opinions. Call your legislative representatives about issues that concern you, and encourage your patients to do the same. If you need assistance with these endeavors, contact Joetta J. Cunningham, section staff, at email@example.com.
For more information on member activities, including an archive of our monthly e-blasts, visit the Oklahoma Section website.
Christopher T. Welsch, MD, section chair
The Tennessee Section expects to see challenges in 2013 or 2014 to Tennessee’s caps on noneconomic damages and precertification of lawsuits. These reform measures have been responsible for the significant decrease in liability premiums physicians have experienced statewide over the last few years. There will likely be challenges to allow midlevel providers to practice fully independent of physicians as well.
The Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care and Tennessee Section are discussing collaborative efforts to benefit Tennessee ob-gyns and the patients we serve. Paul G. Stumpf, MD, and Bobby C. Howard, MD, spearheaded a teleconference-accessible maternal grand rounds program available to all physicians in the state. Upcoming events will be announced via email.
District VII young physician nominated for national office
Michelle Y. Owens, MD, immediate past District VII young physician, has been nominated to assume the young physician-at-large position on the ACOG Executive Board. “My main goal is to represent the interest and perspectives of young physicians to the Executive Board and ensure that the unique needs of young physicians are communicated to and addressed by our leadership,” Dr. Owens said. She also hopes to encourage other young physicians to become and remain involved in ACOG.
Dr. Owens sets an outstanding example of engagement in ACOG. In addition to her recent role as District VII young physician, Dr. Owens is a member of the Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, Committee on Obstetric Practice, and President’s Working Group on Hypertension in Pregnancy. She has an active practice and serves as associate professor and interim chair for the department of ob-gyn and associate fellowship director of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Mississippi in Jackson.
Dr. Owens believes that being an engaged young physician is extremely important. Young physicians have the unique opportunity to offer fresh perspectives on the field of ob-gyn and provide energy and enthusiasm to help shape the future of ACOG.
2013 CLC: District VII lobbies Congress on women’s health issues
Dana G. Stone, MD, District VII legislative chair
Thank you to everyone in District VII who took time to promote women’s health and the practice of medicine at the ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference, The President’s Conference (CLC), in Washington, DC, March 3–5. As always, ACOG government relations and outreach staff brought many members of Congress to speak with us, educated us about key issues, and sent us well-prepared to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators.
We celebrated the million-dollar milestone of ACOG’s federal political action committee, Ob-GynPAC, with $1 million raised from ACOG members. This major accomplishment could not have been reached without ACOG’s leadership and generous members. Not many medical organizations have reached this level. It gives ACOG visibility and influence on legislative issues.
Please continue to give generously to Ob-GynPAC so we can continue to promote women’s health and support those who align with our agenda in Congress. (You will not be favored or disadvantaged by reason of the amount of your contribution or a decision not to contribute. Contributions from foreign nationals are not permitted.)
This year, CLC attendees asked members of Congress to support three bills introduced this legislative session:
- Women’s Health Resolution: to ensure that women’s health is a priority in Congress, offering workplace protections for women and promoting women’s access to reproductive health care of all types
- Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act: to repeal and replace Medicare’s sustainable growth rate formula
- Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act: to improve the health of mothers and babies and reduce health care costs by developing maternity care quality measures and supporting maternity care quality collaboratives
If you missed the CLC, you can still contact members of Congress about these issues. Also, consider attending the CLC next year on March 2–4. Any ACOG member can participate for the experience and for CME credit. You will learn a lot and have a great time! View photos from the 2013 CLC.
What happens when an ACOG president stops being president?
Many members may think that past ACOG presidents walk into the sunset after their term and bask in the memories of travel and good times (forgetting all the crisis management and trials they met during their tenure!). When the E-Blizzard asked ACOG Immediate Past President James N. Martin Jr, MD, what he was doing nearly a year after his presidency, he sent a one-and-a-half page, single-spaced “summary” of his five-year goals.
Dr. Martin currently serves on the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Executive Board, representing ACOG and the US. He is also managing consistency in hypertension in pregnancy guidelines with FIGO, the International Society for the Study of Hypertension and Pregnancy, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Remarkably, Dr. Martin is doing these tasks while practicing maternal-fetal medicine; teaching residents and fellows; organizing telemedicine outreach and expanding maternal-fetal research in Mississippi; and serving as assistant dean for the Graduate School Master’s Program in Clinical Sciences at the University of Mississippi. It’s exhausting just reading his commitments!
We look forward to continued reports from Dr. Martin and know that he will take some of District VII with him as he expands our focus to the world.
2013 ACM: Join ACOG in New Orleans
The 61st Annual Clinical Meeting will be held in New Orleans, May 4–8. Attendees can expect to participate in a wide variety of hands-on courses and educational and interactive sessions related to ob-gyn practice. Register today!
2013 ACM educational session topics include:
- Updates in contraception
- Noninvasive prenatal testing
- Cervical cancer diagnosis guidelines
- Endometrial cancer staging
- Global health
- Maternal mortality reduction
- Environmental exposures to the unborn child
- Cultural and religious perspectives on abortion
The ACM program will also feature sessions on work-life balance, family and professional relationship building, and leadership skills. The President’s Program will focus on the themes of patient safety, women’s health care advocacy, communication and technology, and practice and leadership in the 21st century. New this year will be three interactive surgical tutorials on pelvic anatomy, laparoscopic surgery, and techniques in abdominal wound closure. You won’t want to miss these outstanding presentations!
New Orleans is known for its rich history, culture, and traditions. The French Quarter (including the St. Louis Cathedral and Bourbon Street), New Orleans Botanical Garden, Audubon Zoo of New Orleans, and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas are just a few of the attractions attendees can look forward to visiting.
To find out more about what the ACM has to offer, read the ACM preliminary program and the special ACM preview issue of ACOG Today.
Save the meeting dates, and join thousands of ob-gyns and other women’s health care professionals at the ACM. It will be an experience to remember!
Calendar of events
Annual Clinical Meeting
Interim District Advisory Council Meeting
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel
7:45 am to 2 pm
District VII and University of Mississippi Medical Alumni Reception
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel
6 to 8 pm
Alabama and Mississippi Annual Section Meeting
Miramar Beach, FL
Alabama Section contact: Harper Wood, 334-315-2668 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mississippi Section contact: Gail Seago, 601-954-0448 or email@example.com
Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma Annual Section Meeting
Big Cedar Lodge
Preliminary programContact: Victoria Hart, 501-526-6834 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual District Meeting (with District XI)
The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort
Contact: Tamera Gayden, 202-863-2542