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Chair’s report: ACOG leadership in the 21st century

Dr. J. Martin TuckerJ. Martin Tucker, MD

The ACOG Executive Board recently reviewed the report of the Presidential Initiative on Leadership in the 21st Century. This initiative, established in 2012 by then-ACOG President James T. Breeden, MD, assessed how to develop the next generation of ACOG leaders.

While we wait for the final recommendations from this initiative, I think it’s pertinent to review the many opportunities that already exist for members to become involved in ACOG activities and to become leaders.

Fellows and Junior Fellows often ask, how do I get involved? My answer is, if you are an ACOG member, if you pay your annual dues, if you read the Green Journal, Practice Bulletins, or Committee Opinions, or hand out ACOG patient education information in your office—you are involved.

The real question is how one becomes more involved. First and foremost, go to meetings. Meet your colleagues and your section, district, and national leaders and share information and ideas. There are ample opportunities to attend meetings throughout the year. The Alabama and Mississippi Annual Section Meeting is in Sandestin, FL, in May, and the Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma Annual Section Meeting is in Ridgedale, MO, (near Branson) in June. The Annual Clinical Meeting is in Chicago in April. And, don’t miss the Annual District Meeting in Indianapolis in October. This combined meeting with District V promises to be a great event.

Beyond meetings, District VII offers many opportunities for more involvement. There are funded opportunities to attend the Congressional Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, Hays Fellowships to attend the Robert C. Cefalo Leadership Institute in Chapel Hill, NC, and Hollis Fellowships to attend the Annual District Meeting each year. 

Next year, District VII will choose a McCain Fellow to spend two weeks in Washington, DC, working with the ACOG Government Relations and Outreach department. You will receive more information about the application process for the McCain Fellowship in the coming months. I encourage you to contact me or your section leadership if you have an interest in one or more of these opportunities for 2015 and beyond.

Each year, the incoming ACOG president makes appointments to the numerous national ACOG standing committees. The simple application process can be completed through the ACOG website. The process starts in June with an application deadline of August 1. Committee work is an excellent way to become more involved in ACOG.

In District VII, each section has its own governance. Depending on the section, there may be opportunities to serve on a section committee, as a regional representative within the section or as a legislative liaison. Section activities often require less travel, but can, nevertheless, be very rewarding.

Of course, section- and district-elected leadership positions are open to any Fellow in good standing who lives within the geographic boundaries of District VII. We are now entering the 2015 election cycle. District VII and the Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee Sections will elect their officers during this cycle. You will receive a call for candidates via email in the coming weeks. The deadline for candidacy application is June 2. 

Some folks say, I really want to become more involved, but I really don’t have the time. The simple solution is to become involved through financial support. Consider becoming a member of Ob-GynPAC, ACOG’s federal political action committee. Ob-GynPAC supports many women’s health issues at the state and federal levels.

Don’t like politics? Then support ACOG development efforts through annual giving, planned giving, or endowment opportunities. Better yet, make a gift to the District VII endowment fund—the Pete and Weesie Hollis Educational Endowment Fund, which supports Junior Fellow educational activities within the district.

Stay involved. Get more involved. Become an ACOG leader in the 21st century. I look forward to hearing from you.