Stella M. Dantas, MD, District VIII secretary
District VIII Fellows and Junior Fellows continue to impress and inspire me! We have so many talented ob-gyns in our district doing a tremendous amount of advocacy work. We are fortunate to be able to share ideas and programs with each other.
First, congratulations to William J. Peters, MD, past District VIII chair and past Montana Section chair, and the Montana Section on their legislative victory with the Fetal, Infant, and Child Mortality Review Amendment Bill. Montana will now have a maternal mortality review to address its increasing maternal mortality rate.
Another innovative initiative is the Colorado Cerebral Palsy Care Project’s legislation to assist children born with cerebral palsy and their families. The legislation offers an alternative way to provide resources to families affected by birth-related cerebral palsy rather than through the current medical liability process. Given that meaningful federal tort reform has not occurred, programs such as this are important to explore and study as a possible pathway to a better system.
Because one of the best roads to decreasing liability is improving quality, we need to also learn from the Washington State Perinatal Collaborative. Collaboratives are being considered across the country, and Washington state’s successful quality initiative is a wonderful example of what these groups can achieve.
However, in our widespread, largely rural district, the challenge is not just how to provide quality care but any care at all! Given all the challenges to women’s reproductive freedom in the last year, how we provide and protect access to abortion is an issue we continue to find difficult. Eve Espey, MD, MPH, covers the topic of abortion provision by advanced practice clinicians and pending legislative efforts in this issue of the Gazette.
Last but not least, please do not miss out on news from our stellar Junior Fellows. The incoming District VIII section Junior Fellow vice chairs traveled to Washington, DC, for the Section Officer Leadership Development Program, and some were able to stay for the ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference, The President’s Conference.
Many Junior Fellows have been inspired to lead advocacy efforts in their own sections. Arizona is one of several sections hosting legislative advocacy days. Read more about the First Annual Women’s Health Day in Arizona. Junior Fellows also awarded their first Central American Education Project grant to the Honduras ob-gyn residency program.
As always feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have feedback, article suggestions, or questions on how to become more involved in the district or your section. ACOG wants your opinions and ideas on how to more effectively educate, advocate, and serve you.
I hope to see you all at the 2013 Annual District Meeting in September!