Update February 2012

ACOG District II Update
Update, February 2012                                    Vol. 27, No. 2

IN THIS ISSUE:                                             FOLLOW US:
High-Tech Waiting Rooms  Facebook   YouTube
Government Update 
Patient Safety
Election Results
For Junior Fellows

Eva Chalas, MD, FACOG, FACS

A Retreat to Benefit Members
As Chair of District II, I have many opportunities to explore ways to enhance your experience as an ACOG Fellow. One such opportunity is my participation in the Council of District Chairs (CDC). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the CDC, it consists of chairs from each district of the Congress. The CDC acts as a forum of discussion in areas that pertain to the districts and sections of ACOG. What follows are some highlights from our CDC retreat this past December in California.

James Martin, Jr, MD, ACOG National President
Report included:

1. A task force of national experts continues to work on reviewing and writing about the science behind neonatal encephalopathy. A new version of the old report will be based on updated science and will include more "grey zones." The new report will be released in 2012.

2. Plans for the creation of clinical outcomes registries focusing on mesh implantation, twin gestation and endometrial cancer are under discussion.

Hal Lawrence, MD, ACOG Executive Vice President
Report included:

1. ACM

•  A new concept of combining the welcome reception in the hall with exhibitors may begin in 2013. 
•  ACOG will add 2 new ACM courses specifically for practice for managers.
•  An Electronic Medical Record course will be also be added.
•  Supermodel Christie Turlington will be involved in a course on maternal mortality during the 2012 ACM.

2. The District Chairs discussed the relationship with ABOG and MOC, as well as MOL (Maintenance of Licensure):

•  4-5,000 ob-gyns are not Board Certified and need to prove competence to maintain their state licenses.
•  ACOG/ABOG are exploring options to help these non-boarded ob-gyns achieve board status.

The CDC also addressed the SCOPE Program (Safety Certification for Outpatient Practice Excellence). SCOPE is the first women's health-focused safety and quality certification program for individual and group ob-gyn practices. The voluntary review program can help ob-gyns institute new processes based on their settings and needs to make sure they are operating in line with current patient safety criteria. For more information on SCOPE, click here.

Finally, during the retreat, district chairs reported on activities/issues at the state level. These reports are quite interesting and illustrate the vast differences and some similarities between the eleven districts of ACOG. If you are interested in reading some of these reports, please email our district office for copies.

As discussed in last month’s newsletter, I am continuing to research issues surrounding MD fatigue. District II will be forming a task force to address this issue. These efforts will help us identify strategies which could provide relief. We will keep you updated. Please reply if you are interested in serving on this task force.


High-Tech Patients in Waiting Rooms
I recently had the opportunity to travel the corners of New York State - from Buffalo to Brooklyn, Long Island to Albany – and sit in many of our District II member’s waiting rooms. I became fascinated watching the patients in the waiting rooms. I started to take mental notes. At each of the practices I noticed that most of the women had cell phones and most of the phones were smartphones.

The women in the waiting rooms seemed to come from all walks of life: students, moms with kids in tow, women in sweat pants, women in business clothes and even a few women that could be my grandmother. The one thing all these women had in common besides their annual visit to the ob-gyn was their phones. Some typed away feverishly, some starred at screens appearing to read intensely, some tapped and waited, some were talking to someone at the other end of their phone, some were very serious looking and some were simply smiling at their devices.

As I watched the activity in the waiting rooms, I began to think about the power of smartphone technology and how District II could utilize this to benefit our members. Idea flash! The practices I was visiting were part of a demonstration project on casual smoking behavior. All sites had agreed to give their patients a paper survey on smoking. But the women I saw were clearly not “paper patients,” they were “high-tech patients” – and the idea came to me: these women could just as easily fill out the survey on their smartphones while waiting to see their ob-gyns. Another thought was born - why not put this survey on our new Well-Woman website under the name of the ob-gyn that a woman was waiting to see. Maybe (when the woman was finished with our survey) she would surf the site and sign up for our Well-Women Network.

The bottom line is this: We surely can utilize the power of the “wait” with smartphone education as well as marketing your practice. If we do this right, patients called in for their appointments, may be asking YOU to wait so they can stay “plugged in” to your practice’s waiting room…

So many more ideas came to me while I visited these ob-gyn waiting rooms – stay tuned!


Coding in New York:
What You Need To Know

April 20, 2012 | Queens, NY
April 27, 2012 | Syracuse, NY

 Click Here for more information and to REGISTER


The 2012 ACOG Survey on Professional Liability is now in progress. Please
click here to take the survey now, OR visit ACOG’s website at  www.acog.org at a later date and click on the survey announcement. Results are vital to our educational efforts with lawmakers and the public.

All Fellows and Junior Fellows in Practice who complete the survey by March 9, 2012 will have a chance to win a $100 gift card to the ACOG bookstore. Five winners will be chosen at random.

Please contact Jeffrey Klagholz with any questions or comments:


Judge McKeon Invited to Lobby Day
Monday, May 14th and Tuesday, May 15th
New York State Capitol

1. Hear Hon. Douglas E. McKeon, Administrative Judge for Civil Matters 12th Judicial District, speak about the NYC/Federal Medical Court Demonstration

2. Push the passage of Healthcare Consumer and Provider Protection Act-Collective Negotiations legislation 

3. Meet with the Executive Branch, Commissioner of Health Dr. Nirav Shah and members of the Legislature 

Update: The Health Care Consumer and Provider Protection Act
The Health Care Consumer and Provider Protection Act Relating to Collective Negotiations has passed the Assembly Health Committee and is expected to be heard in the Ways and Means Committee. It is expected to pass the Senate. This legislation is a top priority for District II and will continue to push for the passage of this legislation.

The Assembly Health Committee also reported:

•  A85 - Which provides for the dispensing of emergency contraception under certain circumstances and conditions
•  A590 - Which prohibits disclosure of testimony of a party to a health care quality assurance or peer review proceeding

District II will continue to advocate for these important policies that are important to our members.

Taking on Med Mal Reform in NYC
Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG, recently spoke out about the need for meaningful med mal reform in New York City. Dr. Hoskins, Senior Vice President and Chair of OB/GYN at Lutheran Medical Center, testified at the Committees on Health and Women’s Issues of the New York City Council joint oversight hearing on Professional and Financial Barriers Facing Women’s Health Care Providers on January 31.

The committees are considering Proposed Res No. 84-A, calling upon the New York State Department of Financial Services and the New York State Department of Health to address the high cost of malpractice insurance for general practitioners, obstetricians, gynecologists and radiologists. Click Here to see the proposed resolution.

Dr. Hoskins spoke about the need for medical liability reform in New York. She stated in her testimony, that the raising medical liability premiums are causing many of her colleagues to make drastic changes to their practices, including decreasing the number of high-risk obstetrics patients they see, increasing the number of C-sections they perform, or giving up obstetrics all together. This has a direct result on access to maternity care for New York City women.

Hon. Douglas E. McKeon, Administrative Judge for Civil Matters 12th Judicial District spoke about programs that have been implemented to enhance patient safety. Click here to read Judge McKeon’s testimony.

Others that testified in support of medical liability reform included the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) and Columbia University Medical Center.

Center for Justice Democracy, Citizen Action, New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTRA) spoke against the resolution and stated that there was no medical liability crisis for physicians in New York State.

MRT Final Report in Budget
Governor Cuomo has included the Medicaid Redesign Team’s final report recommendation in his 2012 budget. One of the recommendations that is troubling for District II is the elimination of payments for elective C-section deliveries or elective induction of labor less than 39 weeks unless a documented medical indication is present. While the details of this proposal have not been released, District II will continue our dialogue with the Governor and the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Nirvav Shah on this very important matter.


Exciting News from Northern Westchester Hospital
Northern Westchester Hospital launched the three-year comprehensive patient safety program, MOREOB (Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently) in September 2011 and the momentum is building!

Northern Westchester Hospital is in the initial phase of MOREOB Core Team training, “Learning Together”. This phase consists of reading clinical chapters and attending monthly Core Team meetings (scheduled the first Tuesday of each month) where the MOREOB timeline action plan and clinical questions are discussed. Northern Westchester is proud to report that these meetings are held with over 80% attendance.

The obstetric team conducts unannounced skills drills (“responding to maternal hemorrhage” and “shoulder dystocia”) with the Obstetric Chief leading when census allows. A direct quote from an LDR nurse, “I used to dread hearing we were going to drill, it was so anxiety producing. Now, I think it is a true learning experience with open dialogue between physicians and nurses. Also, it allows us to practice those high-risk, low volume crisis situations”.

Northern Westchester has a total of 48 participants in the program, 18 of those comprise the “Core Team” and consists of four Obstetricians, one Senior Administrator, the Vice President of Quality, Nurse Manager of Quality, Maternal Child Health Director, Labor and Delivery Manager, and Nine LDR Nurses (representatives from both day and night shifts). 
Click Here for more photos.

Unique Program Enhancements:

1. The Core Team at Northern Westchester has developed a mobile education area; it has an educational binder with clinical chapter readings (module 1), simulation mannequins and MOREOB information that can be “rolled” into any area during down time by any participant.
2. They have also created a “buddy system”; a core team member is paired with a participant to give that gentle nudge towards completing module one readings.
3. Lastly, to keep participants motivated and moving forward, they have incentive cards to local bakeries and coffee shops which are distributed to Core Team members and participants when module one assignments are complete.

The obstetric team at Northern Westchester is looking forward to a full day of skills drills training session scheduled for the end of March.

Rochester General Health System, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and Sisters of Charity Hospital have also embarked on this wonderful new journey in patient safety. District II will continue to bring you highlights from each of the participating hospitals as they move forward through the program modules. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact the District II office at


District II Election Results are in!
Please join us in congratulating our new Section officers who take office this October: 
2012-2015 ACOG Fellow Section Officers-Elect

Call for Nominations
We are currently accepting nominations for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair for the following District II Sections: Section 2 (Brooklyn/Staten Island), Section 5 (Syracuse/Utica), Section 8 (Bronx), and Section 9 (Albany). The terms of office are three years, beginning in November 2013 and ending October 2016.

To become a candidate for office, your official address must be within the section in which you are running for office. Interested Fellows must submit the following materials electronically to info@ny.acog.org by June 1st, 2012:

1. A letter from you stating the office or offices for which you would like to be a candidate.
2. A one-page, single-sided, summary statement of your CV
3. A complete curriculum vitae

In addition, please remember that even if you are currently an officer, moving into another position is not automatic, therefore you are required to submit candidate materials.

Did you attend the District II Annual Meeting and/or hands-on course this past October? We’d love your feedback to help us inform our future meeting offerings.
Please complete our surveys:

ACOG District II Post-Survey: Annual District Meeting, October 28-30, 2011

ACOG District II Post-Survey: Hands-on Laparoscopic Course, October 28-30, 2011

District II Announces ACOG Leadership Institute Participants
This four day course is designed to improve the participant abilities to define and analyze the health policy process and the issues in women’s health. This course will provide information about opportunities to shape women’s health policy. The 2012 program will begin on April 18 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and District II is pleased to announce participation by the following Fellows: Peter Bernstein, MD, MPH, FACOG; Coral Surgeon, MD, FACOG and John Vullo, DO, FACOG.


Ob-Gyn Reporter Program
The following residents have been selected to participate in the Ob/Gyn Reporter Program during the 2012 Annual Clinical Meeting in San Diego this spring: Lori Homa, MD (University of Rochester); Jovana Lekovic Bijelic, MD (New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical College); David Kulak, MD (Albert Einstein College of Medicine Montefiore Medical Center); Nwamaka Onwugbenu, MD (Lutheran Medical Center); Sarah Morocco, MD (Albert Einstein College of Medicine Beth Israel Medical Center). Junior Fellows participate in an outstanding education program designed for the reporters, in addition to the unique opportunity to learn a lot about ACOG and the College. Click Here to read the reports from District II's 2011 participants.

Attention Medical Students
Interested in attending the 2012 Annual Clinical Meeting in San Diego? The John Gibbons Medical Student Travel Award is available to provide financial help for medical students to attend. Click Here for more information on the travel award.


March 8th in Albany
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, event honorary chair, will be joined by Governor Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials for a celebration of women - their history and accomplishments - as women around the globe gather for the 101st International Women's Day. District II will also take part in the festivities at the New York State Museum in Albany.

A noon-hour reception will be followed by the Upstate NY premier of "Service: When Women Come Marching Home," a documentary about the unique challenges women veterans face as they return to civilian life.  

For more information about the event and for ticket information, visit www.nycelebrateswomen.com.



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American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998