For 65 years FOGS, which was chartered in 1948, and currently functions as a 501(c)6 organization, has been the premier organization representing Ob/Gyns and their patients in Florida. FOGS has played a vital role in the areas of patient and physician education, political advocacy in the areas of women’s health and in the socioeconomic interests of its members. ACOG was established in 1951, and initially functioned as a 501(c)3 organization. They delegated Florida as a Section of District IV. In the past the Florida Section, functioning under the 501(c)3 organization status, limited its role in Florida to mostly continuing medical education for physicians and women. Most of you are aware that ACOG recently divided into separate organizations, a 501(c)3, which is the “College,” and a 501(c)6, which is the “Congress.” The Congress has a mission that states that the organization is “dedicated to the advancement of women’s health care and the professional and socioeconomic interests of its members through continuing medical education, practice, research and advocacy,” thus duplicating the mission of FOGS. Creating the new ACOG District XII Florida allows the new District to perform almost all of the functions previously performed by FOGS and gives the Fellows in Florida enhanced representation in the national ACOG as officers, committee members, and in advocacy activities.
Some of you may still be a bit confused as to exactly what this transition entails so I will outline the missions of both ACOG District XII and FOGS as they will function in the future. Going forward, you will not be receiving an annual dues statement from FOGS. Your annual dues for the new ACOG District XII Florida will be included with your ACOG national dues each year. FOGS will remain an intact entity; primarily in order for ACOG District XII Florida members to participate in the current endorsement programs run by FOGS. These include the current endorsement programs with The Doctors Company/FPIC, OptaComp and Lubell & Rosen. All Florida ACOG Fellows will automatically become members of FOGS and are eligible participate in these endorsement programs, receiving the excellent discounts negotiated by FOGS.
Be advised that FOGS has recently formed a risk purchasing group (RPG) that will allow members to purchase professional liability insurance at significantly discounted rates. The FOGS RPG, named OBGYN Premier, Inc. will become effective on January 1, 2013. The Doctors Company/FPIC has been selected to be the exclusive insurance provider and Danna-Gracey Agency was selected to serve as the program facilitator. Danna-Gracey will also assist in the management of the RPG, promote and market the RPG program and, most importantly, will assist with member questions and enrollment. For more details on this program please visit www.obgynpremier.com or call 800-966-2120.
ACOG District XII will assume the remainder of the activities formally provided by FOGS as stated in the Congress mission quoted above. The ACOG District XII Florida advisory council will consist of approximately 20 members. The four executive committee members are: Chair – Robert Yelverton, MD, Vice Chair – Karen Harris, MD, Treasurer – Guy Benrubi, MD and Secretary – Shelly Holmström, MD. These officers will serve in these positions for three years (2013-2016). District XII Florida has been divided into six sections. (See map below). Each section will include a Chair and Vice Chair. They will represent the section on the District XII Advisory Council (see map below), they are as follows: Section 1 – Panhandle, Section 2 – Northern, Section 3 – Central, Section 4 – Western, Section 5 – Eastern and Section 6 – Peninsula (including Key West).
There will also be a Junior Fellow Advisor, Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary/Treasurer and a Junior Fellow Chair and Vice Chair for each of the six Sections. ACOG District XII has established six committees: State Legislation and Professional Liability, Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, Healthcare for Underserved Women, Scientific Program, Maternal Mortality and Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality.
In summary, with the establishment of ACOG District XII, Florida has significantly improved our ability to address the needs of Florida’s Ob/Gyn physicians and their patients, allowing for greater opportunities to advocate on behalf of women’s issues as well as enhance the quality and safety of the care provided. District XII will also be able to address the socioeconomic problems facing the medical profession, particularly in our specialty. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com should you have any interest in becoming involved. I look forward leading the new District XII as well as assisting you in meeting the challenges we will encounter over the next three years.