|| Robert W. Yelverton, MD, FACOG
A Successful Inaugural District XII Annual District Meeting
The inaugural ACOG District XII (Florida) Annual District Meeting (ADM), was held August 16-18 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, and was by all measures a huge success. Attendance was a record-breaking 247, including Fellows, Junior Fellows, Medical Students and their guests who were treated to a world-class scientific program featuring current topics of interest to all attendees. The resort was in its prime, offering exceptional summer rates for ACOG attendees, beautiful weather and exceptional food. A record number of exhibitors were on site, 50 of them were District XII exhibits and 20 were Florida Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility exhibits. Many were showcasing new products and treatments relative to women’s health. Many thanks to Karen Harris, MD, Scientific Program Committee Chair and her committee for their hard work that is necessary for a meeting as successful as this one. Also, thank you to Compass Management and Consulting, the management company that assists in the administration and meetings for District XII.
The District XII 2013 ADM was not just about blending continuing medical education with networking, but also about fun and relaxation with our fellow District XII colleagues. While many attendees were enjoying the Atlantic beach after the lectures, others were taking part in a very busy agenda of committee meetings, all devoted to defining the mission of District XII with a goal of improving the quality and safety of women’s health in Florida.
The District has created several committees, all charged with developing programs that, if successful, will do just that. The theme of this District XII Advisory Council meeting was “Improving Women’s Health through Collaboration.” The keynote speaker was Bill Sappenfield, MD, Director of the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative (FPQC), who spoke to the effectiveness of collaboration between existing organizations to improve the health care of women. The Advisory Council also heard presentations from Margie Boyer, BSN, MS, Administrative Director of The Women’s Center at Florida Hospital Tampa and Chair of the Florida Section of the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN), who also presented on the need for more collaborative practices in Florida, and Michael McCann, CNM, MS, Southeast Regional Director of the American College of Nurse Midwifery, who discussed the upcoming manpower shortage for obstetrical care in Florida and the advantages of creating more maternity practices built on a framework of collaborative care involving obstetricians and certified nurse midwives.
The Maternal Mortality Committee, chaired by Anthony Gregg, MD, has worked closely with the Florida Department of Health to reorganize the Florida Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review Committee (PAMR), resulting in a committee better structured to meet the requirements of a mission to reduce the incidence of maternal mortality in Florida. District XII, through the activities of PAMR, the Maternal Mortality Committee and the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Committee, chaired by Bruce Breit, MD, is partnering with the FPQC in a statewide effort to reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with obstetrical hemorrhage. The Obstetrical Hemorrhage Initiative (OHI) had a kickoff meeting at Winter Park Hospital, Winter Park, Florida, on October 30.
The Health Care for Underserved Women Committee, chaired by Julie DeCesare, MD, is working to design a program that will increase the awareness of the benefits of HPV immunization. The Florida HPV immunization rate is very low due to a number of complicated reasons including political, religious, and economic factors. Dr. DeCesare’s committee will focus on education and awareness directed toward providers and their patients.
The Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality Committee, chaired by Jerome Yankowitz, MD, is researching the relationship of elective induction of labor with an unfavorable cervix to increased maternal and fetal morbidity including caesarean section rates. If appropriate, District XII will consider a campaign to reduce the incidence of elective labor induction in this category.
The State Legislation and Professional Liability Committee, chaired by Maureen Whelihan, MD, will continue in the tradition of the Florida Obstetric and Gynecologic Society and monitor legislation concerning women’s health. There are yearly challenges that will be focused on including tort reform, Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) and reproductive rights of women. Amy Young will continue as our legislative consultant and lobbyist, a position she has performed superbly for more than two decades. Anyone wishing to participate in these projects should contact the ACOG District XII office at 904-309-6265.