Message from the Chair

 HarrisPicNew514 Karen E. Harris, MD



First, I would like to thank Dr. Robert Yelverton for his great leadership as the chair of ACOG District XII these past three years. District XII would not be what we are today without his guidance and perseverance in getting us started toward the path to success.


Much to his credit, we have already received the ACOG District Service Recognition Award for our project on HPV, which was done by the Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women. Julie DeCesare, MD, led this committee on a tremendous project to raise awareness and improve the HPV vaccination rates in Florida, one of the worst in the country. The educational materials and slides will be used around the state and her committee will continue to work on this issue in the coming year. Materials can be downloaded from the homepage of the District XII website at


Florida faces difficult problems for the healthcare of its women. Our vision for ACOG District XII is to improve the health of women in our state by creating partnerships with organizations that share our mission. Supporting the Ob/Gyn physicians and other providers who are dedicated to the care of women and families is critical to our success.


The Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative (FPQC) acts as the implementation arm for our maternal health initiatives. We just completed an Obstetrical Hemorrhage Initiative (OHI) for 31 hospitals that reached approximately 40 percent of the births in our state. Obstetrical hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal deaths here in Florida.


This fall, the Hypertension in Pregnancy project kicks off. This will begin to address the second biggest cause of maternal mortality. Also this fall, hospitals that did not participate in the first phase of OHI will be able to take part in phase two. Please reach out to your hospital to ask them to become a partner in these important quality initiatives. Through you, our ACOG membership, we can improve the health of women in our state.


ACOG District XII had a wonderful Annual District Meeting (ADM) in Boca Raton in August. More than 350 attended the meeting, participated in the scientific lectures small group breakout sessions, the coding course, the Ob/Gyn office administrator course, as well as the Florida Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (FSREI) Annual Meeting. Our exhibit hall showcased more than 75 vendors and brought some of the latest and best products to our physicians. Be sure to put next year’s meeting on your schedule, as you won’t want to miss out on a great meeting at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, August 12–14, 2016.


As the election season gets started this fall, we need to be aware of how important our voice is to the political process. We need to elect representatives who will be sensitive to the issues physicians face in their practices, and those patients face in receiving medical care. Please contribute to the ACOG National Ob-GYNPAC for the federal elections and the Florida Ob/Gyn PAC for the state elections, so we can work on your behalf. Find a candidate you support and give a little to their campaign. Then make an appointment to meet with your local elected official or candidate to really make a difference. They will be delighted that a physician took the time to meet with them and educate them on the problems we face. ACOG can provide you with talking points for your meeting.


Lastly, positions on the ACOG District XII committees, FPQC committees, and task forces will be opening. Please contact me if you would like to be involved in the exciting work we are doing. Our goal is to continue to make a difference for you and the patients you serve. I look forward to being your district chair and representing you on the National Executive Board. My email is  I look forward to hearing from you!




Colleen Filbert
Project Manager

ACOG District XII:

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