Advocacy & Health Policy: ACOG Briefs Congress on the Maternity Care Shortage Crisis

ACOG President Mark DeFrancesco, MD, MBA,
looks on as Representative Michael Burgess, MD, FACOG, 
opening remarks on his legislation.

On Wednesday, July 8, ACOG President Mark DeFrancesco, MD, MBA, briefed Congress and allied stakeholders on the importance of access to prenatal care and the lifelong impact it can have on mothers and their babies. ACOG President Elect Tom Gellhaus, MD, and Gellhaus Resident Advocacy Fellow Adrienne Zertuche, MD, MPH, joined Dr. DeFrancesco at the briefing.

Titled “Maternity Care Matters: Who Will Deliver America’s Babies?”, the briefing focused on legislation introduced by ACOG Fellow and US Representative Michael Burgess, MD, FACOG (R-TX), to address ob-gyn workforce issues.

During the briefing, Dr. DeFrancesco urged Congress to pass Representative Burgess' bill, the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act (
S 628/HR 1209), which is an “ask” from ACOG’s 2015 Congressional Leadership Conference. The legislation would establish a maternity care designation within the National Health Service Corps to ensure that maternity care providers are placed in the geographic areas of greatest need.

From left to right:
ACOG President-elect Tom Gellhaus, MD;
Adrianne Zertuche, MD, MPH; and
ACOG President Mark DeFrancesco, MD, MBA.

Representative Burgess opened the briefing, and Dr. DeFrancesco was joined on the panel by representatives of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and St. Francis Hospital, a critical access hospital in Litchfield, Illinois. ACOG will continue to urge action in Congress to address workforce issues; we urge you to push your Member of Congress to cosponsor this important bill.

Here’s how: Click here to tell your Members of Congress to cosponsor the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998