Luella Klein MD Receives Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award

May 1, 2011

Washington, DC -- In honor of a career devoted to the advancement of women's health, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) presented the first ever Luella Klein Lifetime Achievement Award to the award's namesake, Luella Klein, MD. The award, which recognizes an ob-gyn who has dedicated his or her life in a significant way to women's health, was presented today at ACOG's Council of District Chairs meeting. Dr. Klein also received the 2011 Outstanding District Service Award for ACOG's District IV (MD, VA, DC, WV, NC, SC, GA, FL, PR).

Dr. Klein is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of gynecology and obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, and director of the Maternal and Infant Care Project, Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, GA. She recently retired as the director of ACOG's Women's Health Issues division. Dr. Klein has held leadership positions at a number of women's health organizations including the Atlanta Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, Planned Parenthood of Atlanta, and the Guttmacher Institute.

"Dr. Klein has been a trailblazer for women in obstetrics and gynecology. She excelled in a field of medicine in the days when female ob-gyns were few and far between, and in 1984 she was elected as ACOG's first female president," said Ralph W. Hale, MD, ACOG's executive vice president. "Her accomplishments have been immense, and she has been an inspiration to many ob-gyns—both male and female—through her example and her numerous activities as a mentor," Dr. Hale added.

As director of Women's Health Issues for the past 16 years, she was a champion for equality in health care for minority, adolescent, incarcerated, lesbian and bisexual, and disabled women, transgendered individuals, and women with HIV. Dr. Klein also oversaw ACOG's infant mortality review, and domestic violence, substance abuse, and smoking cessation initiatives.

Today's awards add to a long list of accolades for Dr. Klein, including awards from the Georgia Perinatal Association, the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, and the Georgia Commission on Women; an Atlanta Women History Maker Award; the American Medical Women's Association Elizabeth Blackwell Award; the Emory Medal; the Daggett Harvey Award of the Chicago Maternity Center and Northwestern University; The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Distinguished Service Award; and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Jacobs Institute.

Dr. Luella Klein received her bachelor's and medical degrees from the University of Iowa. She completed her obstetric and gynecologic specialty training at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, followed by a Fulbright Fellowship in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of London in England.

"While we wish Dr. Klein all the best in her future endeavors, we will miss having her voice to weigh in on the ever-changing issues affecting women. Thankfully, the spirit that she has infused into the fabric of ACOG will continue to push us to do better and fight harder to protect our patients and provide them with the care they deserve," said Dr. Hale.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 55,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women's health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization.

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