Ann B. Burke, MD, FACOG
Chair, Maryland Section
It has been my pleasure to serve as chair of the Maryland Section of ACOG and support our three goals: education, advocacy, and outreach.
Education has been important to me from when I was a little girl growing up in rural Mississippi, through medical school at the University of Mississippi where I fell in love with obstetrics and gynecology, and into residency at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. I'm proud that the Maryland Section supports the three ob-gyn residency training programs in Maryland through the annual David Nagey Resident Research Day and the Emil Novak Seminar.
In terms of advocacy, the Maryland Section has made great progress this year. We had 32 attendees from Maryland at the Congressional Leadership Council, the theme of which was ACOG is Access. Our Junior Fellows organized the third annual State Legislative Day in Annapolis.
Advocacy for policy is not an area where I have always felt comfortable, although my experience as a specialist in women's health care in a private community practice demonstrated the effect of policy on individual lives. It can be difficult for a physician practicing at a community hospital to access ACOG leadership roles. I benefitted from the personal outreach of Ray Cox, MD, whom I met through the Maryland Perinatal Collaborative. Ray promoted my involvement in what was then the Maryland Obstetrics and Gynecology Society. I made outreach and bridging activities a keystone of my chairmanship, and our executive committee members are encouraged to bring a friend. We have linked Maryland Section members to multiple state and local committees.
To learn about all the exciting activities from our section and its officers, please visit the Maryland Section website.
David B. Byck, MD, FACOG
Chair, Georgia Section
Ruth Cline, MD, FACOG
Vice Chair, Georgia Section
Greetings from the Georgia Section! We have certainly had some ups and downs this year. Our legislators passed the nationally publicized fetal heart bill (H.B. 481) and we expect the governor to sign it. While this will be immediately challenged in court, we had some frustration in our efforts to either defeat the bill or change some of the difficult language. Our Section worked very actively to defeat this bill, with many of our fellows giving their time to testify at the capitol. At the same time, we had a few wins! The legislature passed a budget that included an additional $200,000 for maternal M and M reviews, $828,000 for funding to our state residencies, and over $1,000,000 for maternal telepsychiatry. In March we had several hundred members attend our annual legislative day in Atlanta. This event included our colleagues in pediatrics, family medicine, and internal medicine. The program directors in Georgia are bringing our residents to this event so we can get our newest colleagues ready for advocacy.
We have our annual golf tournament coming up next month, and it is sure to be a hit with our members! Our coding courses are well attended and appreciated. And of course we have our Georgia Section Meeting this summer. Last year we broke attendance records and hope to do so again this summer at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island. On our first day we will have a simulation lab for both gynecology and obstetrics hands on activities. Participation in the event will count for part IV credit in our Maintenance of Certification with ABOG.
I have been involved with the Georgia Section for many years, starting with our state society, the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society. We have a very active society that works on advocacy, education, and networking. I was honored to serve as president of the society from 2011 to 2012 and then move into Section leadership in 2015. I am currently the program director and chair at the Mercer University School of Medicine Savannah Campus. We have sixteen residents and 240 students on campus. I am always happy to discuss Section issues with any member and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a more detailed report on our work, visit the ACOG District IV website.
I hope that each of you is having a wonderful year! I am certain that our Annual District Meeting in New Orleans will be excellent, and I look forward to seeing you there.