Washington, D.C. — The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the nation’s leading organization of physicians providing health care to women, today announced that Jennifer Villavicencio, MD, MPP, FACOG, assumed the position of lead for equity transformation. This is a new role within the organization. Dr. Villavicencio will collaborate with departments, programs, leaders, and individuals across ACOG and external stakeholders, to bring equity and inclusion to the forefront of all aspects of the organization.
Dr. Villavicencio, a first-generation Cuban American, is an obstetrician–gynecologist with fellowship training in complex family planning and has expertise in health and public policy and communicating socially complex subjects. Her past experience with ACOG includes serving as the Darney-Landy Fellow with ACOG’s Strategies for Health Equity team and Junior Fellow leadership in District V and District I. Dr. Villavicencio completed her master's in public policy at the University of Michigan where she also completed her fellowship in complex family planning. She completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where she honed her skills in policy and advocacy and was recognized for her teaching skills and compassion for patient care and her community.
As lead for equity transformation, she will be guided by the recommendations of ACOG’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence Workgroup. The workgroup, led by Wanda Nicholson, MD, MPH, MBA, FACOG, was established in early 2020 and worked to develop a set of recommendations to guide ACOG in fostering a dynamic, diverse, and inclusive community where every member thrives and where the perspective of every member is heard, supported, and valued.
“Dr. Villavicencio is a skilled and dedicated physician. She is also a talented leader, advocate, and communicator on issues of inclusion and equity,” said ACOG CEO Maureen G. Phipps, MD, MPH, FACOG. “ACOG is continuing to focus on moving forward with our commitment to changing the culture of medicine, and we are thrilled to have Dr. Villavicencio’s passion, experience, insight, and sensitivity guiding this effort.”
Organizational culture shift requires reflection and self-evaluation, said Dr. Villavicencio. “As physicians, scientists, obstetrician–gynecologists, and health professionals, we are dedicated to a lifetime of learning. I believe it’s critical to engage that learner in all of us. As we work to understand our history and acknowledge and check our biases, we become better health care professionals, both scientifically and socially. Working to transform ourselves and our systems requires vulnerability and courage. That comes often with a deep and understandable sense of discomfort. I am willing to lean into the discomfort alongside my peers to improve the lives of people seeking obstetric and gynecologic care, their families, and their communities.”