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ACOG Inaugurates Verda J. Hicks, MD, FACOG, as 74th President at 2023 Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting
Washington, D.C. — Verda J. Hicks, MD, FACOG, of Leawood, Kansas, today became the 74th president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Dr. Hicks is a gynecologic oncologist whose career has included both private and employed practices. She recently served as the chief of gynecologic oncology at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and medical director of gynecologic oncology for Hackensack Meridian Health Center, both in New Jersey. Prior to that, she held faculty positions at both the University of Kansas and University of Missouri-Kansas City. She was sworn in as president during ACOG’s 2023 Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.
In her inaugural address to assembled meeting attendees, Dr. Hicks shared her passion for leadership and her belief in its potential to strengthen the obstetrics and gynecology community and profession: “If we are going to improve access to health care; improve maternal mortality; integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion; reduce burnout; and improve the mental health of our team, our patients, and ourselves—we must lead.”
ACOG currently stands at a critical junction in health and culture, making leadership more critical and necessary now than ever. Dr. Hicks’ 2023–24 term will center on her presidential focus, Everyday Leadership, emphasizing ways in which leadership can be accessible at all levels of involvement and all career stages. With Dr. Hicks’ governance, ACOG will work to highlight leadership development programs; increase individual confidence in leadership capabilities and skills; and encourage obstetrician–gynecologists to get involved in leadership however they can, whenever they can: “No matter where we are on our obstetrics and gynecology career journey, we are leaders.” Leadership, Dr. Hicks believes, begins in our practices, in our communities, and within our specialties and subspecialties.
Dr. Hicks earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and her medical degree from the University of Illinois, where she was a James scholar. She completed her residency at the Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, before going on to complete fellowships in gynecologic oncology at Duke University and medical education research with the Central Group on Educational Affairs. She also earned a certification in business from Johns Hopkins University, received leadership training at the ACOG Robert C. Cefalo Leadership Institute, and graduated the physician leadership course at the Healthcare Leadership Institute. Today her work centers primarily on preinvasive vulvar, vaginal, and cervical disease.
Dr. Hicks’ history of ACOG involvement includes serving as a member of the Committee for Underserved Women, PROLOG Advisory Committee, Gynecologic Oncology Committee, and Critical Care committee. She has served as District VII chair, vice chair, treasurer, and program chair; chair of the Council of District Chairs; and assistant secretary to ACOG national. In 2004 she was recognized with the ACOG Distinguished Service Award.
In addition to her work with ACOG, Dr. Hicks has volunteered for decades with the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, during which she participated in a number of committees, codirected their advanced colposcopy course, and served on their executive board. In 2001 she worked with the FBI and FDA to identify a pharmacist who was diluting chemotherapy medications distributed to cancer patients, some of whom were her patients, and bring him to justice.