President’s Message


President’s Message

Sesquicentennial! 150 years! It is with a deep sense of honor and privilege that I begin my year of service as the 130th President of The Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia. I would like to thank the Council and Society membership for affording me this wonderful opportunity. I would also like to thank my immediate predecessor, Dr. Dipak Delvadia for his excellent leadership of the Society over the past year.

We have a very exciting program planned for this year; beginning with a presentation by Dr. Kate Hawthorne titled Pregnancy Complications: A Window Into a Woman’s Cardiovascular Future. A developing body of literature is demonstrating a clear connection between pregnancy complications and a woman’s long-term cardiovascular health. Her presentation will help us understand those associations and evolving concepts of managing lifetime risk. Dr. Hawthorne is a cardiologist with Main Line Health System and she has a special interest in women’s cardiac health. I hope you will be able to join us for what I know will be a very informative evening.

In the year ahead we will pause from time to time to reflect on our rich history, as we continue to focus on our mission To embrace our legacy, foster collegiality, and share expertise to improve the health of women in Philadelphia and beyond. In the interest of embracing of our legacy, I plan to share, in upcoming newsletter editions, some relevant excerpts from the early proceedings of the Society.

Almost nine years after the first meeting of the Society, the organization sought incorporation under a new law of the Commonwealth established three years before. On April 14, 1877 the request for incorporation was reviewed and found to be “appearing lawful and not injurious to the community, it is ordered and decreed that said charter be and is hereby approved.”

The articles of incorporation stated, “Whereas, the undersigned, citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, together with other citizens of said Commonwealth, having established, in the city of Philadelphia, a society for the encouragement and promotion of the study of obstetrics and diseases of women and children, are now desirous of being incorporated… the name of the corporation shall be “The Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia”. The purpose for which the corporation is formed is the advancement of the study of obstetrics and the diseases of women and children, by the presentation of specimens, the publication of papers or essays, the free discussion of subjects of interest properly belonging to these several branches of medical science…”

Finally, in a stroke of prescience, “The term for which the said Corporation is to exist shall be perpetual”, and so it is as we now stand at the threshold of 150 years of existence of our Society. In the preparation of this message, I could not help but reflect on what our founding members would think of our Society today. I have no doubt that they would be humbled by the knowledge that their commitment to women and children’s health has persevered for 150 years. I also believe that they would be awe-struck by the inconceivable changes in technology, medical knowledge, and ability to diagnose and treat disease. Finally, I am certain they would find great favor with the notion that the essence of being a physician, the inherent commitment to the care of our patients and service to community remains immutable.

The Society is indeed fortunate to have a committed Council and a Sesquicentennial Planning Committee that has been working diligently to prepare an exciting year of events. We will be sharing details about the plans in the coming months. I personally look forward to welcoming each of you as we celebrate our legacy and prepare for the next 150 years!

A. George Neubert, M.D.