It is my great honor to serve as the President of the Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia for the 2023-2024 academic year. The theme of the year is “Caring for Our Community”. One definition of community is a group of individuals with common values and interests. Our community of clinicians consists of nurses, midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians. I am so excited that we have a membership level for advanced practice clinicians and I welcome them to this organization with open arms. I hope to see the meetings this year reflect the care teams we work with every day in our practices.
We as a community are at a crossroads. For some of us in this community, the care we provide is at the forefront of political rhetoric and legislation. We care for transgender patients, patients in need of abortion care, contraception, comprehensive sex education, STI prevention and care, alternative birth options, adequate prenatal and pregnancy care, domestic violence assistance, adequate wages to support their families, safe homes, and so much more. For this year I want the educational topics to come from members of OUR community who are fighting this good fight with us. We will hear about decriminalization of pregnant people with substance use disorders, lawyers that help patients facing pregnancy discrimination, practical approaches to avoiding traumatic birth experiences, and for my presidential address I will discuss how we as health care providers can help with harm reduction and the decriminalization of self-managed abortion. I am also hoping that this year the Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia can be a giving circle and attendees of the meeting can donate what they can to these non-profit organizations that partner with us in caring for our community.
The Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia is itself at a crossroads. Our fabulous past President, Dr. Aasta Mehta began a strategic planning process to identify what we as an organization need to do to best support our community members. Right now there are far more members of our Reproductive Health Care community that do not participate in the Society, than those who do. We want to learn why, and what we can do as an organization to welcome new community members. We will continue the strategic planning process this year and intend to report back by the end of the year, and change the organization to make it more enticing to all of our community members.
I am hoping that this year you find that the Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia is caring for you too. We will continue to have the educational meetings in hybrid format so that you can do what you need for yourself. For some that may mean socializing and sharing dinner with colleagues in person; for others that may mean going home and watching the meeting in your PJ’s with a pet on your lap. There will be four hybrid educational meetings this year. We are also working on providing childcare at the in-person meetings for those that may need it (fingers crossed we can make that happen for those who need it). Alternating with the hybrid educational meetings we will have happy hours to socialize with one another. We don’t want these meetings to be something on your to-do list, but something you want to do.
All community members are welcome here and I can’t wait to see you at one of our events!
Lisa Perriera, M.D.