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Ronald Alvarez elected president of American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society

Jan. 8, 2024, 8:42 AM

Ronald Alvarez, MD, MBA

by Danny Bonvissuto

Ronald Alvarez, MD, MBA, the Betty and Lonnie S. Burnett Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology, was recently elected the 42nd president of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society (AGOS), the most prestigious organization of leaders in obstetrics and gynecology in the nation.

“As president of AGOS, I have the opportunity to extend the work I have done as chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center,” Alvarez said. “At VUMC, my team and I have worked tirelessly to elevate the importance and value of women’s health at the institutional level and to improve the clinical care of women in middle Tennessee, enhance training in obstetrics and gynecology, and expand our women’s health research. It’s very timely for me to be able to lead AGOS this year with this same sense of mission at the national level.”

According to Alvarez, the status of women’s health in the U.S., particularly maternal health, is “appalling” for a nation with the resources we have.

“AGOS is an organization with an increasingly diverse representation of all specialties and subspecialties in obstetrics and gynecology that is well poised to address the most pressing challenges in women’s health and help guide innovative solutions,” he said.

For his one-year term, Alvarez will focus on the development of a new AGOS strategic plan and on updating AGOS’ bylaws and policies.

“AGOS is also eager to address issues such as incorporation of innovation in women’s health care delivery, to clarify the workforce needs for women’s health care, to tackle challenges in reproductive health and women’s health care equity, and to advocate for increased funding of women’s health research,” he added.

“Dr. Alvarez is an amazing leader who finds consensus and has innovative ideas for leading our organization forward,” said Barbara Goff, MD, AGOS secretary and chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington Medical Center.

“He is very willing to try new ideas and consider nontraditional solutions and is also a true servant leader who lifts up others and celebrates them. I think his leadership will be very transformative. He is helping our society move from a social and elitist organization to one of action and advocacy.”

Alvarez, who’s been an AGOS member since the early 2000s and in various AGOS leadership roles since 2016, has seen firsthand how the organization’s membership has continued the process of moving AGOS away from an honorific society towards an action-oriented one.

“Our membership has played a critical role in reshaping women’s health care,” he said. “Women’s health needs leaders in obstetrics and gynecology involved now more than ever.”

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