The College Distinguished Service Award goes to outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the College or the discipline of obstetrics and gynecology in government, research, teaching or direct patient care.
George A. Hill, MD
Dr. Hill is in the private practice of reproductive endocrinology and infertility and the director of Nashville Fertility Center in Nashville, TN. He is an affiliate associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dr. Hill is the advisor for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to the American Medical Association Resource-Based Relative Value Scale Update Committee and serves as a consultant to this committee. He is the treasurer of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Hill has spent the majority of his career has been in clinical practice helping infertile patients achieve their dream of having a child.
Kimberly A. Parker, JD
Ms. Parker is a partner at the international law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP (WilmerHale). Dr. Parker co-leads the firm’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anticorruption practice and also is co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee.
For more than 15 years, Ms. Parker has led teams of WilmerHale lawyers in representing the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) pro bono. On behalf of ACOG, Ms. Parker has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in legal cases throughout the country that affect women’s health care. These influential briefs have been cited by numerous courts, including the Supreme Court, that have sought authoritative medical information regarding childbirth, abortion and other reproductive health issues. Because of the work of Ms. Parker and WilmerHale, ACOG has been able to lend its powerful voice to critical cases involving laws that regulate the practice of medicine and that affect women’s health.
Ruth Ann Shepherd, MD, FAAP
Ruth Ann Shepherd, MD, FAAP, is the division director for Maternal and Child Health in the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Dr. Shepherd came to the Department of Public Health with more than 20 years of experience as a board-certified neonatologist and pediatrician, having practiced in urban areas as well as rural Appalachia.
Dr. Shepherd led the Kentucky Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait initiative, a community-based approach to eliminating preventable preterm birth, developed in collaboration with March of Dimes and Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute. The success of the initiative influenced the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Healthy Babies President’s Challenge as well as the Health Resources and Services Administration Collaborative Improvement & Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality. Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait is now a signature program for March of Dimes and has been replicated in other states.
Rep. Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX)
Dr. Burgess, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serves on the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee and a senior member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and the Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over health care policy. He serves on the Rules Committee, tasked with helping to determine how health care legislation is considered on the House floor. Before running for Congress in 2002, Dr. Burgess was a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist in North Texas for more than 25 years. As a physician, he believed that Washington, DC, failed to understand his patients and practice. As a member of Congress, he represents the physician voice every day.
Most notably, Dr. Burgess introduced landmark language in HR.2, which was signed into law in April 2015; the legislation repealed and replaced the Sustainable Growth Rate, putting medical professionals back in charge of measuring quality care and addressing one of the largest drivers of the nation’s debt. Additionally, he is one of the architects of the 21st Century Cures Act. During his 12 years in Congress, Dr. Burgess has received numerous awards and accolades for his health policy work.