Congratulations to John Larsen, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology and former chair of the department, who received the 2016 Hellman Midwifery Partnership Award. The award is given annually to a Fellow of the American College of Gynecology (ACOG) who has demonstrated outstanding support for midwifery through advocacy for women, leadership in collaborative practice, and excellence in clinical, educational, or research endeavors. The award is jointly sponsored by the American College of Nurse Midwives, the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc., and the Midwifery Business Network.
“I am greatly honored to have received this prestigious award. Working with the nurse midwives has been a great joy in my life. The midwife culture of normal birth has brought a strong positive spirit to our collaborative antepartum and intrapartum care,” said Larsen.
Larsen, who has been an ACOG Fellow since 1976, has continuously practiced in an academic setting throughout his 40-year career. He is credited with bringing midwifery care back to The George Washington University (GW) Hospital after a more than 20-year absence. In the fall of 2009, Larsen and Whitney Pinger, MSN, midwife and associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, collaborated to expand access to comprehensive care that was evidence-based and complementary to the complex, high-risk care services already present at GW Hospital. He has been a leader in integrating midwifery care into GW’s program.
Several members of the GW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology commented on Larsen’s leadership in this area, including Pinger, who nominated Larsen for this award, stating: “At the end of his long and illustrious career as an academic, clinician, researcher, educator, and both national and local leader in OB/GYN, he opened his mind to the idea of midwifery. He also…opened the minds of an entire institution, of an entire set of physicians, nurses, administrators, risk managers, and untold others to the idea that midwifery care was good for women and the best thing to do.”
“This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Larsen,” said Nancy Gaba, M.D., Oscar I. and Mildred S. Dodek and Joan B. and Oscar I. Dodek, Jr. Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “He is a true leader in the field of OB/GYN and midwifery. He had a clear vision of how we could better serve the women of the Washington, D.C. region with midwifery services and he established a successful and highly sought after program at GW. We are proud of his accomplishments and his commitment to the health and wellness of women and children in our community.”