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March 18, 2008

APGO Names New President

The Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics is pleased to announce Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D., Bates Professor of the Diseases of Women and Children, professor of women’s studies, and research professor in the Center for Human Growth and Development, and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the U-M Medical School, as its new president. Doctor Johnson assumed the office on March 7 and will serve a one-year term.

Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D.
Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D.

Doctor Johnson received both his Bachelor’s degree with distinction and high honors, and his Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and his medical degree from the University of Virginia. Doctor Johnson served his ob-gyn residency at the University of Michigan and a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He served in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps from 1981 to 1985, and was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Science, Andrews Air Force Base and Naval Hospital Bethesda, Maryland.

Doctor Johnson’s academic career began at Johns Hopkins in 1985, where he established the Fetal Assessment Center, focused on clinical and research aspects of maternal-fetal physiology, fetal development, prenatal diagnosis and therapy. He subsequently became residency program director and director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. His scholarly contributions, including over 150 peer-review publications, among others, reflect important work on assessment of fetal gestational age, evaluation of fetal well-being and clinical aspects of fetal behavior. His research team has focused on fetal behavioral ontogeny and published seminal work on behavioral ontogeny, relationships between various fetal behavioral characteristics and on fetal to neonatal transitional behaviors.

Since 1993, when he assumed the Michigan position, Doctor Johnson has initiated the Women’s Health Program, University of Michigan Health System, which has received designation and funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. Since, he has worked to position the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Women’s Health Program at the University of Michigan in the top tier of academic, clinical and research programs as recognized by such measures as the NIH and U.S. News & World Report rankings. The Michigan Initiative for Women’s Health, located at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, is an NIH-funded Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) site and the Department is a Specialized Center of Research (SCOR: Birth, muscle injury and pelvic floor dysfunction). 

Doctor Johnson continues to mentor and advise graduate students in the area of fetal behavioral development, as well as those interested in international women’s health. He regularly teaches university undergraduates, as well as medical students and post-graduates, on women’s health, men’s health, and transcultural and transnational women’s health issues. His class on Women’s Reproductive Health, in its twelfth year at the University of Michigan, is one of the most popular undergraduate classes.

Throughout his distinguished career, Doctor Johnson has served on numerous editorial boards, study sections, professional committees, and societies and boards, including the NIH Director’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Health and Research (ACWHR). He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science. In 2005, Doctor Johnson was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). He is Fellow ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (London) and editor of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (IJGO). 

Since 1985, Doctor Johnson has been actively involved in women’s health projects and sustainable partnerships in the developing world. He is part of the group that established the Carnegie Corporation’s ACOG/RCOG postgraduate training program in Ghana. This program, one of the most successful in Carnegie’s history, has now trained over 40 obstetrician-gynecologists who have achieved specialist certification by the West African College of Surgeons, and where Doctor Johnson has received honorary fellowship. Former program trainees include the current obstetrics and gynecology chairs at the University of Ghana Medical School, Accra and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi. One program graduate recently was named Ghana’s Minister of Health. Doctor Johnson has continued the student, resident and faculty exchange between Ghana universities and the United States, and is working to extend this model to Nigeria, Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. A former chair of the ACOG Committee on International Affairs, Doctor Johnson was instrumental in the successful strategy to link ACOG with Central and South America professional bodies, leading to improved educational and clinical programs, and active collaboration among Western Hemisphere obstetrician-gynecologists. 

With its recently established 25-year goal be a leader in women’s health education around the world, APGO is pleased to welcome Doctor Johnson as its president and embrace his presidential initiative to immerse APGO in international women’s health education affairs, and address issues of interdisciplinarity, leadership and advocacy.

The Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics represents academic obstetrician-gynecologists in the United States and Canada. It promotes excellence in women’s health care by providing optimal resources and support to educators who inspire, instruct, develop and empower women’s health care providers of tomorrow.

Written by: Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics

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