TRIBUTE TO JOE SANFILIPPO AND PAULA HILLARD
NASPAG is an offspring of FIGIJ. For those of you who may be unaware, the basic tenets of a North American Society focusing on gynaecological problems in individuals from birth into the twenties were established in August 1986 at the 8th International Symposium of FIGIJ.
As President of the FIGIJ Board, I have the great pleasure of awarding the FIGIJ Honorary Fellowship to two of the most prominent figures of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology in North America. At a personal level I have the added pleasure of honouring two of my favourite PAG stalwarts in the USA, having worked with both in their respective roles within JPAG.
Joseph – Joe – Sanfilippo and Paula Hillard
A brief summary of each would not reflect the immense contributions they have provided and continue to provide to the integral health of adolescents in general and paediatric and adolescent gynaecology not just in the USA but also more globally through their shared commitment to JPAG.
Both are recognised as able professionals in their vocation and in their practice, eager to teach and educate in their academic roles, with extensive publications to boot.
Both are recognised by FIGIJ as trailblazers in disseminating and promoting PAG in and outwith the USA.
Both are “doers”. These two new honorary Fellows one from the east, the other from the west have long been supportive to FIGIJ and need little introduction, certainly not at all at the NASPAG ACRM.
Academic, versatile, proactive, supportive, innovative are just some of the words that apply to Joe. From New York he moved to Kentucky where he obtained his Fellowship training, and in 1996 I had the pleasure of being invited to Louisville for a personal learning project that shaped my future PAG practice. Joe was immediately welcoming and incredibly organised despite his busy schedule. His meticulous approach to life in general is of course reflected in his also having obtained his pilot’s licence! From Louisville he moved to Pittsburgh in 2004 where he had held roles of tenured Professor as well as Academic Director and Fellowship Director. In 2011 I had the honour of hosting Joe in London in 2011 where he delivered the UK Dewhurst lecture. He is of course the Editor Emeritus of the JPAG having served on a number of other editorial boards over the years. His grants including those for teen pregnancy prevention and his many publications reflect his lifelong interest in reproductive endocrinology, fertility and PAG. Prominent among his publications was his PAG book first published in 1994 and co-authored by no less than John Dewhurst but also be Tennessee’s own David Muram. His most recent research has involved gonadal tissue cryopreservation for fertility preservation. At a national level Joe has been past president of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, has served on the board of trustees of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and he has served as executive director of NASPAG. Joe was a FIGIJ Board member between 1992-1995 and 2004-2007, and was Vice President of the Federation between 2007 and 2010. Always up to date and on the ball, Joe is an inspiration for us who seek to progress best practice in PAG. We, the International Federation of PAG, thank you for all you have and continue to do to progress PAG.
Paula has had a distinguished career leading to her professorship at Stanford University where she obtained her MD having then completed her residency in North Carolina. She then spent many years in Cincinnati where she founded a postgraduate fellowship training programme in PAG. An advocate of life-long learning, education has been her forte, from medical students to postgraduates and has been widely recognised for her teaching, mentoring compassion, advocacy, responsibility and empathy. Amongst other roles she has chaired the American College Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Committees on Patient Education and Adolescent Health. A Fellow of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society. Paula has of course been a past president of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Her appointment as current Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology follows her active contributor to the literature in adolescent gynaecology and contraception with over 200 journal articles and abstracts published alongside over 120 book chapters on women’s health. I have dealt with Paula regularly when I was Associate Editor of JPAG and admire and respect her pragmatism and perseverance. Like Joe, Paula has authored her textbook on Practical Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology published in 2013. The ultimate multi tasker, self-styled tapestrist and current boss of JPAG, Paula we salute you.
Two PAG educators with their own distinct personalities, solid knowledge, different experiences in their medical work and either of them in their own way passionate about their vocation of service.
Today during this NASPAG ACRM, we express our recognition and gratitude through this tribute. Thank you Joe and Paula, we thank you on behalf of those who have been close to you and all the girls, adolescents and young people whom you have been able to support and inspire to achieve a better world.
We salute your contributions to global PAG. On behalf of FIGIJ we welcome you to our
family of Honorary Fellows.