WSOA Research Grant Award

$5,000 AWARD



TOPICS: A wide range of topics are acceptable, ranging from basic research to clinical studies to health services research. Topics of regional significance and outcome-based research are particularly encouraged.

FORMAT: The proposal should be typed, double spaced, and no more than ten pages of text.  The proposal should follow standard N.I.H. format and be appropriately referenced.  When applicable, collaborators should be clearly identified along with appropriate letters of collaboration.  A detailed budget should also be included.

Awardee must agree to recognize WSOA’s grant in the work, and a copy of the findings shall be provided for the association files.

Awardee will present findings of research at the 2018 Annual Meeting scheduled for December in Seattle.

DEADLINE: October 31, 2017
SUBMIT TO: WSOA Research Committee, Darla White, Association Executive,

Note: WSOA does not allow for indirect costs


ACOG WA Section Update – February 17, 2017

Over two thousand bills have been dropped at last count leading up to the first major cut-off of session. Committee chairs must vote bills out by of their respective policy committees by today in order for the bills to move to the next stage of the law making process. The Code Reviser’s Office is humming with activity drafting amendments and substitute bills for committees’ consideration. Committee chairs have scheduled rare evening meetings to assure that they complete all of their business by week’s end.

With the close majorities in the House and Senate, there will be continuing work on issues important to women and families. Although there may not be agreement at this time, there appears to be bi-partisan interest in creating a paid family and medical leave program. This as well as the debate about how to both fund McCleary and create a first rate education system will survive this first cut-off. These close majorities also mean that extreme positions directed against women’s comprehensive healthcare and labor’s rights to organize and collectively bargain will die this session.

When House bills move to the Senate and vice versa, refinements and revisions will continue. The process is dynamic and requires a watchful eye from the public as well as those more closely linked to the activity in Olympia.

Washington State legislators and Governor are monitoring policy changes and shifts in “the other Washington” to anticipate impacts here. Legislators have convened hearings on bills that would protect Washingtonians from the repeal or detrimental changes to the ACA as well as protect Washingtonians from discriminatory inquiries from employers into their religious affiliation as well as their co-workers. Stay tuned, as new issues will continue to emerge and contribute to the debate.

How are ACOG priority bills faring?

A bill that would improve access to contraception, SB 5554, was heard Tuesday and it subsequently passed out of the Senate committee on Health Care on Thursday. SB 5554 would ensure that women are able to obtain 12 months of birth control at a time rather than having to go back month after month for refills. Research has shown that dispensing one-year’s supply of contraception at a time reduces the odds of experiencing an unintended pregnancy by 30%. A number of individuals including Dr. Lauren Owens expressed their unwavering support for this policy during public testimony. The House version of this bill, HB1234, passed out of its policy committee last week and is ready to be taken up by the House.

Unfortunately SB 5084 passed out of committee and is ready for a vote by the full Senate. The bill requires breast centers to send a letter to patients about their breast density on mammograms. It encourages patients to talk to their doctor about further screening. We sent an email alert to OBGYNs in Washington State asking them to contact their senators to vote “no” on the bill. If and when the bill passes the Senate, it will move to the House. Stay tuned for further developments.

Executive Action was taken on HB1796, a bill that aims to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees in the workplace. This bill was ”execed” out of the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards, with a majority due pass vote. This means that House Bill 1796 now moves to the House committee on Appropriations.

In the Senate a new bi-partisan bill, SB 5835, passed out of Commerce and Labor on Thursday afternoon without public hearing. This is the third pregnancy accommodation bill introduced in the senate this session. SB 5835 improves outcomes for moms and kids by ensuring they have a healthy start. The healthcare elements of the original bills are retained. This compromise bill improves the law for pregnant women who are experiencing a normal pregnancy, but we do have concerns with certain elements of the bill, especially the fact that a woman would have to work for an employer with 15 or more employees before being able to take advantage of the law.

Next week will be filled with fiscal committee hearings as well as lots of time on the floor. If you’d like to follow the action LIVE on TVW, just click on and look at the column on the right for the day’s activities.

ACOG has testified six times already this session. Dr. Owens testified twice on the 12 months of contraception bills and Dr. Annie Iriye and Dr. Kate McLean each testified on the pregnancy accommodation bills. Dr. Lyndsey Benson testified against the parental notification bill and Dr. Kimelman testified against the breast density notification bill. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!


Ultrasound and Autism

September 9, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

Two recent studies of autism and obstetrical ultrasound have created a stir in the media.  In my practice, we are already getting lots of questions!

I have provided several resources for you to help answer patient questions (attached):

  1. An insightful review of the studies by Dr. Andy Coombs, a Maternal Fetal Medicine colleague of mine
  2. ACOG’s patient education “Frequently asked questions” sheet about ultrasound in pregnancy
  3. The recent articles being referenced in the press: Article 1Article 2

In summary, there is no credible evidence that first trimester ultrasound causes autism spectrum disorder.   Ultrasound in the first trimester should continue to be used when medically indicated. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) has on-line guidelines available for everyone outlining safe thermal index guidelines & more:

Another useful site regarding Dopplers is:

I hope this is helpful.  Please let me know if there is anything else WSOA can do for you.

Hope to see you all at our annual meeting in Seattle, December 2 – 3, 2016!


Carolyn R Kline, MD MPH
Washington State Obstetrical Association President
Perinatologist, Eastside Maternal Fetal Medicine


Maternal Mortality Review Committee Established: A Big Win for Patient Safety

On April 1st, Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill that provides funding for the establishment of a maternal mortality review committee. This committee will be comprised of local obstetrical provider-volunteers and will go over de-identified data from every maternal death Washington State. This data will be used to identify patterns and formulate recommendations regarding educational priorities and possible changes in practice. Establishment of similar committees in other states has resulted in cutting maternal death rates by as much as 50%.


Updated Guidance on Zika Virus for Healthcare Providers Caring for Pregnant Women

Health Advisory: Updated Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Women of Reproductive Age with Zika Virus Exposure and for Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus, 29 MAR 2016

Actions requested (updated guidance in bold text):

  • Ask all pregnant patients and their sexual partners about recent travel.
  • Advise pregnant patients to consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing because of the potential for microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers infected with Zika virus while pregnant.
  • Advise pregnant women who can’t postpone travel to an area with Zika virus transmission to strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites. Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are considered safe for pregnant women when used as directed.
  • Advise women who test positive for Zika virus disease or who had symptoms of Zika after possible exposure to wait at least 8 weeks after their symptoms first appeared before attempting to conceive.
  • Advise women with possible exposure to Zika virus but without clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease to wait at least 8 weeks after exposure before attempting to conceive.
  • No specific antiviral treatment is available for Zika disease. Treatment is generally supportive and can include rest, fluids, and use of analgesics and antipyretics. Pregnant women who have a fever should be treated with acetaminophen.
  • Be aware that although mosquitoes are the primary route of transmission of Zika virus infection, sexual transmission of Zika virus can also occur.
  • Advise men who have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who have a pregnant partner to abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex (i.e., vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or fellatio) for the duration of the pregnancy. Pregnant women should discuss their male partner’s potential exposures to mosquitoes and history of Zika-like illness with their health care provider.
  • Advise couples in which a man had confirmed Zika virus infection or clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease to consider using condoms or abstaining from sex for at least 6 months after onset of illness.
  • Advise couples in which a man traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission but did not develop symptoms of Zika virus disease to consider using condoms or abstaining from sex for at least 8 weeks after departure from the area.
  • Report suspected cases to Public Health at 206-296-4774. There is no commercially available lab test for Zika infection; PCR and serologic testing can be arranged by Public Health.

Testing guidance:

  • Test all persons (regardless of pregnancy status) reporting two or more of the following symptoms: acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis during or within two weeks of travel to an area of active Zika virus transmission OR within two weeks of unprotected sex with a man who tested positive for Zika virus or had symptoms of Zika infection during or within two weeks of return from travel to an area with Zika transmission. Obtain specimens during the first week of illness if possible.
  • Offer testing to pregnant women (regardless of symptoms) with possible exposure to Zika virus through travel to an area of active Zika virus transmission during pregnancy or through sexual exposure to a man who has traveled to an area of Zika transmission and developed symptoms of Zika virus infection. Obtain specimens within the first week of illness if ill or within 2-12 weeks of exposure (including any travel to a Zika affected area in the 8 weeks before conception) if asymptomatic.
  • If fetal ultrasounds detect microcephaly or intracranial calcifications, pregnant women who originally tested negative for Zika virus infection following travel should be retested for Zika virus infection. In these cases, also consider amniocentesis for Zika virus testing.
  • Offer testing to pregnant women with at least one sign or symptom of Zika virus disease after unprotected sex with an asymptomatic male partner who had exposure to Zika virus. Obtain specimens during the first week of illness if possible.
  • Test women experiencing fetal loss who have had travel to an area with known Zika virus transmission during pregnancy if not previously tested
  • Test infants born to women who traveled during pregnancy to an area with Zika virus transmission and have evidence of maternal infection (mothers with positive or inconclusive test results for Zika virus infection) or fetal infection (infants with microcephaly or intracranial calcifications)
  • Test infants who have two or more of the following symptoms within 2 weeks of birth: acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis and are born to a mother who traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission within 2 weeks of delivery.
  • At this time, testing of exposed, asymptomatic men for the purpose of assessing risk for sexual transmission is not recommended.