2008 DeLee Humanitarian Award goes to Leon Speroff, MD, of Oregon Health Sciences University

February 22, 2008

A leader in the field of reproductive endocrinology, menopause, hormone replacement therapy and contraception, Leon Speroff, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health Sciences University, will receive the 2008 Joseph Bolivar DeLee Humanitarian Award from the Board of Directors of Chicago Lying-in Hospital, part of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

The award will be presented at the board's annual dinner on Saturday evening, March 15, 2008, at the Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago.

Named after Joseph Bolivar DeLee, MD, a pioneer in the field of obstetrics and founder of the Chicago Lying-in Hospital, the award is presented annually to an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the health care of women and infants.

"Dr. Speroff has contributed monumentally to the medical literature in his field," said Arthur Haney, MD, professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago. Not only is he responsible for a series of fundamental research studies, he has played a crucial role in pulling together vast collections of unrelated studies and synthesizing them into a coherent whole, and thus shaping the research agenda for the future."

As the senior author of Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility, now in its seventh edition, and coauthor of A Clinical Guide for Contraception, now in its fourth edition, Speroff examined all the research in each field in ways and summarized it for physicians and lay persons as well.

Speroff also served as president of the American Fertility Society (now the American Society for Reproductive Medicine). He was the founding president of the Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists. He served on the editorial boards of 14 specialty journals in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive medicine. The Lifetime Cable channel featured him as the host of their television program on obstetrics and gynecology.

Speroff received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, and his training in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
After serving two years in the United States Air Force, he became a fellow in the training program for steroid biochemistry at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, Mass. He later served as a research associate with Raymond Vande Wiele, MD, in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

Speroff taught at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he became assistant chairman and director of the gynecologic endocrine laboratory, and at Case Western Reserve University, where he was appointed chair of reproductive biology, before coming to Oregon Health Sciences University.

A true Renaissance man, Speroff is an expert in more than reproductive medicine. He authored a biography of Carlos Montezuma, MD, an American-Indian physician who was a prominent activist for Indian rights in the early 1900s. He also wrote The Deschutes River Railroad War, the compelling story of two competing railroads that built tracks on opposite banks of the same river.

The DeLee Award is presented each year by the Chicago Lying-in Hospital Board of Directors, which supports programs to advance education, research and patient care relating to women's and infants' health at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Joseph Bolivar DeLee was a leading advocate for greater safety in childbirth. His concern for women in labor led him to open a small dispensary on Chicago's Maxwell Street in 1895, which became known as the Chicago Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary. The facility and its services grew in size and reputation. In 1931, DeLee opened the 140-bed Chicago Lying-in Hospital on the Medical Center campus and became the first chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago.

Charlene Posner will serve as honorary chair for the annual dinner. Jenny L. Whitlock and Marjorie E. Sherman serve as chair and co-chair, respectively.

For more information about the dinner, e-mail jwhitloc@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

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