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Robert A. Hatcher, MD, MPH

Recipient, Robert A. Hatcher Family Planning Mentor Award

Robert A. Hatcherr, MD, MPHBob Hatcher started his career in family planning four decades ago as an EIS officer assigned to the Muscogee County (GA) Health Department. There he opened, ran, and evaluated the first publicly funded family planning program in rural Georgia.

After his initial year there, he pioneered a summer program with six interns. He continued to run a greatly expanded summer program for 30 years and provided effective mentorship for 600 students (high school, college, and medical school). For many eventual leaders in the family planning field, the experience was life-changing: the gateway into a career in sexual and reproductive health.

Bob next moved to the OB/GYN department at Emory University, where he remained until he retired. He ran the family planning program at Grady Memorial Hospital, and he worked regularly at the Emory student health service. In his early years at Emory, he started Contraceptive Technology, originally the notes for his lectures to medical students, and now a greatly expanded reference book currently in its 20th edition.

Twenty-five years ago, Bob started the annual Contraceptive Technology conferences, now held three times a year with roughly 2,000 attendees per year. Outside the summer program, Bob mentored young professionals, too. He held weekly lunches to attract residents and medical students to come listen to talks on family planning topics, subjects in which they otherwise would have received little or no training. In addition, Bob has for many years given countless talks on topics in reproductive health to clinical audiences around the country; he is a popular and effective speaker.