Thursday, September 26, 2019
  Awards and Recognitions

By Victoria Brito

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – Dr. Saul Rivas, clinical assistant professor of gynecology at the UTRGV School of Medicine, has been named the 2019-2021 Norman F. Gant/American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fellow by the National Academy of Medicine.

Rivas is one of five fellows for this selection period and the only Gant/ABOG fellow.

“This fellowship is aligned with the work I have been doing here at UTRGV in regard to helping underserved populations and working with policymakers,” Rivas said. “Serving on these health boards within NAM will be important components that will help to continue to foster a program that will help bridge the gap’s we have identified in the Valley in healthcare.”

Dr. Saul Rivas
(UTRGV Photo by David Pike)

Dr. John Krouse, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and executive vice president for Health Affairs, said they are excited Rivas is representing UTRGV as a NAM fellow.

“The expertise and knowledge he will bring from this opportunity will strengthen our goal of providing quality gynecological healthcare to underserved communities in the Rio Grande Valley,” he said


The Gant/ABOG fellowship enables early-career scholars in obstetrics and gynecology to participate in NAM’s health- and medicine-related work to strengthen their leadership in the field.

During the duration of the fellowship, Rivas will continue at his academic post while also serving on the academy’s health boards, which address:

  • Children, youth and families.
  • Food and nutrition.
  • Global health.
  • Healthcare services.
  • Health sciences policy.
  • Population health and public health practice.

Rivas said one particular UTRGV initiative that aligns with NAM’s goals is the School of Medicine’s Unimóvil, a mobile clinic that brings medical care to underserved communities, including gynecological care.

“Those are the kind of initiatives that I would like to continue to build on, and this fellowship will assist in that,” Rivas said. “I am excited to be one of the few fellows selected at the national level and to bring that type of expertise and experience to UTRGV.”

Rivas was nominated by Dr. Tony Ogburn, professor and chair of the UTRGV School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with support from Dr. Robert Nelson, senior associate dean of Faculty Affairs and innovation chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

Rivas will attend the annual NAM meeting, Oct. 21 in Washington, D.C. to represent UTRGV and the Rio Grande Valley.


The National Academy of Medicine, established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, behavioral sciences and beyond. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as an adviser to the nation and the international community.  Through its domestic and global initiatives, NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine and related policy to inspire positive action across sectors. NAM collaborates closely with its peer academies and other divisions within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.