Women's Global Cancer Alliance


March 21, 2016Rotary Club of Louisville, Member Spotlight: Robert D. Hilgers by admin

DrBobRobert D. Hilgers, MD, MA, CAE

Dr. Hilgers is President and CEO of the Women’s Global Cancer Alliance (WGCA). The WGCA works to advance women’s health, addressing particularly those in need of cancer care in developing countries. 80% of cancers in women occur in developing countries where only 5% of resources are available for care.

Dr Hilgers is a board certified Gynecologic Oncologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

He has been in leadership positions most of his life serving close to 30 years in various posts including Professor of Gynecologic Oncology, Division Chief and Department Chairman. He trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and in Gynecologic Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He served as the first formally trained gyn oncologist at the University of New Mexico where he founded the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. He subsequently became an examiner of candidates aspiring to become certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in both Obstetrics and Obstetrics as well as in Gynecologic Oncology.

He is a founding member and first president of the Memorial Gynecologic Oncology Society and served as president of the Western Gynecologic Oncology Society. He is a founding member of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society where he served as secretary/treasurer and then as its first executive director. In 2003 he was designated as one of the World Oncology Leaders by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is past president of the Metro Louisville American Cancer Society. Currently, he serves on the Humanitarian Committees of the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and of the Greater Louisville Medical Society.

He is a member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Society of Pelvic Surgeons, American Society of Association Executives, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology as well as the International Society for the Study of Trophoblastic Disease and the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research. Previous memberships include the Society of Gynecological Surgeons and European Society of Gynecologic Oncology. He has served as consultant on editorial boards of several peer reviewed medical journals, the author of 120 publications and has cared for thousands of women with cancer of the cervix.

In 2005 he founded the Kentucky Cervical Cancer Coalition to raise awareness of our need to eliminate cancer of the cervix in Kentucky women through early vaccination and regular Pap Smear screening. He serves on the state Cervical Cancer Medical Advisory Committee and the Kentucky Medical Association Cancer Committee.

In 2008 he founded the Women’s Global Cancer Alliance to draw attention to women without access to treatment in developing countries.

In 2009 he went to Zambia to study their Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, noted to be one of the best in the world addressing cervical cancer in a developing country.

In June 2015 he opened the first full time cervical cancer screening and prevention clinic in Gonaives, Haiti, serving 90%  of the impoverished community at no charge.

His past achievements include being named Honorary Consultant, Charing Cross Hospital and Westminster School of Medicine in London, England; Honorary Professor at Sun Yet-Sen University of Medical Science in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; and Honorary Member of the Argentina Association of Gynecologic Oncology, Buenos Aires. He has lectured in Florence, Fukuoka, Seoul, Guangzhou, London, Buenos Aires, Bangkok, and Port au Prince. He has also been an observer of health care in Tibet, Nepal and Cambodia.

His career is further distinguished by being named one of Best Doctors of America, Best Doctors for Women, America’s Top Oncologists and is cited in the International Who’s Who of Professionals as well in the International Directory of Distinguished leadership.

In 2015, he received the Akin Humanitarian Award from the United Nations KY and became a graduate of the Rotary Leadership Institute.

A lifelong student, Dr. Hilgers holds a master’s degree in Health Care Management and is a Certified Association Executive. He is an avid photographer and continues to witness the best of Haiti through his photos.


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