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Founded in 1993, the Institute was designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a vanguard National Center of Excellence in Women's Health in 1996. The Institute continues the medical school's over 160-year commitment to pioneering programs for women in medicine and beyond. The Institute for Women's Health and Leadership functions as a department within the College of Medicine and its director, Lynn H. Yeakel, who holds the Betty A. Cohen Chair in Women's Health, serves on the Executive Committee of the Faculty. It is the only Institute recognized in the medical school's faculty bylaws.

With the overall theme "Making a World of Difference," the Institute pursues its mission to "honor the past, enrich the present and shape the future." It does this by building local, state, national and international relationships that help women lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.


Director's Center for Education and Special Programs

  • Conversations About Women's Health are fast-paced and interactive expert-led discussions. The panel of doctors — moderated by Lynn Yeakel — answer a wide variety of questions from the audience. These informative and lively programs have resulted in numerous life changing testimonials and have improved the health of women (and the men who love them).
  • The Marion Spencer Fay Award is presented in honor of Marion Spencer Fay, PhD, dean and president of Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania from 1946 to 1963. The National Board for Women in Medicine established an award in her name in 1963 to recognize her pioneering leadership. The award includes a $10,000 honorarium.
  • The Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, MD, Sex and Gender Research Forum is an interactive program that highlights Drexel's multidisciplinary research focused on sex and gender in a local, national and global context.
  • Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in their commitment to achieve women's economic and social equality. Vision 2020 does this by advancing an overdue national conversation about the value of women's equality to benefit all and by accelerating shared leadership among women and men to reach a new dimension of American excellence by the year 2020.
  • The Woman One Award and Scholarship Fund honors annually a woman of outstanding leadership and raises medical scholarships for talented under-represented women at Drexel University College of Medicine.


The Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® program, or ELAM®, works to increase the number and impact of women in academic leadership positions.

Participants in this one-year, part-time fellowship enhance their capacity for leadership and innovation through training in four essential dimensions of leadership:

  • Personal and professional leadership effectiveness to address strategic, operational, and relational challenges.
  • Strategic finance and resource management to enhance the missions of academic organizations.
  • Organizational dynamics to provide strategies for leading, executing, and managing change initiatives.
  • Communities of leadership practice to sustain leadership development beyond the fellowship year.

The Legacy Center: Archives and Special Collections

The Legacy Center is the repository for the records and heritage of Drexel University College of Medicine and its predecessor institutions, including Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (W/MCP) and Hahnemann University.

News and Announcements

"Woman One Award Ceremony Raises Over $250,000 for Scholarships"

On Monday, April 25, the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership held its 14th Annual Woman One Award Ceremony at the Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia.

"Drexel's Vision 2020 and U.S. Sen. Casey Lead Efforts to Designate Philadelphia as the Site of the 19th Amendment Centennial"

In year 2020, Philadelphia will serve as a backdrop for women leaders to convene and celebrate the anniversary of women securing the right to vote.

In the Media

September 21, 2017: A letter to the editor by Lynn Yeakel, director of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, about including male voices in conversations about women’s equality, was published in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Vision 2020's National Equality Day: HERStory Hunt and Toast to Tenacity was covered by numerous media outlets:

The events of the day were previewed in a Philly Voice article on August 22, and highlighted in an August 21 Uwishunu post about things to do in Philly.

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