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Institute for Women's Health and Leadership Woman One

The Woman One Award and Scholarship Fund annually honors a woman of exceptional leadership and raises tuition funds for talented underrepresented women studying medicine at Drexel University, who are committed to practicing in underserved communities. Since the program began 17 years ago, 29 Woman One Scholars have graduated and are working as physicians across the United States, and three Scholars are currently in Drexel’s medical school.

2020-2021 Woman One Honoree Is Jeri Lynne Johnson

Woman One Award ceremony attendee Jeri Lynne Johnson, Lynn Yeakel, and Evelyn Johnson-Murtagh

The Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership of Drexel University College of Medicine honored Jeri Lynne Johnson as Woman One 2020-2021 at a special ceremony on April 26, 2021. The event was livestreamed from the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

View photos of the event

Learn more about sponsoring Woman One [PDF]

Jeri Lynne is the founder, artistic director and conductor of the award-winning Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra in Philadelphia. Through the Black Pearl, Jeri Lynne has created groundbreaking engagement programs and collaborative partnerships with the city's most prominent education and cultural institutions. In addition, Jeri Lynne sits on the board of directors of several organizations including Einstein Health Network, the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science (Grammys) and the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council. The Woman One Award will recognize her outstanding example of leadership, civic engagement and artistic excellence.

Dean Charles Cairns with Woman One Scholars Jacqueline Koomson and Dominique Jones, and Senior Associate Dean Leon McCrea
(L-R): Charles Cairns, MD, dean of Drexel University College of Medicine, pictured at Commencement on May 18, 2021, with Woman One Scholars Jacqueline Koomson, MD '21, and Dominique Jones, MD '21, and Leon McCrea, MD, senior associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion. Dean Cairns has generously committed matching funds for the Woman One and D. Walter Cohen Shared Leadership Scholarships for four incoming medical students in 2021.

D. Walter Cohen Shared Leadership Scholarship

The Woman One program has created the D. Walter Cohen Shared Leadership Scholarship, which will be awarded in 2021, to honor Dr. Cohen's role in founding Woman One and his commitment to shared leadership among women and men, while also addressing the problem of declining applications from underrepresented men in medicine. Learn more.

2019 Woman One Award Ceremony

For information about Woman One, contact Janine Barber at 215.991.8194 or

Woman One Scholars on the COVID-19 Pandemic Front Lines

We reached out to past Woman One Scholars to hear about how they are helping battle the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Here are three of their stories.

Annette Lopez, MD '08

Assistant Chief, Emergency Department of the Portland VA Medical Center, Portland Oregon
Medical Toxicologist, Oregon Poison Control Center

As the assistant chief of the Emergency Department at the Portland VA in Oregon, I am currently actively working with COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, our facility had Portland’s first case diagnosed and the first death from the virus. I was personally involved in the care of our second COVID death, which still haunts me since it was so unexpected.

Read more from Annette Lopez

Annette Lopez, MD '08, Woman One Scholar

Annette Lopez, MD, in her protective personal equipment on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19

Being the assistant chief, I have also been actively involved in our strategic planning within the hospital for the impending surges, going back to January. Within the last few weeks of April we expanded our Emergency Department's number of negative pressure rooms, set up a COVID screening/treatment tent for ambulatory cases, and changed our triage process to reduce exposures while awaiting Emergency Department evaluation of those at low risk for COVID-19. I have been placed in charge of monitoring peer-reviewed literature to create protocols in screening, testing and disposition decisions for patients who may have COVID-19.

In the meantime, I have been participating in a committee exploring reuse, repurposing and development of alternative personal protective equipment given the nationwide shortages. Luckily, so far, we have maintained our supplies, so we are hoping we will not be reusing equipment. I have also been actively developing ED protocols for the management of respiratory/cardiac arrests in the context of COVID-19 to ensure appropriate care while maintaining safety for providers. Given the nationwide shortages of testing supplies, I have also been working on protocols to decide who requires testing, and who is assumed positive and asked to self-isolate.

In addition, I continue my work at the Oregon Poison Center and have been doing Spanish interviews regarding the increase in bleach/disinfectant exposures due to COVID-19.

Right now, Oregon is starting talks about opening up since we have been under stay at home orders since mid-March and have been able to flatten the curve so that our hospitals have not been overrun. I am currently involved in active discussions on how to safely reopen non-emergent health care within our institution in the new normal. There are definitely many challenges ahead.

Sharron Manuel, MD, PhD '13

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas

I am directly working with possible COVID-19 patients or confirmed positive patients as we have started getting positives and a lot of suspected positives on labor and delivery. I still see Ob/Gyn patients in clinic and in hospital when covering labor and delivery, but with many more restrictions and some work from home.

Read more from Sharron Manuel

I have also volunteered with our local Health Department to follow what is known as “persons under investigation” (PUI) to monitor their symptoms. I will contact these individuals to follow up on their status and report back to the Health Department in El Paso. In addition, a colleague and I are researching the effect of COVID-19 in pregnancy within our Hispanic population in El Paso (a city on the U.S./Mexico border) with a large medically underserved population. We just completed a meta-analysis on COVID-19 in pregnancy, and we hope to submit this research soon.

Ingrid Schmiederer, MD '16

General Surgery Resident, New York Presbyterian Hospital (Queens)
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, General Surgery, Stanford University

Since graduating from Drexel University College of Medicine, I have been completing general surgery residency training in Queens, New York. I took this last academic year off to do a fellowship in educational research at Stanford. But when the pandemic hit and overwhelmed my hospital, I asked my program director if I could come back and help in the ICU.

Read more from Ingrid Schmiederer

Ingrid Schmiederer, MD '16, Woman One Scholar

Ingrid Schmiederer, MD, on her first day back in the ICU at New York Presbyterian Hospital (Queens) during the COVID-19 pandemic

I am currently back in Queens working in a COVID-19 ICU. It is quite a rollercoaster of emotions and physical effort. I don't know how my co-residents have been doing this for months — I've only been here for two weeks. I thought of the Woman One program during my first week here, as I would not be here serving these patients in this historic time of need without the support and generosity of Woman One and the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, who sponsored my Woman One scholarship. This feels like the true core of what Woman One represents, and I feel that in this way I am fulfilling my promise when I was honored with the scholarship.

Past Woman One Honorees

Since the Woman One program was initiated by the IWHL in 2003, honorees have been:

  • Shared leadership ambassador Eileen McDonnell (2019) | Learn more
  • Trailblazing scientist and community leader Gloria Twine Chisum (2018) | Learn more
  • Women's leadership development advocate Molly Shepard (2017) | Learn more
  • Community leader and innovator Renee Amoore (2016) | Learn more
  • Philanthropist and civic activist Lynne Honickman (2015) | Learn more
  • Founder of the Russell Byers Charter School Laurada Byers (2014) | Learn more
  • Journalist Lisa Thomas-Laury (2013) | Learn more
  • Community leader Dianne Semingson (2012) | Learn more
  • Director of the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor Sara Manzano-Díaz (2011) | Learn more
  • Former first lady of Drexel University Eliana Papadakis (2010)
  • Former president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Jane Pepper (2009)
  • City representative and director of commerce Stephanie Naidoff (2008)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey (2007)
  • Philanthropist and television personality Suzanne Roberts (2006)
  • Olympic gold medalist Dawn Staley (2005)
  • Attorney and community leader Leslie Anne Miller (2004)
  • Pennsylvania secretary of public welfare Estelle Richman (2003)

Woman One continues to connect Drexel University College of Medicine to the greater Philadelphia community by engaging businesses and foundations in supporting Drexel's diversity initiatives.

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