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Nancy Spector, MD, Named American Medical Women’s Association 2023 Elizabeth Blackwell Awardee

February 3, 2023

Nancy Spector, MD: Executive Director of ELAM and Associate Dean for Faculty Development

The College of Medicine is proud to announce that Nancy D. Spector, MD, senior vice dean for faculty, is the American Medical Women’s Association’s (AMWA) 2023 Elizabeth Blackwell awardee. The award is given annually to a woman physician who has made outstanding contributions to the cause of women in medicine, created pathways for other women in medicine and made other exceptional contributions to women in medicine.

“Dr. Nancy Spector is a truly outstanding leader in academic medicine, supporting and impacting students and professionals at all stages of their journeys,” said AMWA board member and awards chair Dr. Susan Hingle, professor of medicine at SIU School of Medicine, in an AMWA news release. “She has had tremendous influence in advancing gender-specific medicine and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.”

Spector was chosen as the Blackwell awardee for significant contributions in gender equity, mentorship, sponsorship and advancing women leaders to the highest levels in medicine, according to the AMWA release. Spector’s work includes patient safety: she is chair of the I-PASS Study Group, and founder of the I-PASS Patient Safety Institute. Within the College of Medicine, Spector is a professor of pediatrics, and executive director of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program and the Executive Leadership in Health Care (ELH) program. She is also the Betty A. Cohen Chair and executive director of the Lynn Yeakel Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership (IWHL).

ELAM is a year-long part-time fellowship that develops the professional, personal and leadership skills of women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy. The program is recognized by CEOs and deans for developing true leaders who bring high value back to their institutions. ELH is a fellowship that enables women leaders to bring their full potential to health care organizations.

The IWHL continues the College of Medicine's over 160-year commitment to pioneering programs for women in medicine and beyond. 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.

Spector is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She completed her residency, chief residency and general academic pediatrics fellowship at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. She supplemented her educational portfolio with a fellowship in faculty development at Michigan State University and coursework in leadership and faculty development at the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Harvard Macy Institute. She was a fellow in the ELAM program in 2009–2010. Read more about Spector’s career path at St. Christopher’s and at the College of Medicine.

Spector will accept the 2023 Blackwell Award during the 108th AMWA annual meeting, March 23 to 26 in Philadelphia. The Elizabeth Blackwell Award is a tribute to the first woman awarded a medical degree from an American medical school. The award was initiated in 1994 by Elise S. L’Esperance, MD. Previously, the award was given only to AMWA members, but is now open to those in academic medicine.