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Institute for Women's Health & Leadership 20th Anniversary

August 28, 2013

Drexel University College of Medicine's Institute for Women's Health and Leadership will mark its 20th anniversary with a three-day celebration, September 26-28, 2013, that includes academic discussions, leadership workshops and recognition of its strong legacy of women's achievement.

Among the many events taking place are an address by New York Times columnist and author Nicholas Kristof and an honorary degree presentation to Dr. Bernice "Bunny" Sandler, recognized as the "Godmother of Title IX."

Founded in 1993, Drexel University College of Medicine's Institute for Women's Health and Leadership was designated a vanguard National Center of Excellence in Women's Health three years later. Today, the Institute continues the medical school's century and a half commitment to women in medicine and science.

"We are proud of the Institute's trailblazing history and ongoing commitment to honor the past, enrich the present and shape the future through programs connected to women's health and women's leadership," said Lynn H. Yeakel, director of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership, where she holds the Betty A. Cohen Chair in Women's Health.

The 20th celebration kicks off on Drexel University's campus in University City on Thursday, September 26 with an academic symposium on women's health, including presentations on diabetes and on gender differences in the brain. Kristof, co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, will address the Drexel community at 5:15 p.m., followed by a reception.

Women's leadership will be celebrated on Friday, September 27, with the Marion Spencer Fay Lecture and Award presentation to Nancy Andrews, MD, dean, Duke University School of Medicine. Other events will include:

  • A panel and workshop on shared leadership among women and men
  • A presentation of an honorary degree by Drexel University President John A. Fry to Dr. Sandler, and a special tribute to D. Walter Cohen, DDS, chancellor emeritus of Drexel University College of Medicine
  • A brunch for donors and alumni hosted by the College of Medicine's Legacy Center, Archives and Special Collections, which includes records from Woman's Medical College/Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University

The Institute for Women's Health and Leadership is the home to several centers and programs. In 1995, the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) program began preparing women in medicine, science, dentistry and public health from across the country for leadership. There are now nearly 800 graduates of the ELAM program.

The Woman One program to honor a local leader and raise funds for medical school scholarships began in 2003. Vision 2020, a national coalition of institutions and individuals to advance women's economic and social equality, was launched in 2010.

Centers within the Institute include the International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics (ICELA) which includes ELAM and ELATE for technology and engineering, and the Legacy Center, Archives and Special Collections, whose director, Joanne Murray, is co-chair of the 20th Anniversary Committee with Dr. Cohen.

All IWHL 20th Anniversary events are free and open to the public, however space is limited and registration is required at

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