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Drexel University College of Medicine Named Founding Signatory with TIME’S UP Healthcare

March 13, 2019

Drexel University College of Medicine is one of six founding signatories of a new branch of the TIME’S UP foundation aimed at creating safe spaces for women in the health care industry.

On March 1, Drexel University College of Medicine was named one of six founding signatories with TIME’S UP Healthcare, which aims to create safer and fairer work environments in the health care industry for women. Faculty and alumna from Drexel University, as well as a women’s leadership program in the College of Medicine, also helped to found this organization, which grew from the TIME’S UP movement against sexual harassment that was founded in 2017 as revelations of abuse and misbehavior of powerful men in the entertainment industry came to light.

TIME’S UP Healthcare was founded by a group of women of diverse backgrounds and specialties who wanted to create a similar organization for women in the health care industry. The 50 founding members and 13 senior advisors of TIME’S UP Healthcare include doctors, clinical pharmacists, physician assistants, nurses and other professionals who will work together to improve gender equity while also decreasing the burden of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment and abuse in all health care fields. 

Nancy Spector, MD, professor of pediatrics and associate dean for faculty development in the College of Medicine, was one of the founders, along with Rhonda Acholonu, MD ’01, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and vice chair of education at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore who received her medical degree from MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine (a predecessor institution of the College of Medicine).

Nancy Spector, MD, at the official launch event of TIME'S UP Healthcare on March 1.

Spector is also the executive director of the College of Medicine’s Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program, which is a one-year leadership program that has coached, mentored and promoted more than 1,000 women leaders in academic medicine, public health, dentistry and pharmacy for almost 25 years (the official anniversary is next May). A current ELAM Fellow and several alumnae (including Spector, who graduated from ELAM) are founding members of TIME’S UP Healthcare as well.

“I am honored to be a founding member of TIME’S UP Healthcare and in the company of so many extraordinary female leaders,” Spector told the College of Medicine in a recent news story. “The tenets of TIME’S UP Healthcare align perfectly with the mission of ELAM and also with the history of Drexel University College of Medicine, which has a strong heritage of supporting the advancement of women in medicine.”

Though the College of Medicine was founded in 2002, it grew out of predecessor institutions that include the world’s first medical school for women, which graduated pioneers of women who practiced medicine. Founded in 1850 as the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP) has a history of graduating diverse doctors, like some of the country’s first African-American and Native American female doctors as well as the first women with MD degrees in India, Japan, Syria, Canada. In its first 50 years, WMCP also graduated pupils from more than 40 states and territories in America, as well as students from countries including Burma, Ecuador, China, Switzerland, Jamaica, Denmark, Brazil, Russia, England, Australia and Sweden.

From left to right: Angela M. Mills, MD, current ELAM Fellow; Nancy D. Spector, MD, executive director of ELAM and an alumna of the program; and Carol A. Bernstein, MD, ELAM alumna.

Today, the College of Medicine promotes female leadership internally while also bolstering female empowerment for women at academic institutions across the country and around the world through the ELAM program. For example, 17 of 24 assistant and associate deans and five out of 12 chairs at the College of Medicine are women.

In addition to the College of Medicine, the other founding signatories of TIME’S UP Healthcare include the Yale School of Medicine, the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, the Mayo Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health, UW Health and Brigham Health.