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ELAM Program Announces Graduation of 2020 Class

October 30, 2020

The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM®) program at Drexel University College of Medicine is pleased to announce the graduation of its 25th class. This graduating class of 59 fellows from 53 institutions joins a diverse alumnae community of more than 1,100 highly accomplished leaders that represent 287 medical, dental, public health and pharmacy schools from around the world.  

As the graduation speaker, Catherine Morrison, JD, a negotiation and conflict management expert who has been a longtime ELAM faculty member, celebrated the class’s achievements at an online ceremony. Ms. Morrison shared some of the leadership lessons she learned in her 15 years training and competing as a powerlifter. She also urged the graduates to be unrelenting about creating regular opportunities to renew their spirit – especially in these challenging times – and to cultivate and embrace their own special strength.

The 2020 fellowship was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of the program fellows were involved in frontline work. ELAM shifted its third session to a virtual format and extended its programming an extra five months so that the class could fully benefit from the curriculum in both synchronous and asynchronous ways.  In September 2020, the fellows presented their capstone Institutional Action Projects (IAP) online. The event brought together the fellows and their deans or other senior officials and featured a poster symposium highlighting the fellows’ IAPs. These projects were conducted at their home institutions, in coordination with their deans and other senior leadership, and designed to address an institutional or departmental need or priority.

“2020 is a year that none of us will ever forget – and our class will always be tied together in a special way. I am so proud of how our fellows led and managed through crisis and how they supported their classmates,” said Nancy D. Spector, MD, executive director of ELAM. “The quality and impact of their IAPs is a testament to the capability of the members of this class to enact powerful systemic change at their home institutions and beyond even in a time of crisis.”

ELAM’s mission is to increase the number and impact of women in senior academic leadership positions. From there, these new appointments will help change the culture of academic health organizations in becoming more accepting of different perspectives and more responsive to societal needs and expectations. ELAM, established in 1995, is the only longitudinal program in North America dedicated to preparing women for senior leadership roles in academic health science institutions. The intensive year-long fellowship encompasses executive education, personal leadership assessments and coaching, and networking and mentoring activities aimed at broadening perspectives, building new capacities and encouraging professional connections. Program assignments, both group and individual, provide opportunities for applying and exercising leadership skills in a variety of situations and settings.  ELAM alumnae serve in a variety of leadership positions including department chairs, research center directors, deans, college presidents, and provosts as well as chief executives in health care and accrediting organizations.

Currently, ELAM graduates include:

  • 15 of the 31 women deans at accredited U.S. medical schools, 7 of the 12 women deans at U.S. dental schools and 3 of the 21 women deans at U.S. public health schools; 1 ELUM is dean of a Canadian medical school and 14 ELUMs are deans at regional medical campuses or other graduate schools
  • 185 department chairs at medical schools, 21 at dental schools, 16 at public health schools and 28 at other institutions
  • 175 center directors at medical schools, 11 at dental schools, 8 at public health schools and 46 at other institutions
  • 164 associate, senior associate and vice deans at medical schools, 19 at dental schools and 14 at public health schools
  • 56 chief executive or academic officers (presidents and chief executive officers, executive directors, provosts and chancellors)
  • 24 associate/vice/senior associate provosts
  • 58 vice presidents

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