Annual GWIM Reception Honors Female Faculty Contributions

Posted in GUMC Stories

Georgetown Women in Medicine (new window) (GWIM) celebrated camaraderie and contributions at its annual fall awards ceremony and reception Dec. 5. GWIM, which has grown into a robust organization with rich programming and networking opportunities, will mark its twentieth anniversary in 2014.

The highlight of the evening, held in the Lombardi Atrium, was the awards ceremony, which honored achievement, leadership and mentorship among women faculty throughout the School of Medicine and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

GWIM President Stacey Kaltman, PhD (new window), associate professor in the department of psychiatry, describes the awards as a “very important vehicle for us to showcase the accomplishments of our women faculty.”

“I think this is one of the best things we do as GWIM,” Kaltman says.

The 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award was given to Bonnie L. Green, PhD (new window), professor and vice chair for research in the department of psychiatry. This award recognizes outstanding achievement throughout a career in research, education or service, national or international acclaim, and distinct contributions to the Georgetown community.

In accepting the award, Green reflected on her long and distinguished career, which has focused on the psychology of trauma.

“We’ve had excellent opportunities over the years to focus our efforts on low-income and underserved populations, especially women who have been victims of trauma,” Green said. “Georgetown University’s strong mission of service to those in need is an important backdrop, and provides really great synchronicity between what we have been trying to do [with our research] and the overall goals of the university.”

She also thanked GWIM for providing support and friendship over the years.

“I think we have made an important difference in advancing women at this university and this medical center, and this reception is a lovely manifestation of that,” Green said.

The other major award was the 2013 Estelle Ramey Mentorship Award, given to Offie Solden, PhD (new window), associate professor of oncology. The Ramey awardee is voted upon by all School of Medicine and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital women faculty.

“I appreciate so much being nominated, and being voted for. I have always appreciated [your support] over the years, but this is the culmination,” Solden said.

Another six female faculty members received the 2013 John Eisenberg Memorial Career Award, which are given to those in their early and mid careers who demonstrate leadership potential. These awardees are sent to attend a professional development seminar run by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

These winners are: Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, PhD, MHSc (new window), assistant professor of psychiatry; Jessica M. Jones, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular & cellular biology; Hosai Hesham, MD (new window), associate professor of otolaryngology; Erica McClaskey, MD (new window), assistant professor of family medicine; Aruna R. Natarajan, MD, PhD (new window), associate professor of pediatrics; and Susan K. Wollersheim, MD (new window), assistant professor of pediatrics.

Finally, the GWIM leadership recognized all promotions and newly appointed female faculty members.

Kaltman says that GWIM has a lot to be proud of now that it is completing 20 years in existence; the organization has gone a long way towards meeting its mission of promoting the professional advancement of women faculty. Yet she notes that the next 20 years will bring unforeseen challenges to all medical professionals, not just women, that will require a new understanding “of how to be successful in an academic medical center.”

“We are in a period of flux right now both in terms of academics and health care, with research funding decreasing on the academic side and the Affordable Care Act shaping health care in news ways, so it will be a new world for us,” Kaltman says. “Our goal is to provide the support and mentorship to ensure that our women faculty are successful in this new world.”

By Lauren Wolkoff, GUMC Communications

(Published December 06, 2013)