GWIM Celebrates Achievement, Looks Ahead at Annual Ceremony

DECEMBER 12, 2014—Georgetown Women in Medicine (GWIM) culminated its 20th anniversary year with its annual awards ceremony Dec. 11, honoring achievements of female faculty and supporters.

Research and clinical faculty gathered to celebrate this year’s awardees in the Medical-Dental Building.  GWIM President Stacey Kaltman, PhD, associate professor in the department of psychiatry, said it is also a moment to recommit to GWIM’s mission of achieving professional equity for women faculty.

“In our medical center like in many medical centers around the country, women faculty tend to stay in rank longer than they should, and often don’t go up for promotion,” Kaltman said.

To begin to address this issue, in July GWIM launched its “100 Women Professors Campaign,” which seeks to achieve full professor status for 100 female faculty members currently employed by the School of Medicine or MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MGUH). GWIM is currently tabulating the number of women full professors and will soon start activities and programs to urge eligible women to prepare and submit their promotion packages.

Honoring Achievement and Mentorship

GWIM recognized Virginia D. Steen, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program, with the Outstanding Achievement Award. The award recognizes a women faculty member in School of Medicine or MGUH for outstanding achievement throughout a career in research, education or service, national or international acclaim, and distinct contributions to the Georgetown community.

Steen, an internationally renowned expert in scleroderma, said GWIM has been a “special part of my career and life here at Georgetown.”

In accepting her award, she encouraged young female faculty to “find a focus, find a passion, find a niche.”

“It will help you resolve your ability to function in this challenging world of academic medicine,” Steen said.  

The 2014 Estelle Ramey Mentorship Award went to Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, MBA, professor and dean for medical education at the School of Medicine. The Ramey award, initiated in 2000 and open to both men and women, is voted on by all School of Medicine and MGUH women faculty.

Reading from the nomination letter, Kaltman quoted: “[Mitchell’s] vast knowledge and experience in administration, clinical medicine and medical education have inspired many to pursue careers in these fields. He uses kindness, humor and realism to help students and faculty find their truth paths in career and in life.”

Accepting the award, Mitchell said: “This is the nicest thing I have ever received at Georgetown.”

Among his own mentors he cited his mother and Miriam Toporowicz, MD, MPH, professor in the department of pediatrics.

The 2014 John Eisenberg Memorial Career Awardees were: Jenny Hanching Lin, MD; Ludise Malkova, PhD; Maria Marquez, MD; and Rebecca Riggins, PhD.

GWIM also acknowledged all female faculty promotions in the past year as well as newly appointed faculty.

A Banner Year

It has been a banner year for GWIM. It held a 20th anniversary celebration in October with keynote speaker Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine and a panel discussion among female faculty of their lessons learned over their careers. The event drew more than 100 attendees from across campus.

And, for the second time, the AAMC’s Group on Women in Medicine and Science bestowed its Leadership Development Award to GWIM at its annual meeting in Chicago in November, making GWIM the only organization to receive this award twice.

By Lauren Wolkoff
GUMC Communications