Leadership and learning core to OHSU Women in Academic Medicine conference

Fourth annual event emphasized the need for collaboration in navigating the biomedical environment

October 19, 2016

Are effective leaders also eternal optimists? In her plenary address at the fourth annual OHSU Women's Leadership Conference, Sona Andrews, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs at Portland State University, spoke about the difference between approaching an issue with an optimistic vision versus a preconceived conclusion.

Dr. Sona Andrews, plenary speaker at theWomen's Leadership Conference 2016Describing two years of intensive, collaborative planning that led to the creation of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, Dr. Andrews (pictured, at right) said she adopted the attitude of "We can, if…" from the outset. The roadmap was uncharted and the two schools faced many obstacles, not the least of which was having "to convince the faculty it would work without any evidence." In this case, optimism paid off, creating what she called the first joint endeavor of its kind with two educational institutions as equal partners.

Leadership and constant learning were core themes of the fourth annual Women's Leadership Conference at OHSU. The Oct. 18 event, organized by the Women in Academic Medicine Committee, has also become a joyful occasion in which to celebrate exemplary individuals who support the success of women in academic medicine. The following awardees were chosen from a record number of nominees. WAM co-chairs Kate Keller, Ph.D., research associate professor of ophthalmology, and Daniel Haupt, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry, presented certificates to the honorees.

2016 WAM Awards

Dr. Agnieszka Balkowiec, WAM, Women's Leadership Conference 2016, awardAgnieszka Balkowiec, M.D., Ph.D. (middle, at left), associate professor, OHSU School of Dentistry, was given the Discovery award for Women in Science. Dr. Balkowiec's scientific reputation as a neuroscientist is based on her stellar publication record and funding by the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes and the American Heart Association. Her highly cited research papers have significantly furthered our understanding of the control of blood pressure by neurotrophic factors such as brain derived neurotrophic factor and by delineating the function of trigeminal afferents in cranio-facial pain.

Linda Ganzini, M.D., M.P.H. (below, left), professor of psychiatry, OHSU School of Medicine, received the Mentoring Award. In their letters of nomination, Dr. Ganzini's colleagues spoke to her long history of recruiting women into fellowship positions, and actively supporting them as they transitioned into faculty positions. The VA Portland Health Care System's current chief of psychiatry and director of the psychology postdoctoral program are examples of women in leadership positions who have benefited from Dr. Ganzini's mentorship.

Dr. Cheryl Maslen, WAM, Women's Leadership Conference 2016, awardCheryl Maslen, Ph.D. (middle, at left), professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, was honored with the Resiliency Award. Dr. Maslen pursues research that is centered on the genetic basis of congenital cardiovascular defects. She was awarded the Richard T. Jones Distinguished Alumni Scientist Award in 2007. Dr. Maslen recently stepped down as director of the Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Bioscience, a role she held since 2008. The degree of success she has achieved is made even more inspirational as she managed a number of unforeseen major life stressors in a short period of time.

L. Michele Noles, M.D. (below, right), associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, received the Clinical Excellence Award. Since joining the faculty in 2005, she has distinguished herself as a leader in quality improvement and patient safety, serving as director of the simulation program for cardiac codes and other medical procedures, developing a simulation curriculum for postgraduate education, and lecturing widely on this topic.

Dr. Stephanie Nonas, award, WAM, Women's Leadership Conference 2016Stephanie Nonas, M.D. (middle, at left), assistant professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, was the recipient of the Emerging Leader Award. She was nominated in recognition of her leadership within the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and across OHSU, and for her significant contributions to the creation of the YOUR M.D. curriculum. She has initiated a combined quality improvement and educational program to improve patient outcomes receiving mechanical ventilation.

The half-day conference also included table discussions among attendees and a panel of OHSU leaders speaking on strategies and benefits of negotiation and collaboration.

The Women's Leadership Conference is sponsored by the following OHSU entities:

  • Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • School of Medicine Office of the Dean
  • Office of the Provost
  • Center for Women's Health
  • Fund for Advancement of Women's Leadership

Dr. Linda Ganzini, WAM, Women's Leadership Conference 2016, awardDr. Michele Noles, award, WAM, Women's Leadership Conference 2016