Election 2019 — AMWA Board of Directors
Nicole Sandhu, MD, PhD, FACP, FAMWA (CV)
As we approach AMWA’s 105th year, at our interim meeting at the historic homestead of Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen, surrounded by the energy and interconnectedness of those gathered, and embedded in the passion and enthusiasm of our strategic planning meeting, I reflect on AMWA’s continued relevance for women physicians and women rising through their rigorous training years. AMWA continues to play an essential role as a respected, committed voice calling attention to the issues important to women in medicine at all levels of training and at all career stages. It is my belief that AMWA is as important now as it was when Dr. Van Hoosen acted on the need for such an organization in 1915 by starting AMWA. The issues we face and the opportunities to which we have access have evolved. However, the themes and challenges remain very similar, including issues of inequity regarding treatment within and outside the workplace, financial compensation, and career opportunities; and with regards to imbalance in gendered roles. AMWA provides a national multidisciplinary platform upon which to continue building a vibrant, diverse network of mentors, protégés, colleagues, and friends, and provides crucial opportunities to develop leadership skills and professional collaborations.
AMWA has the opportunity to increase our visibility and strengthen our relevance, to position ourselves as the national leader in both thought and action in advancing women in medicine amongst physicians, the healthcare industry, legislators, and others. I hope to contribute to this vital work through election to the position of President. My experiences and work with AMWA and my desire to contribute to this organization about which I feel so passionate are why I have chosen to seek election.
My involvement with AMWA has expanded my network of colleagues and friends, and has been critical in the development of my leadership and mentoring skills. As an internist specializing in breast cancer and other breast issues, I have extensive experience in multidisciplinary, team-based patient care. As an academic, I have experience in developing and supporting teams engaged in multidisciplinary scholarship. My role as Program Director of our General Internal Medicine and Women’s Health Fellowships has further developed my skills. To the role of President I bring a team-based, collaborative approach to identification of opportunities and challenges, and to problem solving and solution implementation; the ability to bring together people with numerous and sometime opposing viewpoints or divergent expectations; and a forward-thinking and optimistic attitude. To this role I also bring years of experience in serving AMWA through my work on the Board of Directors, multiple committees, and task forces. Over these years, I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with the current Officers and members of the Board of Directors, and many other AMWA members, and I am certain I will be able to work effectively with the entire team from the outset. I am humbled by the opportunity to ask that the members of AMWA consider electing me to the position of President for the 2020-2021 term.
2019 Board Members-at-Large
Cherilyn Cecchini, MD (CV)
I have been a member of AMWA and I have worn many hats since I was a medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (formerly Jefferson Medical College), which is now almost 7 years ago. I originally became interested in the organization because I was raised in a single home by my mother from the age of nine. I wanted to find a group that recognized strong women because she was a powerful role model to me during my formative years. AMWA has been the perfect fit.
I am seeking a position as BOD for AMWA because of my fiery passion for advancing women in medicine. I wholeheartedly believe that mentorship and support are vital in allowing women to fulfill their highest potentials in healthcare, a working environment that is still riddled with gender bias and covered by glass ceilings. I feel that AMWA can provide confidence for a young woman to not only apply for a seat at the table, but also fill that seat and trust in her capabilities even if surrounded only by men.
As far as personal goals or talents, I have a strong sense of AMWA’s vision and mission given my great deal of experience already working in the organization. I feel comfortable networking and providing guidance to other healthcare professionals. I have been able to personally create a brand for myself on various social media networks and I do feel that this talent would be useful for AMWA. My hope would be to continue to shape the organization in a way that attracts more members. I would love to see AMWA grow sizably with increased membership outside of the student division, as well.
I have considerable experience writing and I also think that this talent would prove beneficial for the organization. I feel strongly about having a publication either online or in print that enables young women to write creatively about their experiences in medicine. I would also be able to oversee the blog and expand its reach. In doing so, my hope is to increase audience size and engagement for AMWA.
Ultimately, I feel strongly about advancing AMWA and adding to the existing goals of the organization. I am passionate about the networking opportunities provided by AMWA and the mentorship created within the group. I hope that I am chosen to serve on the BOD. I will remain committed to the organization for years to come as a woman physician. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
Amy Hise, MD (CV)
I wish to serve on the Board of Directors for the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) because I am a passionate advocate for women physicians and faculty in academic medical centers. My experiences as an Associate Professor of Pathology and International Health at Case Western Reserve University as well as a Physician and Researcher at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center have shown me personally and through my interactions with my colleagues the challenges that women faculty can face. Although I have received outstanding mentoring and sponsorship, I have also seen first-hand the negative impact of institutional and individual bias and blatant discrimination. My response has been to become proactive, both in my local leadership roles including serving for many years on the steering committee of the Women Faculty School of Medicine (WFSOM) at CWRU as well president (elected) where I doubled our membership, increased participation in our workshops and events and instituted enhanced communications including using Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and digital newsletters to reach our members and affiliates; serving on the SOM admissions committee; serving on the University Faculty Senate Committee on Women; serving on many graduate student advisory committees; and participating in student and faculty mentoring. One of the highlights of my involvement in the WFSOM was to help conceptualize and implement an executive leadership training program for women faculty (now graduating 100 women faculty) as a pipeline for higher level academic leadership roles as well as coordinating frequent faculty development workshops on issues ranging from mentoring to negotiation, wellness and how to formulating a professional mission statement. I have been a member of AMWA both as a medical student as well as faculty and now serve on the membership committee as well as mentoring and advising our local student AMWA chapter. My vision for my tenure on the board of directors is to continue to focus on building national AMWA membership, to support ongoing and new modalities of outreach and communication to members and to develop a high level curriculum of faculty and professional development workshops to be offered in tandem with the annual AMWA meetings as well as available online as a service to our members, ideally leading to a certificate in leadership offered by AMWA. In addition to my research activities focusing on innate immunity to infectious pathogens and my clinical activities as an Internist at the Cleveland VAMC; during my free time I enjoy raising chickens, puttering around my organic suburban farm, fishing and spending time outdoors with my family and college aged son.
Shobha Krishnan, MD (CV)
I was drawn to AMWA ever since I started my organization, Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer (GIAHC) in 2010, whose mission is “Saving lives from cervical cancer, one woman at a time, one day at a time.” AMWA with its similar mission to advance women’s health seemed to be the natural partner in this pursuit. Cervical cancer is quintessentially a woman’s cancer and I believed that it would be the next right step to partner with AMWA and its accomplished members- women in medicine who have the interest, knowledge, commitment, dedication, networking capabilities and resources to take the lead in eradicating this disease.
In addition, my strong belief in empowering the younger generation for the vital success of our mission, lended itself for our collaboration. Today, the GIAHC AMWA student network has grown from a handful to over 60 within the past 2 years. The program provides a global platform for youth advocates to network and exchange knowledge regarding HPV and cervical cancer.
In early 2018, I worked with AMWA to launch the HPV and Cervical Cancer Task Force.
Under my leadership, our team is working towards launching the very first USA vs HPV week in January 2019. The aim of this week is to spread awareness among providers, parents, politicians, patients and the public at large about HPV and its related diseases. We hope to eventually grow this initiative internationally, in keeping with WHO’s latest call for action towards elimination of cervical cancer.
AMWA also opened the doors to MWIA which had a global and a synergistic agenda. I am currently working with the MWIA leadership to help with their centennial activities and future projects.
It is my hope that being on the board of AMWA, I will be able to bring in more strategic collaborations in the HPV field and women’s health in general. In addition, I have enjoyed AMWA’s friendship and camaraderie over the years and look forward to being a valuable and contributing member of the AMWA Board.
I have worked as a physician both in the developed and the developing world and have extensive experience in women’s health globally. In addition, my clinical background has given me the privilege to take care of patients of all ages-from infants, children, students, men, women and the LGBTQ community which further developed my deep understanding of disease prevention through education, vaccination screening and early treatment.
My strengths are my vision and to think outside the box to problem solve. I am thoughtful, creative, flexible and resilient that make for a good team player and leader. I have good management, communication and networking skills. My fluency in speaking 5 languages has been an additional asset in my career in medicine.
• Further expand and strengthen the GIAHC/AMWA Young Leaders Program
• Grow the USA vs HPV Awareness Week initiative
• Strengthen collaborations with MWIA
• Foster a wider network of partnerships in women’s health
• Grow AMWA membership through various networking channels.