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Women in Medicine Transforming Healthcare Annual Lectureship

September 20, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

AMWA & WIMLF Present:
Women in Medicine: Transforming Healthcare

A panel discussion on the impact women have made in the field of medicine and the medical sciences.

Wednesday, September 20 @ 7 pm ET



Meet the Speakers

Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, FACP, CS-F

Dr. Nichols served as the Dean of the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine from 2002 to 2018. She was on leave to serve as President of the American Osteopathic Association 2010-2011. Prior to serving as Dean, she was Assistant Dean, Post Doctoral Education and Division Director, Internal Medicine at the Midwestern University/Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine since 1997. Dr. Nichols was in the private practice of internal medicine/geriatrics in Mesa, AZ 1985 – 2002. She is a graduate of Kansas City University-College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) with a DO degree and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from KCU-COM. She has a Masters degree in Management with a specialty in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University.

Dr. Nichols has received numerous awards including the first Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association (AOMA) Physician of the Year Award and the Physician of the Year Award from the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society. She was the 2012 recipient of the KCU-COM Alumna of the Year award. She received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the AOMA. Dr. Nichols has received the highest awards bestowed by the AOA (Distinguished Service – 2015 and Presidential Citation – 2018) and AACOM (Kistner Award – 2015). Dr. Nichols holds 9 honorary degrees.

She has served as President of the American Osteopathic Association, President of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and President of the American College of Osteopathic Internists and was the first woman to hold all of those positions. Dr. Nichols was one of the first four DOs elected to the board of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, completing an eight-year term and serving as Chair from 2020-2022.

Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP

Dr. Laraque-Arena served as board member of the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation from 2013-2022 and became President of the Foundation on July 1, 2022. She is a prolific and internationally renowned board-certified pediatrician and child abuse subspecialist, who has advanced maternal-child health in underserved and disenfranchised communities, holding multiple leadership positions regionally, nationally, and internationally. She is currently President and Professor Emerita of SUNY Upstate Medical University, Senior Research Scientist at the New York Academy of Medicine, and Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Pediatrics at the Mailman School of Public Health and Department of Pediatrics, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, among other activities.

She completed her medical studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She received full academic support as the Roy Markus Scholar (1977-1981) for her medical studies. Her internship and residency were completed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow in General Academic Pediatrics (1984-86). As an early career clinician-researcher-educator, her focus was program building and advancing an equitable system of care for children and adolescents in the Central Harlem, NY community.

Later she served as Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and received the endowed chair as the Debra & Leon Black Professor of Pediatrics and became Vice-Chair for Public Policy and Advocacy, and then served in the position of Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Vice-President of the Maimonides Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn, during which time she oversaw an academic department, managing a $100 million budget, providing care to children in Southwest Brooklyn. She was appointed the seventh President of SUNY Upstate Medical University (2015-2019), a tenured Professor of Pediatrics with additional appointments in Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Public Health & Preventive Medicine. During that time, she championed the idea of the responsibility of universities to address the leading causes of morbidity and mortality for children and adults; as CEO oversaw a health system serving the 1.8 million population of Central NY; oversaw four colleges (medicine, nursing, health professions and graduate studies) training the next generation of health professionals; addressed health and economic disparities (as Co-Chair of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council), and furthered the economic development of Upstate New York, the region’s leading employer. She was the first woman and the first African American to hold the position of President at SUNY, Upstate Medical University in the university’s 182-year history.

Dr. Laraque-Arena’s scholarly work has focused on maternal-child health, adolescent health behaviors, injury prevention, especially related to penetrating trauma, mental health integration in primary care settings, global child health and health equity. She was continuously funded for 30 years through foundation, state and federal grants. She has published over 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts, multiple chapters and media resource and educational materials. She edited the book Principles of Global Child Health: Education and Research; the special series in Pediatric Clinics of North America (2019), Ending the War against Children: The rights of children to live free of violence (2021); the special series in Pediatric Medicine (Shanghai, China), Integrating Mental Health in the Comprehensive Care of Children and Adolescents: Prevention, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (2021); and edited the book Leadership at the intersection of gender and race in Healthcare and Science: Case Studies and Tools. (2022).


September 20, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

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