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Announcing AMWA 2022 President’s Recognition Awards

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, and Khawaja Shams Receive 2022 AMWA President’s Awards

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD (L) & Khawaja Shams (R)

Renowned Cardiologist C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD and Khawaja Shams were recognized with the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) President’s Recognition Award by Janice Werbinski, MD, 2020- 2021 AMWA President, during the AMWA’s 107th Annual Meeting GALA on March 25, 2022.  The AMWA Presidential Award is bestowed by the current AMWA President for excellence in any of the following categories: Science, Medicine, Clinical Practice, Leadership, Humanitarianism, or Philanthropy.

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, serves as director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai and serves as the Irwin and Sheila Allen Chair in Women’s Heart Research at Cedars-Sinai. Bairey Merz is a prolific clinician-scientist who has dedicated her career to
advancing the field of women’s heart disease while also playing critical leadership roles in numerous professional societies and organizations. Dr. Bairey Merz’s research interests include women and cardiovascular disease, precision medicine monitoring to predict unexpected cardiovascular events, and the role of mental stress, exercise, stress management, cholesterol and nutrition, and adverse pregnancy outcomes in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Bairey Merz is on the Advisory Board of the NIH Office of Research in Women’s Health, and of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored WISE (Women’s Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation) initiative.

“Dr. Bairey Merz is receiving AMWA’s Presidential Award in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments as a physician, researcher and leader who has focused a large part of her work on women’s biology and health. Dr. Bairey Merz has had a significant impact in elucidating sex differences in cardiovascular health and illness,” said Dr. Werbinski. “We feel fortunate to have Dr. Bairey Merz as a keynote speaker at our annual meeting this year. She has much to offer our members in terms of scientific education and as a role model for women’s leadership in medicine.”

AI/Tech Leader, Khawaja Shams

Award recipient Khawaja Shams, an AMWA board member for the past year, has been a leader in the high-tech industry holding executive roles at Apple and Google over more than 25 years. Mr. Shams is receiving the AMWA Presidential Award in recognition of his pivotal contributions to AMWA through his role on the AMWA Board of Directors, where he has helped with aspects of organizational strategy, technology, and resource development. A passionate advocate for women in healthcare, he has been instrumental in illuminating AMWA’s overall mission, establishing scaling mechanisms, and helping energize the broader AWMA leadership team. He has also facilitated or led several global COVID-19 and humanitarian relief programs through the American Women’s Hospitals Service.

Mr Shams has created AI/ML based large scale distributed platforms and organizations to innovate on Digital health, risk management, fraud and abuse detection (malware, content integrity, privacy), mobile payments, cyber security and threat intelligence, differential privacy, search, recommendations, and Apple hardware diagnostics.

“I am delighted to recognize Khawaja Shams with the Presidential Award,” said Dr. Werbinski. Shams has been an active supporter of many of our strategic initiatives, including those focused on Equity and Diversity. He has been an asset to our Board, serving as co-chair of the Development Committee, offering insights and advice on a range of subjects from technology to alliances. We also value the ally perspective that he brings to our leadership team,”

He is currently a Senior Director of Engineering at Google where he leads AI/ML research, data science, product analyst, and software engineering teams to benefit billions of users. At Apple, he founded the Applied Machine Learning team and holds multiple patents.

He is co-chair of the AWMA Development Committee and a board liaison for the American Women’s Health Service (AWHS) and he advocates for gender pay equity and inclusive medicine and product designs. He has promoted leadership development, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurship among women physicians. Mr. Shams has provided exemplary service and noteworthy contributions in advancing the vision,
mission, and goals of AMWA.

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