Miller School’s Chair of Pediatrics Selected for National Leadership Program

Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., associate professor and Interim Chair of Pediatrics at the Miller School of Medicine, has been accepted into the 2015-16 class of the prestigious Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

ELAM is the only national program dedicated to preparing women faculty for senior leadership roles at academic health science institutions. Schaechter will be a member of the program’s 21st class of 54 highly accomplished women.

“I was extremely delighted and excited to join the ranks of ELAM’s 900 alumnae who are committed to transformative leadership in academic medicine,” said Schaechter, who was nominated by Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and CEO of the University of Miami Health System, and received additional letters of support from Joe Natoli, Interim Chief Operating Officer of UHealth and Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the University, and Alan S. Livingstone, M.D., the Lucille and DeWitt Daughtry Professor and Chairman of Surgery.

Goldschmidt, who appointed Schaechter as Interim Chair of Pediatrics in 2012, described her as a local and national leader and advocate for children, students, her colleagues, and the community.

Among her many accomplishments, Schaechter has boosted the development and scholarship of residents and faculty in the Department of Pediatrics. She has also dedicated her career to advocating for vaccinations, injury prevention measures, gunlock safety, school health and nutrition initiatives, and programs to end health disparities.

“She has performed as an effective and passionate leader, stewarding her Department forward significantly,” said Goldschmidt. “I am certain that she is well prepared to benefit from the ELAM program.”

The one-year, part-time program combines three week-long in-residence sessions with distance learning, designed to take the leadership lessons gained from the classroom to practice in their respective institutions.

Increasing diversity among women in leadership positions is also one of the program goals.

“This is a very diverse and talented group of leaders selected from a highly -competitive pool of applicants,” said Diane Magrane, M.D., Director of Drexel’s International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics, which supports the program. “The work of the fellowship not only helps them understand the challenges facing academic health centers and the skills a leader must possess to address these challenges, but also often result in concrete, positive changes at their institutions.”

Throughout the course of the year, fellows will enhance their knowledge and skills in strategic finance, organizational change, leadership and capacity building.

“The tools and networking the program provides will help further where we are as professional leaders, and where we’re going, said Schaechter, who also hopes “to make deeper connections with people from a variety of disciplines.”

Fellows also undertake an Institutional Action Project to address an institutional need or goal while building leadership and visibility. Schaechter’s project will help accelerate research development with an emphasis on behavior/development, quality and population health.

“It will be an intense year of learning and I look forward to bringing back salient skills that will benefit the University, trainees, faculty and ultimately, the patients we serve,” she said.

The Miller School boasts five other ELAM fellows: Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., Pharm.D., M.S., Professor and Lucille P. Markey Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Associate Director of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute (BioNIUM); Anne E. Burdick, M.D., M.P.H., professor of dermatology and associate dean for telehealth and clinical outreach; Diana D. Cardenas, M.D., professor and Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine; Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and director of the Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research; and Omaida Velazquez, M.D., professor of surgery, Chief of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, and Executive Dean for Research, Research Education and Innovative Medicine.

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