Research News

Herrington Selected for 2023-24 Class of Executive Leadership in Health Care Fellows

July 3, 2023 by Jennifer Nachbur

Heather Herrington, M.D., associate professor of surgery and pediatrics, has been selected as one of 45 women to participate as a member of the 2023-24 class of fellows in the Executive Leadership in Health Care program at the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM®) program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Heather Herrington, M.D.

Heather Herrington, M.D., associate professor of surgery and pediatrics at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, has been selected as one of 45 women to participate as a member of the 2023-2024 class of fellows in the Executive Leadership in Health Care (ELH) program at the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM®) program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Founded in 1995, ELAM® is a core program of Drexel’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. It is the only longitudinal program in North America dedicated to preparing women for senior leadership roles in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health, and pharmacy. The prestigious program is dedicated to developing the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today's complex health care environment, with special attention to the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions. 

The ELH program, launched in 2022, builds upon the ELAM® program’s fellowship model to include the concepts, tools, and skills that will enable women leaders to bring their full potential to health care organizations. The ELH program is designed for senior-level women leaders interested in advancing in hospitals and health care systems to positions such as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Financial Officer. The year-long, part-time fellowship is intended for women in mid-career to senior-level leadership positions in U.S. and Canadian health systems who have administrative experience in personnel and budget matters, have expressed a clear desire to attain an executive leadership position, have embraced strategic career planning in their leadership development, and have an expressed commitment from their institution — through protected time, funding, and sponsorship — to support their formal or informal advancement and opportunities for increased responsibility in the immediate to five-year range.

“The ELH program expands the longstanding success of ELAM, which has provided educational and networking opportunities for generations of women leaders in medicine throughout the country,” said Richard L. Page, MD, dean of the Larner College of Medicine. “It is a great honor, and well deserved, for Dr. Herrington to be included in just the second cohort of ELH.”

The incoming class of ELH fellows began their work in June and will continue to complete readings and online assignments through the beginning of September, after which they will meet in-person as a group. From September 2023 through April 2024, they will conduct group and independent projects and attend two additional in-person meetings, including the culminating event – the ELAM and ELH Leaders Forum – which features a poster symposium showcasing the outcomes of the fellows' Institutional Action Projects, the capstone of their fellowship year. The 2023-24 fellows will graduate at the end of the forum on April 18, 2024.

“We are extremely excited to see the impact these women will have on their institutions as they work through the ELAM and ELH curriculum and develop their action projects,” said Nancy D. Spector, M.D., executive director of ELAM and ELH, in a press release about the new class of fellows. 

The first surgeon to offer Eustachian tube dilation in Vermont, Herrington has served as division chief of otolaryngology at UVM and the UVM Medical Center since 2019. She received her medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine, and completed a general surgery internship and otolaryngology/head and neck surgery residency at UVM Medical Center, followed by a pediatric otolaryngology fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital. In 2012, she joined the UVM faculty and was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2020. A Fellow in both the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology and the American College of Surgeons, Herrington served as chair of the Pediatric Otolaryngology Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery from 2021-2022 and is a recipient of the organization’s Committee Excellence Award. Her clinical areas of expertise include pediatric airway, hearing loss and otologic surgery, neck masses and the use of ultrasound, and sleep apnea. She is a member of the Larner College of Medicine's Teaching Academy and a past recipient of a Frymoyer Scholars grant to improve pediatric difficult airway management. In Vermont, she has worked to improve screening for infant hearing loss and add testing for congenital CMV infection.

“Dr. Herrington is an expert in pediatric otolaryngology regionally and nationally, and as the division chief of otolaryngology at the University of Vermont Health Network has broadened patient access to specialty care in Vermont and northern New York,” said Jason R. Sanders, M.D., MBA, executive vice president of clinical affairs for the UVM Health Network (UVMHN), and President & CEO of the UVMHN Medical Group. “The new ELH program recognizes the importance of developing and supporting senior women leaders in health systems, and Dr. Herrington will be at the forefront of leadership in healthcare delivery.”

ELAM alumnae – also known as ELUMs – at the Larner College of Medicine include Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and associate dean for faculty; Elizabeth Bonney, M.D., M.P.H., professor and director of research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences; Julia Johnson, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences; Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., professor and chair of microbiology and molecular genetics and professor of medicine; and Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of pathology and laboratory medicine.

“I am grateful to work for a college and a medical group that support the career development of rising women leaders through programs like ELH and ELAM,” said Herrington. “I look forward to bringing the knowledge and skills I acquire back to UVM and the Network to advance our missions.”

Learn more about the ELH program curriculum.