Celebration of Gender Equity Highlights Data & Advocacy, Recognizes Champions

February 28, 2022 by Jennifer Nachbur

The Larner College of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted the third annual Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science on March 3, 2022.

On March 3, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Larner College of hosted the third annual Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science, an inspiring event that provided insight into the critical role of data in gender equity advocacy, and recognized gender equity leaders from across the College community.

Larner Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., opened the event with a welcome and acknowledgement of the efforts underway to advance gender equity initiatives at the College.

“Gender equity work at Larner has been propelled by the energetic work of the members of our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Dean's Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and our Gender Equity Steering Committee,” he said. “Dr. Anne Dougherty, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences and director of gender equity in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has brought exceptional energy and thoughtfulness to bear on the issue of gender equity here and across the medical profession.”

Dougherty welcomed attendees and discussed the focus and activities of the Larner Gender Equity Initiative.

“As scientists, we follow data; gender equity is no different,” said Dougherty, adding, “It is through data collection and tracking over time that we will shape our priorities and create the change we know is needed.”

Sarah Hawkes, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., professor of global public health at the Institute for Global Health, University College London (UCL), delivered a keynote address, titled "Shining A Light on Gender Equality in the Health Sector: The Role of Global Health 50/50 in Using Data for Advocacy." A medical doctor with a degree in sociology and a Ph.D. in epidemiology, Hawkes also serves as the director of the UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health. She leads research focused on analyzing the use of evidence in policy processes, particularly in relation to gender and health, and sexual health. She received her Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Science (M.B.B.S.) degree from UCL and her Ph.D. and Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In addition, Hawkes is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health. She has lived and worked for much of the past 20 years in Asia, where she has gathered evidence, built capacity and helped develop policy for programs focusing on gender, sexual health and human rights. She works closely with national governments, research organizations, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund in Asia and the Middle East.

The final portion of the event featured recognition of the pioneers, leaders and promising future leaders of gender equity advocacy at the Larner College of Medicine.

Awards and recipients included:

  • Gender Equity Champion Award – This award honors Larner College of Medicine community members—faculty, staff, or students—who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the advancement of women and those with underrepresented gender identities beyond the scope of their job, area of research, or training. Recipients: Eli Goldberg M.D., clinical instructor in family medicine, and Montana Kay Lara, a doctoral student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program. (Nominees: Roxana del Rio, Ph.D.; Evan Eyler, M.D.; Nathalie Feldman, M.D.*; Jennifer Hall, M.D.; Bridget Marroquin, M.D.; Laura McCray, M.D.; Jennifer Nachbur*; Emerson Wheeler; Emmett Whitaker, M.D.)
  • Gender Equity Outstanding Achievement in Medicine and Science Award – This award will be given to a woman or gender minority** faculty member within the Larner College of Medicine who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in medicine and science through research, education or service. Recipient: Beth D. Kirkpatrick, M.D., professor and chair of microbiology and molecular genetics. (Nominees: Stacey Sigmon, Ph.D.; Sarah Heil, Ph.D.; Sally Herschorn, M.D.)
  • The Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship – The Polaris Award honors a Larner College of Medicine faculty or staff member who provides outstanding formal or informal mentorship for women or gender minority College community members. Recipient: Isabelle Desjardins, M.D., chief medical officer of the UVM Medical Center and associate professor of psychiatry. (Nominees: Paula Tracy, Ph.D.; Frances Carr, Ph.D.; Alicia Jacobs, M.D.; Elizabeth Watson, M.D.; Alissa Thomas, M.D.)
  • The Rising Star Emerging Professional Award – This award recognizes a woman or gender minority** faculty or staff member at the Larner College of Medicine who is in the early stage of their career, and who demonstrates excellence in contributions to students, colleagues, and/or the institution in the areas of gender equity and inclusion through service, program development, teaching, research or beyond. Recipient: Joanna Conant, M.D.*, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine. (Nominees: Sherrie Khadanga, M.D.; Anja Jokela, M.D.; Hannah Perry, M.D.; Margaret Graham, M.D.; Abigail Hielscher, Ph.D.; Michelle Bookless)
  • The Gender Equity Lifetime Achievement Award – This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a career-long commitment to promoting gender equity and who demonstrates transformational leadership through their professional focus on gender equity, track record of effective mentorship for women and gender minorities, and long-standing service in the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women and gender minorities. Recipient: Paula B. Tracy, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry.

*Member of the Larner College of Medicine Gender Equity Steering Committee.
**Gender minority refers to those who identify with a gender outside of the she/her, he/him binary.

Link to the full 2022 Celebration of Gender Equity program.

Link to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion's Gender Equity Initiative web page.

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