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Annual Conference Spring 2004 (Archived)

5th Annual Spring Conference for Senior Women Medical Faculty


Friday, May 7, 2004
7:30 AM - 1:00 PM

The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building II/III
421 Curie Boulevard
BRB II/III, 14th Floor,
Seminar Room #1412 and adjoining lobby area

The FOCUS Leadership Mentoring Program, with the support of the School of Medicine, is pleased to offer the the fifth annual conference for women associate and full professors. This year, the program has been broadened to include senior women in the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry at Penn as well as at surrounding academic health centers in the Philadelpia region. Come join us for an exciting half-day conference with an outstanding panel of guest speakers who will explore ways to think "out of the box" in order to capitalize on your individual talents. FOCUS is pleased to be able to offer this unique opportunity to expand your professional network; to explore as a group those issues specific to your community of professional peers; and, to strategize and group mentor among women faculty at five of the Philadelphia area academic medical centers.


7:30 - 7:45 Registration and Breakfast
7:45 - 8:00 Welcome and Introduction 

Stephanie Abbuhl, MD
Vice Chair Emergency Medicine
Associate Professor and Medical Director 
Department of Emergency Medicine 
Director, FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women 

Arthur Rubenstein, MBBCh
Robert G. Dunlop Professor of Medicine
Executive Vice President for the Health System
Dean, School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
8:00 - 9:15 Maximizing Your Potential as a Women in Medicine or Dentistry: Four Perspectives

Leadership without a Model (While Learning from Great Role Models)
Janet Bickel, MA

Choosing the Right Road
Wendy Wolf, MD, MPH

From Faculty to Administrator: How to Make the Transition
Ponjola Coney, MD

Women Helping Women Succeed 
Page Morahan, PhD
9:15 - 10:15 Four Concurrent Workshops 

Women Working with Women: Why Is This Harder Than We Expect?  How Can We Turn These Dynamics into A Plus?
Janet Bickel, MA 
This interactive workshop is for women seeking to understand why women so often: undermine each other, are more comfortable with women who play down their importance than with those who don’t, and get less respect and help from nurses and secretaries than their male colleagues. Come and learn how to develop a style that works with other women.  This session will offer strategies for preventing misunderstandings, avoiding and managing conflicts when they arise, improving how we interact, and supporting each other.

Special Issues Confronting Minority Women in Medicine
PonJola Coney, MD

Reflect, Refocus, and Renew: Strategic Career Planning for 'Seasoned' Faculty
Page Morahan, PhD
How can you rejuvenate the passion you once had in your career?  Is it time to say, been there and done that?  How do you move to the next phase of your career?

Outside the Ivory Tower:  The Door Can Swing Both Ways
Wendy Wolf, MD, MPH
Turbulent times in health care have spawned an array of new career choices both within and outside of academic medicine and dentistry.  How can you assess what's outside the ivory tower?  Can you build skills that make you valuable in both venues?  Explore some of the options for leadership in health care in this workshop session.
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 11:30 Four Concurrent Workshops  (repeated)
11:30 - 1:00  Interactive Panel Session &
Working Lunch


PonJola Coney, MD
An accomplished clinician, educator and researcher, PonJola Coney, M.D., brought a national reputation in academic medicine when she became Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine at Meharry Medical College in July 2002.

Her extensive experience in curriculum development, clinical research and faculty practice plans insures there is synergy across the College's teaching, research and clinical missions, strengthening the advancement of Meharry's efforts in addressing health care disparities in the United States and around the world.

A leader in reproductive medicine, Dr. Coney's research interests have focused on menopausal health, contraception and assisted reproduction. She came to Meharry from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where she served since 1995 as professor and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology. She has over 40 publications in medical literature.

Dr. Coney earned her medical degree at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and completed a residency at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She developed successful infertility treatment programs during her tenure at the University of Oklahoma, University of Nebraska and University of Arizona.

A founding director of the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, Dr. Coney is active in numerous professional organizations. Her appointment is historic for the Hedwig van Amerigen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program (ELAM), a national group formed to advance women in the ranks of medicine. Her appointment as Meharry's Dean represented a significant accomplishment for women in academic medicine: She is the first of ELAM's inaugural class to ascend to the position of dean of a medical school.

Janet Bickel, MA
As a Faculty Career Consultant, Janet Bickel partners with academic institutions to stimulate and support faculty vitality. As a Career Development and Executive Coach, she partners with individuals to build their careers. Widely respected as an expert in leadership development, Janet Bickel has spoken and consulted at over 85 academic health centers and dozens of professional societies. During the 25 years prior to creating Janet Bickel and Associates, she held positions of increasing national leadership at the Association of American Medical Colleges, including Associate Vice President for Medical School Affairs and Director of the Office of Women in Medicine. Ms. Bickel has published broadly, with over 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals and two books: Educating for Professionalism: Creating a Culture of Humanism in Medical Education and Women in Medicine: Getting in, Growing and Advancing.

Ms. Bickel began her involvement with medical education at Brown University in 1972, where she served as admissions, financial aid and student affairs officer for the then new medical school. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medical Education at George Washington University School of Medicine. She holds a M.A. in sociology from Brown University and an A.B. in English from University of Missouri-Columbia. She is certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Center for Creative Leadership's multi-rater feedback instruments.

Page S. Morahan, PhD
Page S. Morahan is an independent consultant in strategic career planning, leadership development, advancement of women, and faculty affairs for higher education and business. Currently, Dr. Morahan is Co-Director of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. She is also Co-Director of the Foundation for International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) Institutes for international medical educators. She holds professorships at Drexel University and at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has served in leadership positions at the medical school and university level since 1982, including Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs. She served ten years as Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and was the first woman President of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs. Dr. Morahan is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, Forum of Executive Women, and Caron Foundation Philadelphia Leadership Council, and was a Fellow with the American Council on Education (ACE) in 1992-93. She has served on numerous committees and taskforces of the National Board of Medical Examiners, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), National Institutes of Health, and American Society for Microbiology. Her honors include an NIH Research Career Development Award, Lindback Award for teaching excellence, AAMC Women in Medicine Leadership Development Award, and ACE Network of Women Leadership Award. Dr. Morahan received her B.S., magna cum laude, from Agnes Scott College, M.A. from Hunter College, and Ph.D. in Microbiology from Marquette University. More information can be found at and

Wendy Wolf, MD, MPH
Wendy J. Wolf, M.D., M.P.H. is the first Executive Director of the Maine Health Access Foundation, which is the state's newest and largest nonprofit health care funder. This state-wide philanthropy is committed to promoting affordable and timely access to comprehensive quality care and improving the health of all Mainers.

Dr. Wolf's health care career began with her graduation cum laude from Ohio State College of Medicine. She completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. For nearly two decades Dr. Wolf was a faculty physician in the University of Texas medical school system where she served as a Professor of Pediatrics and Division Director of Pediatric Cardiology. Her academic career combined a busy clinical practice with medical teaching, and educational and basic science research. Dr. Wolf was the principal investigator for a prestigious five year National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Preventive Cardiology Academic Award. She has published widely in the scientific literature, and is a nationally recognized speaker in health policy and leadership development.

In 1998, Dr. Wolf obtained a Masters in Public Health degree in Health Care Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. As a direct result of her policy work at Harvard, she was recruited by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to serve as a Senior Advisor to the Administrators for both the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In this capacity, she helped develop, coordinate, and implement the federal policy and operational guidance for the $24 billion State Children's Health Insurance Program. On the basis of her outstanding federal work, Dr. Wolf received former Secretary Shalala's Award for Distinguished Service.

Dr. Wolf has been with the Maine Health Access Foundation since November 2001.

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