Annual Fall Conference

Fall Leadership Mentoring Conference, 2021
(24th Annual Conference)


Successful Strategies for Women in Academic Medicine

FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women, with the support of the Perelman School of Medicine and the Trustees' Council of Penn Women, cordially invites you to attend our 24th annual professional development conference, a unique opportunity for women faculty and their allies at Penn medicine to convene and network while learning important tools and strategies for success in academic medicine.  

A once-a-year opportunity to convene with Penn women colleagues and their allies, this celebrated professional development conference is for faculty and trainees in any rank, track, department or division. This includes faculty, instructors, lecturers, fellows and residents, MDs and PhDs; all are welcome and encouraged to attend. There is never an ideal time to step away from the clinic, lab or office, but this is the only chance to gather with a substantial group of your Penn women peers and take some time - for an excellent career development program with national experts  -  and for you.  

Event Details

Successful Strategies for Women in Academic Medicine, our fall leadership mentoring conference, welcomes women in academic medicine at the University of Pennsylvania: MDs, PhDs, faculty, fellows, instructors, lecturers, residents. In addition to providing a daylong opportunity to learn from nationally renowned experts and leaders in academic medicine about professional development and career strategies, this forum also facilitates networking and mentoring relationships. Workshops are included to provide skill-building opportunities on topics such as Presentation, Negotiation, Managing and Communication, Time Management and Writing for Publication.

Date: October 15, 2021 (Friday)
Time: ~8:30 AM - 3:40 PM
Location: this year's conference will be held virtually via Zoom

Registration Fee: $25

A special thanks to Michelle J. Johnson, PhD and Anna K Weiss, MD MSEd who were part of the FOCUS Conference Planning Committee and dedicated their time to help organize this year’s conference. 


8:30 - 8:50 AM

Courtney A. Schreiber, MD, MPH, Executive Director, FOCUS
Hillary Bogner, MD, MSCE, Director of Research Programs, FOCUS
Mira Mamtani, MD, MSEd, Associate Director, FOCUS
Lucy Wolf Tuton PhD, Director of Professional Development, FOCUS

FOCUS Conference Planning Committee
Michelle J. Johnson, PhD
Anna K Weiss, MD MSEd

8:50 - 9:00 AM

Opening Remarks and introduction of Ana Núñez
Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD, ML
Vice Dean, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, Perelman School of Medicine


9:00 - 9:45 AM

Radical Belonging and Courageous Leadership to Transform and Sustain Inclusive Excellence in Medicine
Ana Núñez, MD, FACP


In this talk, Dr. Núñez will discuss mission-specific elements of diversity, equity, and inclusion; explain factors preventing and enabling change; and provide strategies and tips to promote dynamic, inclusive change.

9:45 - 10:15 AM

Question and Answer with Ana Núñez, MD, FACP

Large Group

10:15 - 10:25 AM


10:25 - 10:35 AM

Reflection on our multiple identities

10:35 - 11:05 AM

The Natural Hair Journey (click here to access slides from presentation)
Brenda Randle, PhD

The natural hair journey is focused on enlightening people on the role hair has played and continues to play in our society. The natural hair movement is focused on encouraging women with African ancestry to celebrate and enjoy the natural characteristics of their kinky and curly hair texture. This discussion is also meant to provide encouragement, advice and support to women who are interested in shifting the cultural understanding of natural hair.

11:05 - 11:35 AM

Reflection Questions
Small group: breakouts

Large group: report out


11:35 AM - 12:05 PM


12:05 - 12:50 PM

Annual Award Presentation
2021 FOCUS Award for the Advancement of Women in Medicine

Lisa M. Bellini, MD, Senior Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Medicine
Vice Chair, Education and Inpatient Services
Department of Medicine


12:50 - 1:50 PM

Finding your voice and making it heard:  A guide to effective negotiation (click here to access slides from presentation
Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MSc, MPH, MA, MBA, FRCS(C), FACS

In this session, we'll discuss how to overcome the fear of negotiation, how to prepare for a negotiation, and how to effectively use your voice to come to mutually agreeable conclusions.  We'll talk about negotiation styles, and how you can grow the pie -- so that you don't risk relationships for results.

1:50 - 2:20 PM

Question and Answer
Large Group

2:20 - 2:30 PM



2:30 - 2:50 PM

Action-Based Approach to Diversity & Inclusion
Tara Wedin Bamat, MD
Jessica C. Fowler, MD, MPH
Nicole R. Washington, MD

Over the last year and a half, there has been an increased focus from many institutions on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). True commitment to DEI means not only taking intentional steps to improve the number of diverse physicians and leaders but being willing to question the methods and systems that have enabled the status quo to remain exclusive of marginalized groups and void of influence from non-traditional voices. This session will invite us to explore what it means to recruit diverse candidates, retain diverse talent, and improve the clinical learning/work environment.

2:50 - 3:30 PM

Interactive Component
Large Group Report Out

3:30 - 3:40 PMWrap Up/Feedback on Conference
Hillary Bogner MD MSCE, Director of Research Programs, FOCUS


FOCUS Conference Presenter Bios


Ana Núñez, MD, FACP

Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and

Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine

University of Minnesota School of Medicine


(Bio) Ana Núñez, MD, FACP, is a Professor of General Internal Medicine and Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Minnesota. In her Vice Dean role, she collaborates with faculty, staff, and students across the Medical School, as well as community partners, to address issues of inequities, bias, and discrimination in clinical programs, recruiting, curriculum, and research. She has also been named as Integration Strategist, a new leadership position within the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Minnesota, where she will oversee initiatives that promote inclusive excellence across CTSI and with our communities.  Dr. Núñez received her Doctorate in Medicine from Hahnemann University and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Wilkes University. She has fellowships in medical education from Michigan State University and health services research from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  As a nationally recognized medical education and health services researcher, Dr. Núñez has developed novel curricula in the areas of sex and gender medicine, primary care, trauma/violence prevention, and cultural competence. Prior to joining the U of M, she served as the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Drexel University College of Medicine for four years. She also served as the director for Drexel’s nationally designated Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.  In addition, Dr. Núñez has been a principal investigator on numerous educational and health services grants, serves as Editor-in-Chief of Health Equity, and brings nearly 30 years of established clinical practice.


Brenda A. Randle, PhD

Director of Neighborhood Red Wolves Community Engagement Program

Office of Diversity & Community Engagement

Arkansas State University

The Writing Doctor, CEO

(Bio) Dr. Brenda Randle is the owner of The Writing Doctor, LLC. The Arkansas–based proofreading, editing, and writing company offers editorial support for companies and non-profits of all sizes. Dr. Randle believes editing and proofreading are so much more than language correction. She believes quality revision directly contributes to the success of a project and individual.  Dr. Randle has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with a minor in English. She also obtained Master of Arts degrees in Communication Studies and Theater Arts, Specialist degree in Education and finally a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Communication. Dr. Randle considers herself a lifelong learner and lover of education. Dr. Randle is a former faculty member in the College of Media and Communication at Arkansas State University. Dr. Randle has over 15 years of experience as an educator. Proofreading and editing are not only part of her job, but they are also a past time and hobby. As a former professor, she assisted students in becoming first-class speakers and writers. She also aided countless professionals with academic and creative writing.

In addition to her passion for reading and writing, Dr. Randle is a Purpose Development Coach, an experienced educator, certified motivational speaker, a sought-after communication consultant and a lover of Christ. She is a member of Lambda Pi Eta – National Communications Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Kappa Nu Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and an advocate for youth in her community. Dr. Randle is a member of Dominion World Outreach Ministries, under the leadership of Dr. Sharon R. Nesbitt. She serves within the marriage ministry and leadership team.  


Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MSc, MPH, MA, MBA, FRCS(C), FACS

Professor, Department of Surgery

Yale University School of Medicine

(Bio) Anees Chagpar is Professor in the Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine. She completed her BSc in Honors Biochemistry and MD with Honors in Research at the University of Alberta, and her general surgery residency training and MSc at the University of Saskatchewan. She went on to complete the Susan G. Komen Interdisciplinary Breast Fellowship at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, an MPH at Harvard School of Public Health, an MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Louisville, and an MBA for Executives with a focus on Leadership in Healthcare from Yale’s School of Management.  She is a busy breast surgeon who participates in clinical trials, as well as translational and clinical research, is the Breast Surgery Section editor for UpToDate, and co-leads the Yale Global Surgery Faculty Network.  She has published over 180 papers, including in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. She has given hundreds of talks and workshops all over the world, and teaches a course called “An Introduction to Breast Cancer” on Coursera with over 40,000 learners worldwide.  She is passionate about leadership development and promoting equity.  She teaches workshops on Negotiation at the AAMC Mid-WIMS course and the Johns Hopkins Junior Faculty leadership development program among others, and most recently was awarded a Giambalvo award from the American Medical Association to develop a virtual course in negotiation for faculty and trainees.

Drs. Bamat, Fowler and Washington completed their residency (and additionally for Drs. Bamat and Fowler their fellowship) training at CHOP and served together as Chief Residents. This working relationship and friendship has been cited by each of them as a source of ongoing encouragement, support, and laughter. Their friendship and collaboration is evidence that some way, “when you find your people you find your purpose.”


Tara Wedin Bamat, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Pediatrics

Division of General Pediatrics

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

(Bio) Dr. Tara Bamat is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and an attending physician in General Pediatrics and Hospice and Palliative Medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  Her clinical areas of expertise include Complex Care Pediatrics and Pediatric Palliative Medicine.  She is also an Associate Program Director for the CHOP Pediatric Residency Program.  In this role, she has developed a robust family/medical and parental leave system, a longitudinal difficult conversations course for residents and fellows (VitalTalk), and created a comprehensive approach to trainee Wellbeing through a Resilience and Meaning in Medicine curriculum.  Her academic interests center around medical education, support of trainee wellbeing, and communication training including a new course focused on addressing Microaggressions in the clinical learning environment.

Jessica C. Fowler, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia




(Bio) Dr. Jessica Fowler is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and an attending physician in Pediatric Critical Care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  She serves as an Associate Program Director for the Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship Program and on the executive leadership team as the Co-Faculty Lead for the UPHS-CHOP Alliance of Minority Physicians. Her academic focus includes QI/implementation work in pediatric post-cardiac arrest care, as well as efforts in increasing workforce diversity. She is the newly named Associate DIO of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for CHOP Graduate Medical Education and directs the Penn Visiting Clerkship Program for Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) Students as part of her effort to increase the pipeline of URiM physicians in medicine.




Nicole R. Washington, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Pediatrics

Division of General Pediatrics

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


(Bio) Dr. Nicole R. Washington is currently an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and an attending physician in General Pediatrics, Section of Hospital Medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She has been in practice and an Associate Program Director for the CHOP Pediatric Residency Program for the past 6 years. She is also Medical Director of the Physician Hospital Flow Program and General Pediatrics Resident Services. Most recently, she is leading a Chair’s Initiative focused on leadership accountability as part of her work to improve the retention and promotion of URiM faculty and staff. Her academic interests center around medical education, hospital administration, and minority recruitment and retention within academic medicine.

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