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Leadership Workshops & Research Seminars

FOCUS sponsors a Lunchtime Seminar Series that covers topics related to:

  • women's health research

  • professional development for academic physicians

  • current medical issues ("hot topics" in health care)

FOCUS sponsors lunchtime seminars on women’s health research, professional development for faculty and “hot topics” in healthcare and academic medicine. Presenters include faculty from the School of Medicine as well as from across the University— anthropologists, bioethicists, economists, lawyers, medical historians, sociologists, psychologists, as well as physicians and researchers — all of whom offer exposure and fresh perspective to a broad range of medical and professional development topics.

 

This interactive one-hour lunchtime format provides opportunities for faculty to convene across departments and centers and thereby promotes networking within the School of Medicine, the Hospital, and across the University. The Seminar Series is well-attended by faculty of all genders, from a broad range of specialties. A portion of the series is devoted to workshops on career development and mentoring.

2023-2024 FOCUS programming
Includes lunchtime seminars, focus chats & leadership workshops

*Note: FOCUS is continually adding Seminar Series programming, please check here and our Twitter for updates.


Where we are year 1 post-Dobbs:

Reproductive health, training and workforce

Dr. Schreiber will review early health outcome data, early training and workforce indicators and provide examples of the heterogeneity experiences across the country.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Courtney A. Schreiber, MD, MPH

Stuart and Emily B.H. Mudd Professor of Human Behavior & Reproduction

Chief, Division of Family Planning

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Executive Director, FOCUS on Health and Leadership for Women

Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania

Grantsmanship:

Tips on Finances of Science

This session will discuss managing grant finances (e.g., how many grants you need, sources of funding, handling shortfalls, where do you get money for equipment, deciding how big a lab you want to manage, etc.).

OCTOBER 26, 2023 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Audrey O. John, MD, PhD

Stanley Plotkin Endowed Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Professor of Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Sunny Shin, PhD

Professor of Microbiology

Vice-Chair of Diversity and Inclusion

Chair, CAMB-MVP (Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology) Graduate Program

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Matthew D. Weitzman, PhD

Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Professor of Microbiology, Professor of Pediatrics

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Co-Chief, Division of Protective Immunity, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Director of Grant Review Communities, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Affirmative Action: Past, Present and Future

This session will present the history and evolution of affirmative action in the United States to date and guidance for the future.

NOVEMBER 16, 2023 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Joann Mitchell

Senior Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer

Wendy S. White

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine

The COBALT Spaces of Color Initiative:
Lessons Learned Developing an Equity-Focused Support Initiative

This talk will focus on the history and development process of the COBALT Spaces of Color Initiative, a peer support initiative intended to address the impact of racial trauma in the Penn community. Pitfalls and lessons learned will be shared, including consideration of approaches for pursuing equity-focused work in the context of current national challenges to DEI-focused initiatives.


NOVEMBER 29, 2023 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Rachel Talley, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

Director, Fellowship in Community Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

Associate Program Director for Didactic Curriculum, Psychiatry Residency Program, University of Pennsylvania

Director, COBALT Spaces of Color, University of Pennsylvania

Supporting Faculty during Pregnancy, Parental Leave and Return to Work

Despite 50% of medical school graduates identifying as female, there are limited guidelines in place to help safeguard appropriate work environments for faculty transitioning through critical life events, particularly pregnancy, parental leave and the subsequent return to work. This talk will focus on the current available literature and how this can be applied both to departmental and individual faculty’s approach to creating appropriate guidelines to support faculty.   

DECEMBER 5, 2023 (Tuesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Caoimhe C. Duffy, MD MSc CPPS FCAI

Assistant Professor
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Emily A. Vail, MD MSc 

Assistant Professor

Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care

Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania

Co-Director, Penn Center for Perioperative Outcomes Research and Transformation

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Turning Obstacles into Steppingstones

(Co-sponsored by FOCUS and AMP)

How to fortify one’s position and establish a strategy as we move through unchartered territory.

JANUARY 18, 2024 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Arlene Parsons Bennett MD

Clinical Associate, Department of Psychiatry

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hospital

Full-time Private Practice, 1977 to the present

Family Care Resources

(Co-sponsored by FOCUS and Human Resources)

This session will cover Penn’s family care resources and benefits that support caregivers of adults and their families including Long-term Care Insurance, Health Advocate Advocacy, Bright Horizons Backup Care and Eldercare Supports, and others.

JANUARY 23, 2024 (Tuesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Susan W. Sproat

Executive Director, Human Resources-Benefits

University of Pennsylvania

Karen Kille

Manager, Quality of Work-Life Programs

University of Pennsylvania

Sponsorship in Academic Medicine

This session was developed by Charu Aggarwal, MD, MPH and Angela M. Ellison, MD, MSc

 

Key Objectives:

  1. Define sponsorship and recognize the roles that sponsorship can play in promoting career development

  2. Differentiate sponsorship from mentorship, and identify unique roles of sponsors and mentors

  3. Evaluate how sponsorship can accelerate the professional development of both the sponsoree and the sponsor

FEBRUARY 1, 2024 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

 

Facilitators:

Charu Aggarwal, MD, MPH, FASCO

Leslye M. Heisler Associate Professor for Lung Cancer Excellence

Department of Medicine

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Angela M. Ellison, MD, MSc

Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Panelists:

Eydie G. Miller-Ellis, MD

Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology

Chair, COAP-ACC

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Director, Glaucoma Service, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania

Director, Glaucoma Fellowship Program, Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania

Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs, Department of Ophthalmology, Scheie Eye Institute 

Jessica C. Fowler, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Associate Designated Institutional Officer of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Associate Medical Director, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Director, Penn Visiting Clerkship Program for Students Underrepresented in Medicine,
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Penn Medicine; Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Assistant Program Director, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


Finding our Footing

Join 3 of PSOM’s participants in the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program as they share their experience, learnings from the program, and address the navigation of current challenges and opportunities for women in academic medicine in this moment.

FEBRUARY 8, 2024 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Facilitator:

Lucy Wolf Tuton, PhD

Director of Professional Development, FOCUS

Adjunct Professor, Medicine and of Prevention and Population Health

Executive Director, Bridging the Gaps

Associate Director, Penn Community Scholars Program

Co-Director of PATHWAYS Program for Penn STEMM Faculty

ELUM Panelists:

Susan L. Furth, MD, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Edmond F. Notebaert Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology


Monisha Kumar, MD

Professor of Neurology

Vice Chair for Quality and Safety

Medical Director, Neuro ICU, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Chair, Anna T. Meadows Society Office of the Dean, PSOM

Immediate Past Chair, Penn Forum for Women Faculty, Office of the Provost

 

Raina M. Merchant, MD, MSHP, FAHA

Chief Transformation Officer and Vice President, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Senior Fellow, Penn Center for Public Health Initiatives

Senior Fellow, Institute for Biomedical Informatics
Affiliated faculty, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics 

Embracing Holistic Review: Exploring Opportunities after the Harvard & UNC Decisions

 

Amy will provide an overview of the AAMC’s Holistic Review framework as well as effective practices in a post-Harvard/UNC decision environment. She will also answer questions about the current role holistic review plays in the admissions process, the future of holistic review following the recent Supreme Court decision to ban race status-conscious admissions, and the AAMC’s work in increasing diversity in medical school.   

FEBRUARY 15, 2024 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Moderator:

Jaya Aysola, MD, DTMH, MPH

Associate Professor 
Medicine and Pediatrics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Presenter:

Amy Addams

Director of Student Affairs Alignment & Holistic Review

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Promoting Science and Advocacy through Social Media

Social media is an increasingly utilized platform to share scientific inquiry, collaborate with colleagues, amplify each other's voices, and build a personal brand.  In this seminar, Dr. Siddique will provide practical tips and real-world examples of individuals within academia successfully leveraging social media.  

FEBRUARY 21, 2024 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Shazia Siddique, MD, MSHP

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics

Director, Quality & Safety, Inpatient GI Gut Service, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Associate Director of Scientific Research, Center for Evidence-Based Practice, University of Pennsylvania Health System
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Nosheen Reza, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Associate Member, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Health System

Director, Penn Women in Cardiology Program, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Health System

Faculty Advisor, FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women Section for Residents and Fellows, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

A Megaphone for Providers:
Podcasting and Other Strategies to Reach Our Patients Outside the Office

More and more people are taking their health information from social media sites such as Tiktok and Instagram. Physicians and other health care providers are in a unique position to counter the many myths and inaccuracies around health and wellness, but how to we begin to reach out? Dr. Reid shares her own journey to find creative ways to bridge the wide gap between the insights of academia and the experiences of everyday individuals. Leaders rise to the occasion, and we must share our voices to create a healthier future.

MARCH 6, 2024 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Jennifer Reid, MD

Psychiatrist, Host of The Reflective Doc Podcast

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
www.jenniferreidmd.com

Work-Life Balance: It's time for a new paradigm 

As working professionals, we are taught to strive for work-life balance. We are told that this is essential to a happy and fulfilling life. However, this pursuit often has the opposite effect, and we end up feeling stressed out and exhausted. In this talk, we will discuss the problems with work-life balance and outline an alternative approach to finding joy in all aspects of our lives.

MARCH 13, 2024 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Suzana Tsao, DO

Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine

Attending Physician, Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center, Emergency Medicine

Vice Chair of Education, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Co-Director Penn Virtual Hospital

Department of Emergency Medicine

Reducing disparities: sexual and reproductive health equity initiatives in Philadelphia and at Penn Medicine

In this talk, Dr. Sarita Sonalkar and Dr. Aasta Mehta will discuss state and city-level sexual and reproductive health policies to support equity, and the hospital-level initiatives that are reducing disparities locally.

APRIL 3, 2024 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Aasta D. Mehta, MD, MPP

Medical Officer of Women’s Health
Department of Public Health | City of Philadelphia

Sarita Sonalkar, MD MPH

Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Division of Family Planning
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

The Impact of  Implicit Bias on Academic Medicine

The benefits of a diverse and inclusive academic medicine environment are well-established.  In this current climate, how we can continue efforts to diversify our workforce and ensure inclusivity moving forward remains a critical question.  This session discusses the impact of implicit bias and offers strategies to promote diversity and foster inclusive environments. 

APRIL 16, 2024 (Tuesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Brian E. Gittens, Ed.D PA ‘89

Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management

Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Kya Hertz, CDE®

Associate Director

Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Establishing AMETHIST@Penn:
Achieving Maternal Equity and Transforming Health through Implementation Science and Training

The NIH Implementing a Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) initiative aims to reduce maternal mortality, improve pregnancy, perinatal and postpartum care, and to address the factors that have led to severe disparities in outcomes for marginalized groups. The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) has created the Achieving Maternal Equity and Transforming Health through Implementation Science and Training (AMETHIST@Penn) Implementation Science Hub to support IMPROVE Maternal Health Research Centers of Excellence (CoEs) and other IMPROVE investigators and to coordinate with the NIH. 

 

In this talk, we will discuss the establishment of AMETHIST@Penn, and our progress in aiding these NIH CoEs and investigators in advancing implementation science design across their research, centering equity, and effectively disseminating their work to stakeholders and policymakers. We will also discuss our diverse training opportunities at the intersection of implementation science and maternal health.

APRIL 18, 2024 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Meghan Brooks Lane-Fall, MD, MSHP, FCCM

Executive Director of the Penn Implementation Science Center (PISCE), Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics

Co-Director, AMETHIST@Penn: Achieving Maternal Equity and Transforming Health through Implementation Science and Training

David E. Longnecker Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine

Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine

Rebecca Feldman Hamm, MD, MSCE

Assistant Professor, Maternal Fetal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Co-Director, AMETHIST@Penn: Achieving Maternal Equity and Transforming Health through Implementation Science and Training

Vice-Chair, Patient Safety and Quality Committee, Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine

Thriving at PSOM: resources you can use

MAY 1, 2024 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Lisa Bellini MD, MACP

Senior Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Meryl S. Cohen, MD, MSEd

Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Associate Chief, Division of Cardiology
Associate Dean for Faculty Development
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Managing Grief at Work:  Insights on Coping, the Cognitive Impact and Co-Worker Support

Dr. Albright will share her insights on the challenges of returning to work after a significant loss, the difficulties of coping with and managing grief at work, the impact of the various stages of grief on work-life reintegration, and the understated value of co-worker support and acknowledgement of vulnerability during difficult times.

MAY 8, 2024 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

DaCarla M. Albright, MD

Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology

Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Bridging Women's Health and Genomics in EHR Biobanks

This talk will explore the integration of genomics with electronic health records (EHRs) in biobanks, emphasizing its potential to enhance women's health research. We'll delve into how EHR-linked biobanks can be leveraged to uncover genetic associations with conditions predominantly affecting women, such as adenomyosis, and discuss strategies for overcoming the challenges in this interdisciplinary field. By bridging these domains, we aim to pave the way for personalized medicine approaches tailored specifically to women's health needs.

MAY 15, 2024 (Wednesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Shefali Setia Verma, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Sex chromosome-encoded homologous proteins in sex bias of gene regulation

Dr. Liu's laboratory is interested in understanding enzyme-mediated RNA processing in sex-specific gene regulation. It has been demonstrated recently that a diverse set of enzyme-mediated modifications are found internally within RNAs, which markedly influence the fate of RNAs in the cell. Many enzymes responsible for regulating protein and DNA modifications are targets of current therapies. RNA epitranscriptomics, the study of RNA modifications, is the new frontier in this arena. However, there are many fundamentally important questions, such as whether RNA modifications synergistically impact gene regulation, a new research area that my lab spearheaded in the RNA modification field. Furthermore, based on our observation of sex-specific RNA binding proteins, we have been investigating how sex and gender influence gene regulation at the RNA level with a focus on the sex chromosome-encoded homologs.

JUNE 4, 2024 (Tuesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Katherine Fange Liu, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Group Leader, Penn Institute for RNA Innovation
Full Member, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Leadership Council, Penn Center for Genome Integrity

Title: To be announced

JUNE 10, 2024 (Monday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Virtual Zoom Session

Nduka M. Amankulor, MD

Division Head, Neurosurgical Oncology
Presidential Associate Professor
Department of Neurosurgery
The University of Pennsylvania

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FOCUS

A Penn program with a mission to improve the recruitment, retention & advancement of women faculty + promote education & research in women’s health & leadership

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