Ladies of Leadership
Front Row: Nancy Church, MD, AMWA Program Chair and Member Board of Directors, 2015-2017; Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, President 2015-2016; Eliza Lo Chin, MD, MPH, Executive Director, AMWA; Janet Bickel, MA, Leadership and Career Development Coach; Back Row: Nutan Vaidya, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Talent Recognition and Enhancement, Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University; Jeanette L. Morrison, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Associate Dean for Medical Education and Innovation, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; Holly J. Humphrey, MD, MACP, Ralph W. Gerard Professor in Medicine, Dean for Medical Education, Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago; Ingrid M. Allard, MD, MSEd, Associate Dean for Community Outreach and Medical Education, Albany Medical College. Photo courtesy of AMWA.

There are precious few volunteer organizations that can claim a 100 year history – the American Medical Women’s Association is one of them. And its members came to Chicago, its birthplace, to celebrate its centennial with a Gala and three days of spectacular meetings filled with speakers and panels sharing insights and knowledge eagerly consumed by the attendees. Some of the most highly accomplished women in medicine along with a sprinkling of world famous newsmakers made for a memorable gathering filled with special exposure to brilliance and dedication. Physicians, health care professionals and leaders from around the world joined together from April 23-26, at the historic Palmer House Hilton, just blocks from the original meeting place where AMWA founder Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen and a small group of women first gathered in 1915.

A stellar lineup of speakers and panelists educated, informed and entertained, including:
• Mae C. Jemison, MD, first woman of color in space
• Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, Surgeon General of the U.S.
• Katie Hoff, three time Olympic Medalist
• Pulitzer Prize winner author Nicholas Kristof
• Illinois Health Partners (Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, Northwest Community Healthcare)

Dozens of other eminently qualified experts presented remarks and panels designed to share insights and inspiration and to wrestle with ongoing concerns for women in medicine. Space limitations prevents the telling of the enormous contribution the AMWA, its leaders and members of the past 100 years have made to the world of medical and healthcare. However, the organization’s website provides a wealth of information.

1936 meeting of the Medical Women’s National Association (later renamed American Medical Women’s Association)

Mobile medical unit in South Carolina

WW I volunteers raising money

A dozen AMWA women holding babies in World War 1

In the slough of WW I

Historical photos courtesy of Legacy Center Archives, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia PA