Wake Forest School of Medicine has been selected to receive the 2018 Group on Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Award by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
This national award recognizes the school’s commitment to supporting and advocating for the professional advancement of women in medicine and science.
“This tremendous honor truly reflects the hard work of our faculty to create a working and learning environment that inspires leadership and nurtures success,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist and dean of School of Medicine. “Being recognized is also a direct result of the efforts of our Women in Medicine and Science program, which has led active and innovative programs to support women at the Medical Center for 26 years.”
The Women in Medicine and Science program was established in 1992 and focuses on mentoring, career development, research, education and work-life integration programs that passionately support the recruitment, retention and promotion of women across the organization.
Since the AAMC award was first given in 1995, it has recognized 23 individuals and 18 programs across the country.
In September, Wake Forest Baptist Health welcomed High Point Medical Center as the latest addition to its health care system.
With 351 licensed beds and more than 2,600 employees, including more than 130 physicians, High Point Medical Center serves more than 300,000 patients each year, in 41 locations across four counties.
The addition culminated several months of work as leaders from Wake Forest Baptist; UNC Health Care, which previously operated High Point; and High Point Medical Center worked together on the complex effort to integrate multiple systems, processes and work streams.
The addition increases the capacity across the entire Wake Forest Baptist system and allows more patients to receive care close to home. It also is expected to have a positive impact on the educational mission, according to James Hoekstra, MD, president of Wake Forest Baptist Health-High Point Medical Center.
“As an academic medical center, we are also expanding educational opportunities for local college and university students to work together with Wake Forest School of Medicine students,” Hoekstra said. “I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity and excited to see what the future holds for all of us as we strive to improve the health of everyone in our community.”
Noted professor and researcher Goldie S. Byrd, PhD, has been named director of Wake Forest Baptist’s Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE).
Byrd will help MACHE support Wake Forest Baptist’s learning health care system by advancing health care equity research, transforming how health and wellness are delivered to communities, fostering partnerships among researchers, community members and health systems. She also will work to encourage career development of minority faculty and students and to increase the number of minority college and high school students who join health care careers.
“Goldie brings with her a strong and extensive background in research, leadership and collaboration with organizations across the country,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist and dean of the School of Medicine. “We look forward to her vision helping guide us in our goal to reduce health disparities among minorities and rural populations and to improve the quality of life for those in underserved communities.”
In 2003, Byrd joined the faculty at North Carolina A&T State University, where she was the first woman to serve as chair of the Department of Biology and the first permanent female dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
She most recently served as professor of biology and interim executive director of the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s Aging and Community Health at N.C. A&T State University. Under Byrd’s leadership, the center received more than $5 million in National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation grants and personal and corporate gifts.
Byrd also has held faculty appointments at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina Central University and Tennessee State University.
John D. McConnell, MD, was presented as the Gordon Hanes Chair in Urology during a ceremony held in July.
McConnell, professor of urology and executive director of Wake Forest Healthcare Ventures, served as the first chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center from 2008 to 2017.
Funding for the endowed chair was made possible by gifts from the Hanes family. The Hanes family desired that people throughout the region would have access to the very best urological care strengthened by clinical research.
A total of 61 endowed faculty positions have been established at Wake Forest Baptist, with 36 of those funded primarily through private philanthropy. These investments advance academic medicine by providing:
- Recognition for truly exceptional faculty members;
- Resources and time for research, education and patient care; and
- A method to help attract and retain outstanding research faculty.
Wake Forest Baptist has been recognized as an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for the second straight year.
Wake Forest Baptist received the designation in the 11th annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) produced by the HRC, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights.
“We are honored to be recognized as a leader by the Human Rights Campaign and are committed to equity, inclusion and diversity for all of our patients, families and colleagues,” said David McIntosh, PhD, vice president and chief inclusion and diversity officer at Wake Forest Baptist.
The index grades health care institutions on four criteria: patient services and support; non-discrimination and staff training; employee benefits and policies; and patient and community engagement. This year, 626 health care facilities nationwide participated in the HEI survey. Wake Forest Baptist was among the 438 institutions to earn Healthcare Equality Leader status.
For the 26th consecutive year, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center was included in the “Best Hospitals” survey by U.S. News & World Report.
Seven specialties ranked for 2018-19:
- 19th Cancer
- 30th Ear, Nose and Throat
- 31st Geriatrics
- 38th Nephrology
- 41st Pulmonology
- 47th Neurology and Neurosurgery
- 49th Gynecology
Rated as High Performing:
- Diabetes and Endocrinology
This year, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the only hospital in the Piedmont Triad to be nationally ranked and is second overall in North Carolina, and the Medical Center’s rankings in cancer and geriatrics are the highest of any hospitals in the state.
Wake Forest Baptist’s Brenner Children’s Hospital was ranked No. 47 in urology in U.S. News’ annual “Best Children’s Hospitals” survey.